Not to take any thunder away from Brayden Schenn and his four goals, or Ryan Ellis who had three assists and has now moved into first place all time in points among defenceman in World Junior play, Erik Gudbranson once again had a big night for Team Canada. Two goals and one assist.
Erik was selected (surprisingly) as the Team Canada player of the game, which surprised many people as it was felt that the honor should have went to Schenn for his four goal performance. While Erik isn’t as flashy as Schenn or maybe even Ellis for that matter, he pretty much set the tone in the first period for Team Canada with a big hit early in the period, as well as one later. As I was watching the game and having dinner with Little Miss Rat Trick I looked across the table and she was glued to the action. Especially when number five was on the ice. Heaven you might call it.
Erik scored on a slapshot much like the one he scored on in game one, and added another goal in the third period as he skated in from the point and buried a rebound past the sprawling Norway netminder Lars Volden. Gudbranson played a complete game, with his hits setting the tone for a Canada squad that was missing some players due to injury and suspension. Calvin de Haan, Jaden Schwartz and Cody Eakin were out with injuries, and Zach Kassian was serving the first of his two game suspension.
Gudbranson’s first goal put Team Canada ahead 3-0, and from that point the rout was on. Gudbranson who is of Norwegian decent spoke earlier in the day about his heritage including potatoe pastries! A nice well rounded kid.
Looking forward to the time when he’ll be doing this in a Florida Panther sweater!
Team Canada’s next game will be Friday afternoon at 3:30 EST against Team Sweden. The most difficult opponent that they will have faced in the tournament so far.
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