On home ice, attempting to win its first gold medal since 2009, Team Canada started the 2015 World Juniors by crushing Slovakia on Friday. And Connor McDavid, who could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, didn’t even register a point.
The Canadians, playing in Group A in Montreal, defeated Slovakia by a final score of 8-0. The shots were 34-12 in favor of the red and white. Yes, they were in complete control from start to finish. Easy night for starting goalie Zachary Fucale, selected in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Habs.
There may have been some nervous minutes, although those had little if anything to do with the actual score.
McDavid blocked a shot off the chest and was shaken up briefly, and Sam Reinhart, selected second overall by the Buffalo Sabres last June, took a stick between the legs and was in discomfort early in the third period. He did stay in the game.
On the score board, this was over early. Canada opened up a three-goal lead in the first period, with goals from Robby Fabbri and Anthony Duclair in the span of 4:17.
Fabbri led all Canadian players with four points.
And the Canadians kept coming. Winnipeg Jets prospect Nic Petan had a goal and two helpers for a three-point night.
It’s a nice way to start. The real tests come next week. Canada will play Finland, the defending gold medal champs, on Monday. Then on New Year’s Eve, it’s Canada and the U.S. Always a classic.