Canada cruises past Finland in Hlinka Gretzky Cup opener

Photo Courtesy of Hockey Canada Canadian forward Jean-Luc Foudy controls the puck while being chased by Finnish blueliner Topi Niemela during Monday’s opening game of Group A play at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

It was an impressive performance for Canada Monday as they opened up their bid for their third straight Hlinka Gretzky Cup title.

Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit) and Seth Jarvis (Portland Winterhawks) both scored twice, while Tristan Lennox (Saginaw Spirit) stopped all 17 shots he faced in a 6-0 win over Finland in a Group A contest in Breclav, Czech Republic.

Hendrix Lapierre (Chicoutimi Sagueneens) had a pair of helpers for the defending champions, who also got goals from Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires) and Ridly Grieg (Brandon Wheat Kings).

Prince Albert Raiders teammates Kaiden Guhle and Ozzy Wiesblatt did not record a point in the contest, though Guhle did have a goal on Saturday in a 4-1 win over Slovakia during a pre-tournament game in Piestany, Slovakia.

Canada’s next round-robin game will take place on Tuesday against Switzerland at 7:30 a.m.

They will wrap up group play Wednesday at 1 p.m. against the Czech Republic.

Both games will be broadcast nationally on TSN.

The Czechs are tied for first place in Group A with Canada after a 4-3 shootout triumph over Switzerland in their tournament opener.

Monday’s Group B contests saw Russia pick up a 6-2 win over the United States, while Sweden edged Slovakia 3-2.

Russia will face Sweden on Tuesday for the top spot in the pool, with the other matchup seeing the Americans going up against Slovakia.