Canada meets Denmark in under-18 world hockey

After some travel headaches and exhibition wins over Germany and the Czech Republic, Canada kicks off the world under-18 hockey championship Thursday against Denmark.

“We’ve got two games under our belt

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — After some travel headaches and exhibition wins over Germany and the Czech Republic, Canada kicks off the world under-18 hockey championship Thursday against Denmark.

“We’ve got two games under our belt,” said head coach Jesse Wallin of the Red Deer Rebels, who will try to lead Canada back to a medal at a competition where they’ve been shut out for three years running.

“The first game was our first game together as a group. It was the day after we got here.

“In my experience that game has always been a little bit sloppy and this one was no different.”

Wallin is joined on the Canadian squad by Rebels defenceman Mathew Dumba, who is the team captain.

Canada emerged with a 5-3 win over Germany but flight change brought the team in later than expected.

“The first game you feel like you’re good for maybe the first five or 10 minutes and then ‘wow,”’ said forward Brendan Gaunce of the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bolts.

Wallin says the second game, a 5-4 win in overtime against the Czechs, was more focused, at least until later in the second period.

“We had a 4-1 lead in the second period,” he said. “We were playing really well. We had a real good start to the game and were really pushing, and then we scored the fourth goal just kind of a quarter of the way through the second period and I thought from there we kind of let off the gas.”

Wallin attributed it to the learning curve for a bunch of kids who haven’t played together.

“I think that’s the part of becoming a team. It’s just learning that relentless mentality we want to have where we just keep pushing and keep pushing, we keep doing what we do shift after shift.”

Gaunce added: “The first couple of days it was definitely tough adjusting … but I think everyone is back into a relaxed mode and just ready to play hockey.”

Overall, Wallin has liked what he has seen so far.

“We’ve got a pretty good mix. I think we’re a nuts and bolts team,” he said. “We’ve got some good size up front. And, really, we’ve got some good skating defencemen in the back end, kids like (Mathew) Dumba and (Josh) Morrissey, those guys can really move their feet and are very mobile.

“(Adam) Pelech has been a real good defenceman for us. He’s just a real steady solid guy. He gives us a real good shutdown type of guy back there.”

At six-foot-two, 212 pounds, Gaunce is one of players Canada is expected to lean on as it tries to win a medal at the tournament for the first time since taking gold in 2008. The team lost last year’s bronze-medal game to Russia.

The roster includes 10 players from the OHL, seven from the Western Hockey League and three from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Six players helped Canada’s under-18 team capture the gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in August in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, while 10 took part in the 2011 world under-17 hockey challenge in Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, Man.

Rebels

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal study details workers hit hardest by tax, benefit system for extra earnings

OTTAWA — Newly released documents show Finance Department officials calculated that workers… Continue reading

Cenovus. (The Canadian Press)
Cenovus to buy Husky Energy in deal valued at $23.6B, company will remain in Alberta

CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. is buying Husky Energy Inc. in an… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 10:49… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats turn minority into majority in British Columbia election

The New Democrats won a majority government in the British Columbia election… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

CALGARY — An inquiry into who is funding environmental opposition to the… Continue reading

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

The Cogeco logo is seen in Montreal on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Stock market investors are breathing a little easier despite potentially facing higher taxes as the possibility of a contested U.S. presidential election appears to be fading, say investment experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Patrick Semansky
Markets concerns about contested U.S. election fading with Biden lead in polls

TORONTO — Stock market investors are breathing a little easier despite potentially… Continue reading

(File photo)
Ontario records more than 1,000 new daily COVID-19 cases for first time

Ontario is reporting more than 1,000 mew daily cases of COVID-19 for… Continue reading

Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes US Archbishop Gregory

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including… Continue reading

Dave Mercer, President of Unifor Local 2121, overlooks Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Terra Nova floating production vessel that is anchored there on Friday, October 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
As N.L.’s oil industry sputters, the emotional toll of the cod moratorium looms large

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Dave Mercer spent the early 1990s roaming around… Continue reading

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada's top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Canada’s top physician painted a bleak picture Saturday of the toll the… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is naming his shadow cabinet, including his predecessor Andrew Scheer as the party's infrastructure critic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were “late and confused” on COVID response

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says Alberta has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Most Read