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BASEL, Switzerland – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team erupted for five goals in the second period and booked its spot in the semifinals after beating host Switzerland 7-3 on Thursday at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship.
- Macklin Celebrini (Vancouver, B.C./Chicago, USHL) led the offence with two goals and two assists, giving him a team-leading 11 points.
- Andrew Cristall (Burnaby, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) added his first two goals of the tournament.
- Berkly Catton (Saskatoon, Sask./Spokane, WHL), Calum Ritchie (Oakville, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) and Matthew Wood (Nanaimo, B.C./University of Connecticut, HE) tallied a goal and an assist each.
- Angus MacDonnell (Toronto, Ont./Mississauga, OHL) had two assists.
- Lukas Dragicevic (Richmond, B.C./Tri-City, WHL), Andrew Gibson (LaSalle, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL), Riley Heidt (Saskatoon, Sask./Prince George, WHL) and Caden Price (Saskatoon, Sask./Kelowna, WHL) added an assist each.
- Carson Bjarnason (Carberry, Man./Brandon, WHL) turned aside 28 shots.
- Canada narrowly outshot Switzerland 33-31.
Canada vs. Sweden (semifinal) – Saturday, April 29 (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, are broadcasting all Team Canada games at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship. Please check local listings for details.
“I think they’ve grown a lot and the expectations have grown as well. They believe in themselves, they believe in each other and that’s been a process ever since we got together. You know we’re going to be tested and you know we’re going to be challenged. Our guys have really done a good job when that happens to stay calm on the bench, and they’re accountable. We talk about the ways they need to play to elevate themselves. From start to finish, right now, it’s come a long way and we’re looking to elevate that level again.”
“He’s an exciting player, a dynamic player who does everything with speed. He makes the right reads, has a great shot and he’s a tremendous talent. He’s a driver on that line with two really good linemates that compliment him, and he complements the other two, so it’s pretty good chemistry there.”
- Head coach Jeff Truitt (Rosetown, Sask.) on the team’s performance and the play of Celebrini
“It feels nice. I’ve been a little snakebitten over the tournament, so to get the first one was good. For the team to put up seven on the board is nice, but we didn’t think it was our best. We didn’t play a full 60 minutes, but you have to credit the Swiss, they played well. We’re looking to capitalize and do better in the semifinals; that’s been our team motive was to get one per cent better. I think from the first game to the quarterfinals here we’ve progressed a long way.”
- Cristall on the team’s improvement each game
“It was good to get the win, but we didn’t play the way we expected and that’s what we have to do if we want to win gold. We still had too many turnovers, our tracking wasn’t good enough and we gave up too many odd-man rushes. We made some strides in the third period, but next game we have to be better. Overall, [the tournament] has been awesome. You never know how many chances you’re going to get to wear the Maple Leaf on your chest, so you have to take advantage and run with it.”
- Ritchie on keeping focused on trying to win a gold medal
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