BLOG: Carter Hart, Team Canada upend Finland 4-2 in WJC opener

Carter Hart and Team Canada opened the 2018 World Junior Championship with a 4-2 win over Finland Tuesday in Buffalo, N.Y.

Hart saved 29 of the 31 saves he faced, although the best save of the day may have come courtesy of Kelowna’s Cal Foote:

The Canadians never trailed as they led 2-0 and 3-1 in the opening period and the teams exchanged goals in the second. Hart saved 11 of 12 in the first, 10 of 11 in the second and all eight shots in the third. The Finns were just 1-of-6 on the power play.

Sam Steel of the Regina Pats, a former minor hockey teammate of Hart’s and fellow Sherwood Park, Alberta, native scored Canada’s second goal at 6:01 in the opening period to give the Canadians a 2-0 lead.

Finland’s goals each came from fellow WHLers as Swift Current’s Aleksi Heponiemi and Portland’s Henri Jokiharju found the net.

The Canadians take on Slovakia Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Hart is in his second appearance with Team Canada at the WJC after he backstopped them to the silver medal last year.

The TSN broadcast noted that Hart waited to make sure he was the last player off the ice during the intermission:

Meanwhile, the Americans crushed Denmark 9-0 in that preliminary round contest. Portland’s Kieffer Bellows scored twice and Spokane’s Kailer Yamamoto added a goal for Team USA:

The Americans return to action Thursday when they play Slovakia.

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