China took on Canada in the final preliminary game for both teams. It was a David vs. Goliath matchup and went as expected. Canada easily defeated China, 5-0.
Heading into the game, China had scored its first two goals of the tournament in a 3-2 loss to Germany. Meanwhile, Canada had gotten back head coach Claude Julien, after returning from injury, in their loss against the United States.
Scoring started early for Canada. Ben Street had a nice backhanded goal through traffic in front of the net. Initially, he was the only one who knew the puck went in the net, but eventually play was stopped and the goal was rewarded. Canada went up 1-0 just over two minutes into the game.
Four minutes later, Edmonton native Adam Tambellini received a great stretch pass from Alex Grant. Tambellini showed off his handling skills and squeaked the puck past Paris O’Brien and into the net.
Shortly after, a small scare for Canada’s Jordan Weal who had to leave the game after he was bleeding near or from his ear. He’d eventually return to the bench in the second period.
At the halfway mark of the period, Joshua Ho-Sang put on a clinic for how to carry the puck. He traveled east-to-west creating a lot of space for Eric O’Dell who he perfectly timed a pass to. O’Dell fed it through the five-hole, putting Canada up 3-0. It looked like the Canadians were going to steamroll China after having three goals on nine shots in the first ten minutes.
China settled down and held Canada scoreless for the next 28 minutes until there was two minutes to go in the second. Kent Johnson perfectly placed his wrister from just inside the faceoff circle and past O’Brien, who misread the play. Canada headed in to the second break up 4-0.
Four minutes in to the third period, Jian An was called for interference. Canada took advantage of the extra man when Owen Power's shot was deflected in by Corban Knight. Knight had a well-timed screen and O’Brien never really had a chance to see the puck.
Canada’s Matt Tomkins got his first chance to start in net, giving usual starter Edward Pasquale the night off. Tomkins stopped all 26 shots he faced, securing the shut out and giving Canada the 5-0 win. Canada finishes second in Group A and China will head to the consolation bracket.
Click to here view all the stats from Canada's win over China, and click here to watch the full event replay from start to finish.