Comtois scores winner, Canada opens U18 men’s hockey worlds with 4-1 win over Latvia

Canada opens U18 worlds with win over Latvia

POPRAD, Slovakia — Maxime Comtois scored the game-winning goal on a power play as Canada downed Latvia 4-1  on Thursday, the first day of action at the world men’s under-18 hockey championship.

Stelio Mattheos also had a power-play goal for Canada, while MacKenzie Entwistle had a goal and an assist and Isaac Ratcliffe also scored.

Rihards Paskausks scored for Latvia.

The teams were tied 1-1 after a tight first period, but Canada opened the game up with a pair of goals on 25 shots in the second.

“We knew (Latvia) were going to be excited to play us,” head coach Darren Rumble said. “They gave us everything we could handle in the first.

“We definitely tested the waters there then came out on a mission in the second.”

Ian Scott made 18 saves in goal for Canada, while Niklavs Rauza picked up the loss despite stopping 50 shots.

The Canadian team came together in a bout a week, with the process complicated by the fact that all three Canadian-based major junior hockey leagues are in playoff mode right now. Still, Rumble said the players have bonded quicker than he expected.

“We feel like we’re miles away from where we thought we’d be from a chemistry standpoint,” Rumble said.

Canada next plays host Slovakia on Saturday. The Slovaks can score, putting up four straight goals in a tight 5-4 loss to Finland on Thursday.

Rumble said Saturday’s game is sold out, and he plans to prepare his players for a raucous crowd.

“I don’t know if you’ve seen a European hockey game, they sing and chant and play drums the entire time,” Rumble said. “It’s like a soccer game in a smaller environment with a roof.

“I’m thinking about practising with the music blaring.”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Silver Creek RCMP search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Family worries about missing Malakwa woman

Discovery of human remains has put family members on edge

A Monday wrap

Read the unfolding story of the discovery of human remains on a Silver Creek farm

Update: Police expand search in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Examination continues in Silver Creek, while another search happens between Salmon Arm and Enderby

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

Rally condemns violence, promotes healing

Discovery of human remains and disappearances of women have created tension in the rural community

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

Penticton pilots new mobile parking payment app

Eliminating the need to carry change for parking meters

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Young actors give credence to play about youthful love

Students play integral roles in Shuswap Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet

Most Read