Canada 6 Sweden 2
REGINA — An exhibition victory over Sweden came with a small scare for Canada’s world junior team.
Forward Taylor Hall, a candidate to be the top draft pick in 2010, left late in the first period of Canada’s 6-2 victory on Sunday night when he banged his knee after being knocked down in front of Sweden’s net.
Coach Willie Desjardins said Hall was kept out of the final two periods as a precaution.
“He’s good, he just banged his knee a little bit, he probably would’ve played in any other game, if we were later on in the tournament he would’ve kept playing,” Desjardins said. “It was just precautionary, he’ll be fine.”
Hall actually opened the scoring for Canada at Brandt Centre, beating a Swedish defenceman just over the blue-line before knocking a rebound behind Jacob Markstrom at 10:48 of the first period.
Jordan Caron, Brandon Kozun, Travis Hamonic, Ryan Ellis and Jordan Eberle also scored goals for Canada, which opens the world junior tournament on Dec. 26 against Latvia in Saskatoon. Nazem Kadri added three assists and Jake Allen made 30 saves.
Carl Klingberg and Jakob Silfverberg replied with third-period goals for Sweden.
Canada built a comfortable 4-0 lead after two periods. Caron beat Markstrom to the five-hole, Kozun finished a pretty three-way passing play from Kadri and Gabriel Bourque and Hamonic scored with a shot through traffic.
After Ellis scored on the power play to make it 5-0 early in the third period, Klingberg ended Allen’s shutout bid at 13:39. Eberle and Silfverberg traded goals before the final buzzer.
Canada has won gold at the last five world junior championships.