THE CANADIAN PRESS
MONTREAL – Robby Fabbri had two goals and a pair of assists as Canada opened the world junior championship with a dominant 8-0 victory over Slovakia on Friday night.
Nic Petan had a goal and two helpers while Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Jake Virtanen and Brayden Point each had a goal and an assist. Nick Paul also scored, while Sam Reinhart and Madison Bowey had two assists each.
Zach Fucale needed only 12 saves for the shutout, while Canada fired 34 shots at two Slovak goalies.
Canada will be the heavy favourite again when it faces Germany on Saturday night.
Canada got started in the first period with three goals in a 4:17 span.
Fabbri finished a tic-tac-toe play with Reinhart and Duclair at 4:52, Duclair took a feed from Domi alone in front and put a slick move on Denis Godla at 8:12 and Fabbri got behind the defence to take Nic Petan’s pass and lift it over the Slovak goalie at 9:09.
Slovakia coach Ernest Bokros called a timeout and his team played managed to hold Canada off the rest of the period.
Paul fought off a check to lift one in 6:54 into the second frame while Point one-timed Petan’s pass in at 11:38. That prompted a goaltending change as Godla, who stopped 18 of 23 shots, was replaced by David Okolicany.
Domi beat him cleanly with a long wrist shot to the top corner on a solo rush at 16:14 and Petan walked out of the a corner with the teams each short a man and zipped one under the crossbar at 17:21.
The Slovaks had one dangerous flurry early in the first period that was held off by Fucale, who wasn’t threatened again until he made a big stop on Peter Cehlarik five minutes into the third. Slovakia faces Finland on Saturday.
Canada’s top line of Connor McDavid, Curtis Lazar and Nick Ritchie didn’t get a point, but didn’t need to against over-matched Slovakia.
Notes – It was expected that Dillon Heatherington would be Canada’s seventh defenceman, but it ended up with Samuel Morin skating sporadic shifts. . . The Slovaks got their third shot at 6:45 of the first frame and their fourth at 7:29 of the second. . . Canada opened last year’s tournament with a 7-2 win over Germany.