IMATRA, Finland — A composed Canada team remained undefeated at the 2014 U18 men’s hockey championship with a 2-1 win over Slovakia on Sunday.
Brendan Perlini scored two goals as Canada improved to 3-0 and will have a chance to sweep its Group A preliminary-round games when it plays Russia on Tuesday.
“We’ll certainly be very respectful of their team,” Dineen said of the archrival Russians.
“Canada Russia should have the makings, as always, of a very good hockey game.”
Slovakia took an early lead against the defending champions when Juraj Mily scored a short-handed goal at 12:24 of the first period.
“We got down one, but I liked our composure. I thought it was a good learning experience, because as the game wore on things got a little bit tight and (Slovakia) were still generating chances …,” Dineen said. “But at the end of it this is a really fun group and they keep finding ways to have success.”
Perlini, who plays for the Niagara IceDogs in the Ontario Hockey League, scored on a power play with seven seconds left in the second period to tie the game.
“We were anxious. We were playing a solid brand of hockey and generating chances but they weren’t finding a way to get in the net,” Dineen said.
“Going into the third period tied up was a good relief for our players.”
Perlini’s second goal at 13:23 of the third gave Canada its first lead, and it stood up.
Mason McDonald, a member of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Charlottetown Rockets, made 21 saves to help Canada preserve the win. Dineen praised his goaltender for his composure in a tight game.
“Mason McDonald really needed to be good for us at different times to keep us in the game,” Dineen said.