Owen Power went electric for Canada with his hat trick against Czechia

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Power is the first Canadian defenseman to get three in one game at the World Junior Championships

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Power to the people.

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After Team Canada coach Dave Cameron called for a timeout following two Czech goals in less than a minute to take a 3-1 lead to the stomach after 12 minutes of the first period the next day Christmas defenseman Owen Power tense his attacking muscles.

Three goals, en route to a 6-3 victory, in front of a meager 4,526 spectators at the 18,347-seat Rogers Place.

He’s the first Canadian defenseman to get three in a game at the World Junior Championships and we had Hall of Fame Scott Niedermayer and Alex Pietrangelo before him.

Power to the people

“It’s my first time doing a hat trick,” said Power.

It’s the first time ?

“Well, maybe when I first started playing hockey, but I don’t know if you’re counting that. The guys did a good job getting me the puck and luckily they came in. “

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No other defenseman in Canadian history has scored a hat trick. What goes through his mind when he hears that?

“Pretty surprised, I had no idea… there’s been a ton of guys that have played over the years and doing it is pretty special,” Power said.

The simple answer to what impressed Cameron the most about Power was “the three goals”.

Big burst of laughter there. But then it developed, and it wasn’t about scoring. It was about defending. About her effortless style. Almost a nonchalance à la Chris Pronger.

“He came as advertised. It’s his balance with the puck, he has a really low panic threshold. It can protect the washers. Just his balance, ”said Cameron, who has coached in the NHL as well as the world junior championships, and he knows what turns franchise guys on.

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The top pick in the NHL Draft looks like Pronger, minus the meanness with his stick, or maybe Alex Pietrangelo or another current stallion Victor Hedman.

Big picture on power?

Cameron, who has also coached in the NHL, knows he is something special. Franchise player. Winner of the Norris Trophy.

“His passing, skating and shooting speak for themselves,” Cameron said. “It’s his calm, all the balance he brings, this balance. He did it in the world (men, not teenagers), he did it in Michigan. He started here at the world junior championships and we expect him to continue with that. It is the ability to play the high performance game calmly. I’m not sure you can teach this.

“He was a really good box lacrosse player and he talks about how much that taught him. How to chess, how not to panic when you’re under pressure and it’s hockey’s turn in terms of protecting the puck and how to escape the pressure, ”he said.

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But compared to Pronger or Pietrangelo, or Hedman. Heavy for a teenager, right?

Are the expectations good or bad for this player?

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “Chris Pronger had this nasty streak. I don’t see Owen reaching that level, but I trained against and I had Alex Pietrangelo in the junior teams and I see a lot of similarities there, to escape under pressure.

Power scored 23 seconds after Cameron invited his players for a chat in the first half.

“This downtime was huge, slowed us down,” Power said.

After his first goal, the 19-year-old, six-foot-five, 214 pounds, who decided to return to the University of Michigan for a second season rather than race in the NHL in Buffalo, added two more of two. . human benefits in the second.

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Defender Olen Zellweger and Donovan Sebrango added the other goals from the back while center Mason McTavish scored first.

Power slid twice on the five-on-three to score on Malek, showing his best trait – his hockey sense to find open space. He has scored three goals in 18 Michigan games this season, along with 20 assists, but scored three goals in 30 minutes on Boxing Day as the home team rallied.

The Czechs, who haven’t won a medal since 2006, shook Canada, but Cameron either appeased them or shook their heads collectively. Or both.

There were only 17 shots in the first period, but six goals with helpless Canadian starter Dylan Garand giving up three in seven and Malek doing only slightly better with three in 10.

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After center Mason McTavish scored a dazzling Patrick Kane-style goal four minutes in which Anaheim’s first round circled the face-off circle across the blue line, before heading towards the net to re-enter the puck in Pavel Novak’s skates, and casually drop it in front of Malek, the Czechs responded with three in a row.

Center Michal Gut, who plays for the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, finished a two-on-one break to lift him over Garand’s plunging arm. At first it looked like the Kamloops goalie had stopped him, but on the first stop he was called off on a video watch. Then they scored two in 51 seconds.

Novak, who plays in Kelowna, tipped David Jiricek’s likely shot in the first round in 2022 ahead of Garand. In the next quarter, defender Stanislav Svozil roared on the ice and beat Garand cleanly.

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That’s when Cameron gathered his team for a fireside chat. He had an attentive audience. He may have raised his voice a few decibels, but don’t get too carried away, there are still 48 minutes left.

“We’ve been discussing all week as coaching staff that we didn’t know what to expect in the first 10 minutes (of the tournament). We knew it would be a bit of an adventure and it was junior hockey at its best, ”said Cameron, who has coached in four MWCs.

His message during the timeout?

“Sit back, relax, play… we’ve been preaching puck management since day one. The Czechs were ready to give up a chance to have a chance. They had a bit of Russian roulette style and we understood that and limited them to two shots in the second half, ”he said. “I just wanted them to settle down and play responsible hockey. Do not try to play the tournament in the first 10 minutes of the first game.

This and that: Jiricek lost seven minutes into the middle period when he attempted a hit in the neutral zone and had to be helped off the ice favoring his leg.

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