Canadian forward Dylan Cozens chips a puck past Nick Malik in the Czech Republic net during a Hlinka Gretzky Cup pre-tournament game. Canada beat the United States 6-5 in the semifinals and Sweden 6-2 in the final to win gold for the third consecutive year. (Byron Hackett/Red Deer Advocate)

Canada, Whitehorse’s Cozens win gold at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Home team overcomes 2-0 deficit to cruise to win

Team Canada defeated Sweden 6-2 in a come-from-behind victory to win the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton on Aug. 11.

Sweden’s Lucas Raymond scored inside the first minute on the power play to make the score 1-0 for the Swedes.

Another tally at 11:33 of the first period from Alexander Holtz was enough to chase Canadian goaltender Nolan Maier from the game and bring in Taylor Gauthier.

Less than a minute after the switch, the Canadians started the comeback.

Sasha Mutala scored at 12:14 of the first period to make the score 2-1. Bowen Byram and Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens both had assists on the goal.

Kirby Dach scored to even the game at 14:35 with the assist going to Alexis Lafrenière before Lafrenière scored at 17:54 to put Team Canada ahead for the first time.

In the second period, Mutala added a second goal to make the score 4-2 for Canada. Assists on the goal went to Dylan Holloway and Cozens.

Canada added two goals in the third from Josh Williams and Lafrenière to stretch the lead to four goals.

Gauthier was perfect in relief, stopping all 16 shots he faced.

Canada’s spot in the final didn’t come easily as the Aug. 10 semifinal with the United States required overtime to find a winner.

A busy first period was back and forth with five total goals and a 3-2 score favouring the Americans after 20 minutes of play.

In the second, Xavier Parent scored on the power play to tie the game 3-3.

Williams scored for Canada at 3:31 of the third period, but the Americans managed to regroup and score two to take a 5-4 lead with just under six and a half minute to play in regulation.

Canada managed to beat the American goaltender — and the clock — as Cozens scored the tying goal with just one second remaining in the game.

Williams scored at 1:44 of overtime to give Canada the win and secure a matchup with Sweden for goal.

Lafrenière led the way for Canada in the tournament with five goals and six assists for 11 points.

Cozens finished with two goals and three assists in five tournament games.

This is the third year in a row that Canada has won the tournament and the 22nd time Canada has won since the tournament started in 1991.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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