In an arena Red Deer Rebels forward Kalan Lind is so familiar with the Shaunavon, Sask. product delivered for Team Canada.
The Canadians took care of business Friday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium beating Finland 6-0 in pre-tournament at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
In the second period Lind entered the offensive zone with a fancy through the legs move before he tipped a Tanner Molendyk shot out front past Finland goaltender Eemil Vinni.
Lind said it felt great to score a goal and gave credit to Molendyk for an awesome shot.
“It’s kind of my game in front of the net and I got the shot and I took care of the opportunity,” he explained. “I kind of just saw some space and I was like I might try and move here and just missed a guy back door I think.”
Lind added it was a great team win with everyone doing the right things, playing physical, and doing what needed to be done.
Playing in the Peavey Mart Centrium in a different jersey Lind said it’s been a great experience.
“I think Sunday there should be a little bit more fans in here and some more familiar faces but I think kind of just showing the guys around Red Deer right now and show them around the rink,” he added. “But the guys say It’s a great facility, we’ve got a great town, so should be a pretty fun week.”
In the first period Finland were unable to capitalize on two Canadian penalties, too many men and tripping, before Brayden Yager opened the scoring with a slick goal midway through the opening frame. Jordan Tourigny and Riley Heidt both assisted on the play.
Five minutes later Denver Barkey put one in the back of the net after Finland turned the puck over at centre ice. Tanner Howe and Dylan MacKinnon pitched in with an apple each with a sweet passing play.
Carson Bjarnason had a fantastic night in net for the Canadian saving all 15 shots and Finland goalie Eemil Vinni made 11 saves on 14 shots. Both teams made a goalie change in the middle frame. Scott Ratzlaff, who finished with 10 saves, came in for the Canadians and Petteri Rimpinen in for Finland.
“Our goalies were unbelievable tonight when we needed big stops they have us big stops. Our defence was moving up pucks quick, playing physical, just doing there job and I think they had a really good game back there. Our forwards blocking shots and helping out our defence when they needed help I think we all had an all round good defensive game today,” Lind explained.
Just over 15 minutes into the second period, the Canadians built on their lead to make it 4-0 after Mathieu Cataford buried a chance out front.
In the Final frame Canada didn’t let up as Zachary Benson fired one in less than two minutes into the period. Just minutes later, Tanner Howe added one of his own to make it 6-0.
Canada head coach Stephane Julien said he felt energy from his team right from the drop of the puck.
“On the other side we took a lot of penalties that we’re not happy about and we talked about it before the game so there’s something we have to fix right away. Short term tournament like that, that can’t happen ,” Julien said.
Since day one he said their biggest surprise has been the play of their goaltenders.
“It’s a strength we did not really expect. Not that we were expecting bad goalies but so far there was a good compete level between pipes and that’s good for us,” he added.
Julien did not say who his starting goalie will be on Sunday but said they will discuss it tonight. Both goalies were great and he added they will make a decision on what’s best for the team.
Canada will be back in action on Sunday for the first game of the tournament against Switzerland at 7 p.m.