This game was dominated territorially by the Canadians, the shots 41-19 in favor of Canada confirm that hypothesis. The disavowing nature of this game is due to the fact that even though the contest was so lopsided that the Czechs remained in the game for so long.
Connor Ingram wasn't very good at all this evening and that's summarizing his performance lightly. If Canada would've been tasked with lining up against a half competent opponent, a Sweden or U.S.A for example then I'm not so sure the Canadians are walking away with victory. The first two goals are complete buzz killers but when you summon Ingram's fastly growing reputation, a slow start should be of no surprise. He's notorious for gaining strength as the game progresses and you could argue today cements that scouting report. I don't know the extent of the pre-scout players and coaches immerse in but on the Tomas Soustal shot who is a member of the Kelowna Rockets there is simply put no excuses with Ingram also residing in the B.C division so he should be more well aware with Tomas' tendencies. Seemingly their's been debate this entire tournament on who should start the next game and I don't think Ingram did much to silence the doubters. My premonition dictates we'll see Carter Hart versus Sweden in the semi's.
You're going to observe shortly when skimming my individual rankings that I did not think highly of Matt Barzal's performance tonight case in point Michael McLeod who to my recollection didn't even receive a shift is seeded ahead of Matt. The increasing trait in Barzal's repertoire is his propensity to over stickhandle whilst playing with not enough purpose. It's difficult to ignore the flare that he plays with but when all he does is stickhandle I can only imagine the frustration linemates of his must have because you work so hard to position yourself properly only to be standing there like a lost puppy because he doesn't utilize them. The birthday boy and New Jersey Devil property Blake Speers got it all started today but where credit should truly be going is that of Mitchell Stephens. Stephens who has missed the last couple games with injury didn't miss a beat as it was his masterful cross ice pass that allowed Speers an easy tap in. I haven't spent much time in this summaries chronicling any of the oppositon but the thought I've internally held for a while is that draft eligible prospect Martin Necas is the real deal and after perusing a few mock drafts it would be a disparaging crime if he was not a top ten selection. I've observed a couple that have him going 20-30 which in this bloggers opinion is absurd.There was one play in particular where Necas got in the grill of Anthony Cirelli which is uncommon for a undrafted individual to showcase that type of swagger. In the postgame show Bob McKenzie of TSN vocalized what everybody was thinking and that it was a radiant decision by Coach Ducharme to orchestrate a true big bodied line with Julien Gauthier, Nicholas Roy and Pierre-Luc Dubois. The three who are naturally familiar with one another used that chemistry to perfection as at the very least Dubois had his best game of the tournament after not keeping up with Dylan Strome's style early on. Lastly all the chatter is surrounding finding a way to get Strome going 5 on 5, well a sensible option would be to reunite Erie teammates Strome and Raddysh. Is it too logical not to?
After the first period I commented to a buddy that I felt Jake Bean was our most complete defenceman in that period. Sadly for Jake his play deteriorated as the game went along as it was his turnover that translated in a Czech Republic goal. The turnover aside this was Bean's best game as for the first time he didn't look timid the puck. When Jake skates and is aggressive is what's endeared himself to the Calgary Hitmen fan base. I'm presuming Coach Tim Hunter who oversees the defence watched video with Jake because the first four or so games all he was doing was touching the puck and immediately get rid of it and that's not why he made the team. The loss of Phillipe Myers has been discussed on several fronts and it was known that Thomas Chabot would have to take the mantle and run with it. Chabot has not only been Canada's best defenceman but their best player. Not to pad my own ego but in my pre tournament predictions I had Chabot selected a first team all star and if I would've selected an overall M.V.P he's likely my choice. If it wasn't for Alex Nylander, Chabot is probably the front runner. That goal from the back end that he scored was incredibly risky as he was the lone man back but because it was fruitful he'll garner consideration for the Highlight of the Night.
Game ranking time....
2.Mitchell Stephens(40) *Three games played*