Quinton Byfield has officially arrived at the IIHF World Juniors Championship.
Last year, the 17-year-old kid from Newmarket, Ont., notched one assist in limited time over seven games as Canada won gold. Byfield entered Tuesday’s game with one assist in three games. By the end of 60 minutes against the Swiss, he tacked on six more with two goals and four helpers as the Canadians handily won by a final score of 10-0.
Before the game, Canada had two very different wins under its belt. Boxing Day brought a lopsided win over a depleted German squad while Sunday was a tight win against a more formidable opponent in Slovakia. This contest started off looking like the game from just two days ago as the Canadians could only muster one goal — Philip Tomasino’s fourth of the tournament — on 14 shots in the first period. It was a period filled with penalties for both sides, so momentum was at a premium.
But when the game shifted to the middle frame, the floodgates began to open. Canada notched four in the second period before potting another five in the final stanza. In the end, 14 skaters collected at least one point led by Byfield and Jakob Pelletier (two goals, assist) while Connor McMichael, Cole Perfetti, Dylan Cozens and Ryan Suzuki chipped in a goal and an assist apiece. Overall, the team put 52 shots on net against QMJHL netminder Nathan Patenaude.
On the backend, Devon Levi was once again a calming presence in between the pipes as he turned aside all 15 shots he faced.
Canada will now have a day off before its final game of the preliminary round, a tough test against Finland.
Sporting News had all the action as Canada skated away with another Group A win.
Canada vs. Switzerland scores, highlights from 2021 World Juniors
(All times Eastern)
Third period: Canada 10, Switzerland 0
8:20 p.m. — GOAL. Jakob Pelletier takes the touch pass from Byfield and buries it. The Flames prospect with his second of the night. Canada leads 10-0.
8:16 p.m. — GOAL. Kaiden Guhle fires the one-timer from the right point and rips it off the post and in. Canada leads 9-0.
8:12 p.m. — Holloway takes a penalty and Switzerland heads to the power play for the sixth time. They would not score.
8:10 p.m. — GOAL. Sixty-two seconds later, Cole Perfetti gets his first of the tournament as he takes the pass in the right circle, pivots and scores. All the work on that goal goes to Peyton Krebs who maintained control on the board. Canada leads 8-0.
8:08 p.m. — GOAL. Make that a five-point night for the 2020 second-overall pick. Byfield one times the Jack Quinn royal road pass; beauty of a goal. Canada leads 7-0.
8:04 p.m. — Penalty on Connor Zary for hooking.
8:02 p.m. — PP GOAL. Quinton Byfield is having himself a game. Standing alone in front of the goalie he deflects in the Jamie Drysdale point shot. His first goal of the tourney and fourth point on the night. Canada leads 6-0.
8:00 p.m. — Canada heads back to the power play as Dawson Mercer takes a stick to the face. It’s Canada’s sixth power play of the game.
7:55 p.m. — The third period is underway and the Swiss are on the power play.
7:50 p.m. — During intermission, Kirby Dach gives an update.
Shots on goal: Canada 37, Switzerland 7 (they had four in the period); Penalty minutes: Canada 8, Switzerland 20
7:36 p.m. — With time winding down Simon Knak gets a good chance flying down the wing after his teammate is held. Knak almost carries the rebound into the net. Canada will start the third period on the penalty kill.
7:32 p.m. — GOAL. Connor McMichael with the shovel one-timer that gets past Patenaude. And guess who made the pass? Dylan Cozens. Canada leads 5-0.
7:27 p.m. — Ryan Suzuki follows the goal up with a fantastic shift that includes Tomasino ringing one off the pipe.
7:25 p.m. — PP GOAL. Ryan Suzuki’s first shot is stopped but cleans up the rebound. Canada leads 4-0.
7:22 p.m. — Canada gets a power play.
7:16 p.m. — GOAL. The Calgary Flames’ prospects connect. After Connor Zary’s shot from the slot just goes wide (may have dinged the outside of the post), Jakob Pelletier buries the puck from the sharp angle. Quinton Byfield showcasing some nifty hands at the blue line to stay onside. Canada leads 3-0.
7:05 p.m. — PP GOAL. Dylan Cozens chips the rebound from the Cole Perfetti shot over the netminder. That’s the Sabres prospects fourth goal and eighth point in three games. Canada leads 2-0.
7:04 p.m.. — Swiss called for a penalty just a second after they end their power play.
7:03 p.m. — The second period begins. BTW, Avalanche prospect Bowen Byram is wearing the “C” today.
First period: Canada 1, Switzerland 0
Shots: Canada 14, Switzerland 3; Penalty minutes: Canada 6, Switzerland 16
6:45 p.m. — The period comes to an end. Switzerland will start the second with 1:04 of power-play time.
6:43 p.m. — Connor McMichael called for interference; lucky he didn’t get a 2+10.
6:42 p.m. — Canadians and Swiss share a good chance.
6:39 p.m. — Levi with a solid save on a point from Guggenheim.
6:38 p.m. — Good pad save by Patenaude. In 11 games with Saint John this season, Patenaude was 4-3-3 with a .889 save percentage.
6:30 p.m. — Alex Newhook gets two for high-sticking. Swiss would not register a shot on goal with the man advantage and have just two with 6:30 left on the clock.
6:27 p.m. — Now a 5-on-4. Canada would not score across that whole sequence of penalties.
6:24 p.m. — Salzgeber gets a 2+10 for checking from behind after hitting Braden Schneider who is back in the lineup after his one-game suspension. So Canada now has a 5-on-3 for around a minute.
6:22 p.m. — Swiss had a few seconds on the power play but then gets called for tripping (not sure about that call either, sorry). It’ll be 4-on-4 for a few ticks above 30 seconds and then Canada will go back to the man advantage.
6:20 p.m. — Switzerland gets its first shots of the game almost seven minutes in.
6:19 p.m. — Cozens called for high-sticking but didn’t really see it on the replay. Regardless it’ll be 4-on-4 for a little over a minute. (Follow-up another look showed it.)
6:17 p.m. — Canada heads to the power play. The team is 2-for-5 in the tournament entering Tuesday’s game.
6:11 p.m. — GOAL. For the third straight game, Tomasino gets a goal. The Predators’ draft pick takes the pass and scores over the blocker of Patenaude. Canada leads 1-0.
6:08 p.m. — Game on and the Canadians immediately get a good scoring chance.
5:10 p.m. — Lineup. Devon Levi gets the start again.
World Juniors 2021: Latest news
Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s
The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, playing in his first singles tournament on grass for three years, could not handle the ferocious pace of Berrettini as he slid to defeat.
Murray eased past Benoit Paire in his opening match on Tuesday but world number nine Berrettini was too big a step up.
Berrettini’s huge first serve and forehand did most of the damage but the Italian also showed plenty of silky touch on the slick lawns to register his first career win over Murray.
Berrettini, 25, finished the match off with a powerful hold of serve, banging down four massive first serves before sealing victory with a clubbing forehand winner.
He faces British number one Dan Evans in the quarter-final after Evans beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Murray, a five-time winner of the traditional warm-up event but now ranked 124 after long battles with hip injuries including resurfacing surgery in 2019, has been handed a wildcard for the Wimbledon championships.
Apart from a slight groin niggle, Murray said he was reasonably happy with his condition, considering this was only his third Tour-level tournament of the year.
“I think obviously I need to improve,” Murray told reporters. “I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. My tennis today was not very good today. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most.
“I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches.”
Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title in 2019 and the doubles alongside Murray, was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Canada‘s Denis Shapovalov.
(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)
Be Like the King of the North Division and Develop Skills
It’s been a year unlike no other for Canadian hockey teams, with COVID-19 travel restrictions forcing the creation of a new NHL division made up entirely of Canadian teams. The previous generation of NHL hockey was known as the “Dead Puck Era” because referees tolerated slowing down the game with clutching and grabbing.
The leading scorers today score in jaw-dropping fashion and routinely pull off stickhandling dangles that were unimaginable until only recently. The Canadian team that will win the North Division will be the one with the most skill.
Here are the training aids that will help you develop your skills all year long.
Innovators like HockeyShot Canada make “passers” so that players can develop pinpoint accuracy and the soft hands necessary to cradle and control a pass when it lands on your stick. The high-quality rubber bands return the puck with the same force which passed it, so you can give yourself one-timers or work on accuracy.
Whether you’re on a two-on-one, sending a breakout pass from the defensive zone, or holding down the blue line on the power play, every positional player needs to pass accurately.
A player is lucky to get a few shots on net each game, and they can’t let them go to waste. Until recently, players needed to rent ice in the off-season to practice their shots in realistic game-like conditions.
Now, players can use shooting pads at their home that let pucks glide as they do on real ice. Shooting is perhaps the one skill that requires the most repetition because one inch can be the difference between going bar-down and clanking one wide off the post.
Practice your quick release and accuracy and develop an arsenal of shots, including wrist shots, slapshots, one-timers, and more. The more tools in your tool kit, the deadlier a sniper you’ll be.
Having the puck on your stick is a responsibility, and you don’t want to cough it up to the other team and waste a scoring chance or lose possession. The ability to stickhandle helps you bide time until a teammate is open, so you can pass them the puck and continue attacking.
If you’re on a breakaway, you may want to deke the goalie rather than shoot if your hands are silky enough. Develop stickhandling skills, and you’ll keep goalies and opponents guessing – being unpredictable helps make a sniper’s job easier.
Of course, you also need to handle the puck in your own zone without causing a turnover. Stickhandling is a crucial skill in all areas of the ice.
When the coach sends you over the board, you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way. Maybe you’ll get the puck in the slot or somewhere else, but when it’s playoffs, you always need to be ready. The Kings of the North Division have all of the above skills and more, and you can too if you practice all year.
Australia swim trials calendar shift to reap Tokyo rewards
Australia broke with tradition to hold its swimming trials just six weeks before the start of the 2020 Olympics and former world champion Giaan Rooney said the move could reap rich rewards in Tokyo after disappointments at London and Rio.
Australia has typically held its trials up to six months before an Olympics but that gap has been drastically cut this year with swimmers vying for Tokyo spots this week in Adelaide.
Rooney, who won individual world titles at Fukuoka and Montreal and a relay gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, said Australia is gearing up for a much improved Games after its swimmers flopped at Rio and London.
“I think we needed to make it work,” she told Reuters. “The shift started about a year ago to bring the trials into line with the rest of the world and qualify five or six weeks before.
“In sport and swimming, six months is a long time,” Rooney added. “From a coaching perspective, it’s much better to know you have chosen the team in form.”
After winning five gold medals at Sydney 2000 and seven in Athens, the Australian team was rocked by accusations of disruptive behaviour by some of its top sprinters at the 2012 Olympics.
Australia won just one gold medal in the London pool and three in Rio five years ago.
Australia knew something had to be done if it was to close the gap on the powerful Americans and moving the trials is part of the strategy.
“I think it’s to make your swimmers more resilient to change,” Rooney said.
“In the USA they get to race every week regardless of illness or breakups and under all circumstances. Nothing rattles them.
“Australia doesn’t have that racing continuity. This is about making sure you are prepared for anything. I think our swimmers are more resilient than they have been in the past decade, COVID is part of this.”
Rooney said there might even be an “upside” for Australia with the Olympics postponed by a year due to the global health crisis, with the emergence of swimmers like teenager Kaylee McKeown, who broke the women’s 100m backstroke world record on Sunday.
“We are now talking about athletes who are not only going to make the Olympics but are medal chances,” Rooney said.
“We wouldn’t have been talking about her this time last year. She might not have been ready for a position on the team. She is now a legitimate gold medal chance in Tokyo once she gets there.”
For all her confidence about Australia’s performance in Tokyo, Rooney was wary of making predictions about a gold rush for her compatriots.
“I think this will be a more successful Olympics for us than Rio in the pool but individual goal medals will still be difficult to come by,” said the 38-year-old.
“The biggest challenge is to make the jump from minor medals to gold.”
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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