Skip to main content

Canada's under-18 men shut out Slovakia in Ivan Hlinka exhibition game

NHL.com @NHL

PIESTANY, Slovakia - The coach of Canada's under-18 men's hockey team couldn't have asked for much more from the lone exhibition game ahead of the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament.

Not only did Steve Spott get a victory, he also found a few areas for teaching.

"I really liked the effort," Spott said after Saturday's 3-0 victory over Slovakia. "I thought our work ethic was where we needed it to be. I think the challenge when you've got a group like this is they've got to become a little bit more selfish in a good way."

The coach saw a little too much fancy play, particularly from his scoring lines. It will be something he addresses before the tournament begins on Monday.

"Our third and fourth line played the way they're expected to play, but our top six I thought were a little too cute," said Spott. "We'll go through some video and explain how we want to play in the offensive zone."

Daniel Altshuller and Domenic Graham combined for the shut out on 22 saves while OHL forwards Brendan Gaunce, Andreas Athanasiou and Thomas Wilson each scored.

Canada is the three-time defending champion at the event and opens tournament play against Sweden on Monday.

"We know they'll be ready," said Spott. "That's a natural rivalry for our country now and it should be an emotional game on Monday. They'll be big and skilled, we know what we'll get."

Gaunce's goal came on the power play midway through the second period to open the scoring. Mathew Campagna assisted on the marker.

Canada unloaded 50 shots on Slovak netminders Patrick Romancik and Richard Sabol.

"In a game like this, you're really looking for effort and you're looking for compete (level)," said Spott. "I thought that was real good tonight."

View More