Thanks in large part to contributions from Manitobans, Manitoba-based WHL players, and projected top-five 2020 NHL Entry Draft selection Cole Perfetti, the Canadians are moving on to the Gold Medal Game in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup against Team Russia on Saturday morning from Czech Republic.
Following a round robin performance that saw Canada win its four contests by a whopping 23 goal differential, the Canadians trailed two times in Friday’s semifinal contest against Sweden, with Cole Perfetti scoring both game-tying goals, leading the two teams into overtime. With the additional ten minutes proving nothing, Perfetti channelled his inner Jonathan Toews, scoring three times in the shootout, helping Canada move past the Swedes and to the Gold Medal Game.
It wasn’t as if Canadian Head Coach Michael Dyck only used Perfetti in the shootout either, but four of his eight shooters’ last names did, in fact, rhyme with confetti. Despite misses by Seth Jarvis, Connor McLennon, Quinton Byfield, Hendrix Lapierre, Confetti was needed as Perfetti made good on three of his four attempts, including the game-winner.
Manitobans Daemon Hunt (Brandon) and Seth Jarvis (Winnipeg) have thoroughly enjoyed their time overseas representing Canada, with Jarvis (Portland Winterhawks) picking up three goals and an assist in the process. Ridley Greig of the Brandon Wheat Kings has also notched two goals and four points so far, while Winnipeg ICE forward Connor McLennon also found the twine in Canada’s 7-1 victory over the Czechs on Wednesday.
Perfetti continued his tournament dominance, now having scored in each of the five games, racking up a tournament-leading seven goals and 11 points. He also capitalized on five of the seven breakaways he found himself on Friday afternoon (including four in the shootout). Canada will go for gold against the Russians on Saturday, looking to earn their 23rd gold medal in 29 appearances in the tournament. Puck drop is set for 10 AM eastern, and can be viewed on TSN3.