FAST START HELPS CANADA WIN BRONZE AT YOUTH OLYMPICS
JASON LA ROSE
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Antonin Verreault (Saint-Jérôme, Que./Saint-Eustache, LHMAAAQ) and Nate Danielson (Red Deer, Alta./Northern Alberta, CSSHL) scored in the first three minutes, Cédrick Guindon (Rockland, Ont./Rockland, HEOMAAA) netted a pair of goals and Canada doubled up Finland 4-2 on Wednesday to win the bronze medal at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
It’s the third time in as many Youth Olympics that Canada has medalled; it won bronze at the inaugural Games in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012 and took silver in Lillehammer, Norway, in 2016.
On the ice less than 24 hours after their narrow semifinal loss to the United States, the Canadians jumped all over Finland as soon as the puck dropped.
Verreault needed just 1:45 to open the scoring, capitalizing on a neutral-zone turnover by beating Finnish goaltender Topias Leinonen under the arm, and Danielson knocked in his own rebound just 63 seconds after that for a quick two-goal advantage.
Guindon got his first of the game to make it 3-0 at 9:40, finishing off a feed from Verreault.
Canada found itself in penalty trouble late in the opening frame and the Finns capitalized; Elmeri Laakso hammered a one-timer past netminder Vincent Filion (Shawinigan, Que./Trois-Rivières, LHMAAAQ) on a five-on-three in the final minute to get the Scandinavians within two after 15 minutes.
The penalty parade continued on both sides in a scoreless second period, with the teams combining for seven minors and a 10-minute misconduct. Canada had a clear advantage in possession, outshooting the Finns 10-1.
But the momentum shifted early in the third; Finland had the first six shots of the period – after registering just seven in the first 30 minutes – and Laakso beat Filion through traffic midway through the final stanza to make it a one-goal game.
The Canadian puck-stopper was at his best in the third period, turning aside 12 of the 13 shots he faced. He stopped 18 of 20 overall.
Guindon found the empty net with 32 seconds left to clinch the win.
Verreault finished as Canada’s leading scorer with five points (three goals, two assists) in four games, one more than Guindon.