(Gothenburg) Macklin Celebrini knew there would be a lot of attention on him in Sweden, for the World Junior Hockey Championship.
Considered the possible first pick in the next NHL draft, Celebrini did not disappoint on Wednesday.
The forward scored a goal and added five assists in Canada’s 10-0 win over Latvia.
“To be a part of this team, it’s an honor,” Celebrini said. It was a childhood dream. I just try to enjoy it and do my best to help the team win. »
Conor Geekie and Carson Rehkopf each scored two goals. Brayden Yager, Owen Allard, Fraser Minten, Matthew Wood and Matthew Poitras also found the back of the net.
“Very good performance,” said Canada head coach Alan Letang. These are some of the hardest matches to stay emotionally and mentally involved in. »
Mathis Rousseau got his second straight start for Canada, less than 30 hours after leading his team to a 5-2 win over Finland in the opening match of the group stage.
Celebrini came within two points of the Canadian record for most points in a single game at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Connor Bedard, in Halifax in 2023, and five other players had a seven-point game.
“It’s really special to achieve this at a young age,” said Wood, whose one-goal, two-assist performance went under the radar compared to his teammate’s.
Linards Feldbergs conceded seven goals to the Canadian team. Aksels Ozols took his teammate’s place in front of the net early in the third period.
Canada is in Group A with Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Germany. Group B consists of the United States, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland and Norway.
Geekie gave Canada the lead after just five seconds of playing on the power play, at 5:19 of the first period.
Celebrini collected his second assist of the period when he fed the puck to Yager, who beat the goalie with a good glove-side shot at 7:11 of play.
Rehkopf, who started the tournament as the 13th forward, was playing on a line with Celebrini and scored to make it 4-0.
Celebrini scored his second goal of the tournament when he scored alone against the goalkeeper, following a nice pass from Wood. He found the back of the net with a backhand shot at 10:56 in the second period.
Minten and Wood scored two more goals for Canada early in the third period to end Feldbergs’ game.
Geekie and Rehkopf then scored again and the score was 9-0.
Poitras scored a goal with nine minutes remaining in regulation time for his team.
Canada will face Sweden on Friday for its third match of the group stage.