Another game, another highlight-reel assist for Buffalo Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart. The organization's first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft had one helper Saturday as Canada blanked Germany 4-0 the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal.
Branded as co-favorites entering the tournament, Canada has outscored the opposition 12-0 through their first two games to cruise into first place in the Group A standings.
Reinhart has been a steady two-way performer in the early stages of the tournament as Canada looks to build line chemistry. He’s been smart with his stick defensively, reaching into scrums to fish pucks out to safety, while his anticipation and accurate passing at the other end of the rink have led to several prime chances.
Just as he did the night before, Reinhart used his keen sense and vision to hook up with Max Domi (ARI) for an even-strength tally to cushion a Canadian lead.
Domi quickly pounced on a loose puck off an offensive zone draw and tossed it to Reinhart, who immediately fired a no-look, backhand feed against the grain back to Domi at the far post for a one-foot tap-in. Domi’s marker gave Canada a 3-0 advantage with 10:46 left in regulation.
The flashy assist gives Reinhart three points (0+3) in two games of the preliminary round. He has accumulated three shots on goal and a plus-4 rating while posting an impressive 70 percent success rate at the faceoff circle.
Connor McDavid (2015), Curtis Lazar (OTT) and Madison Bowey (WSH) also scored for Canada. Eric Comrie (WPG) was sharp in net, stopping all 17 shots sent his way, including a key breakaway save in the second period with the Germans on a power play.
Germany battled admirably with 17 shots on goal, but was burned three times by the Canadian power play to move to 0-1 in group play. Like other teams in the tournament, the Germans were without some notable firepower as their top under-20 star, Leon Draisaitl, is currently playing in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.
Next up for host Canada is a day of rest before returning to action Monday evening against defending champion Finland.
Earlier in the day, Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) logged a plus-1 rating as Sweden earned their second-straight regulation victory of the tournament with a 5-1 win over Denmark in Toronto.
With Adrian Kempe (LAK) unable to play due to injury, Olofsson was elevated to Sweden’s second line with Lucas Wallmark (CAR) and Adam Brodecki. His straight-line speed in transition was displayed on several occasions, but he was unable to connect for any shots or points as the efficient Swedes dominated zone time to get the win.
Olofsson received power-play work for the second game in a row, but instead of being used on the point like he is with MODO, the trigger man has been tabbed for duty in front of the net.
On Sweden’s final goal of the game, Oloffson was camped low between the hash marks, looking for a tip as a Sebastian Aho (2015) point shot sailed through traffic to extend the lead to 5-1.
Wallmark, Anton Blidh (BOS), William Nylander (TOR) and Jacob de la Rose (MTL) also scored for Sweden, while Nick Olesen netted the lone Danish marker.
Sweden will look to remain atop the Group B standings on Monday when they face Russia.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@sabresprospects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.