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Canada defeats USA in wild World Juniors Opener | Bet Regal Sports News

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Canada defeats USA in wild World Juniors Opener

Arizona Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton scored twice to help Canada defeat the United States 6-4 on Thursday night in their Group B opener at the world junior hockey championship.

Alexis Lafreniere gave Canada a 5-4 lead with 3:11 left, just 7 seconds after Shane Pinto tied it for the U.S.

“We just tried to keep it simple and get pucks to the net,” said Lafreniere, , the projected No. 1 pick in the NHL draft. “I think that worked out pretty good. Our power play was good. We’ve got to keep working, keep getting better.”

Connor McMichael, Nolan Foote and Ty Dellandrea also scored for Canada, and Nico Daws made 28 saves. Lafreniere added three assists. “He’s an amazing player,” McMichael said about Lafreniere. “The way he carried the team today and did the things he did was incredible. We’re obviously happy to have him.”

Pinto scored twice, and Nick Robertson and Arthur Kaliyev added goals for the Americans. Spencer Knight made 26 saves.

Miller won’t soon forget – the indelible image of Alexis Lafreniere knocking that pass down and quickly depositing into the Team USA cage.

“I was just trying to get to the net,” Lafreniere said, “and it worked out.”

Wipe away the drool over Lafreniere’s high-skill maneuver, the marvel of his hands and feet in perfect harmony with his brain, and take a step back. The circumstance has to be considered to have a true appreciation for the moment. Team Canada had just blown a two-goal, third period lead to their biggest rival Team USA after battling back from their own deficit.

They were staring down a fifth straight loss to the Americans, the first time that would have ever happened – at the hands of any country – in Canada’s 43-year history in the World Junior Championship.

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