Canada’s Alex Newhook (15) scores a goal on Germany’s goalie Jonas Gahr (30) during second period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Canada’s Alex Newhook (15) scores a goal on Germany’s goalie Jonas Gahr (30) during second period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Canada steamrolls Germany 16-2 to open world junior hockey championship

Cozens nets a hat trick, three assists for defending champs

EDMONTON — Dylan Cozens scored a hat trick and had three assists in Canada’s 16-2 win over Germany to open the world junior men’s hockey championship Saturday.

Dawson Mercer, Philip Tomasino, Alex Newhook and Peyton Krebs each scored twice for the host country.

Kaiden Guhle, Ryan Suzuki, Jakob Pelletier, Thomas Harley and Connor McMichael also scored for Canada. John Peterka and Florian Elias countered for the Germans in front of Rogers Place devoid of spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine German players were isolating in hotel rooms Saturday because of positive tests for the virus upon arrival in Edmonton.

Germany played 14 skaters — nine forwards and five defencemen — for a second game in as many days after falling 5-3 to Finland on Christmas Day.

Canada exploited defensive and goaltending mistakes by the fatigued Germans in Saturday’s lone Pool A game. Canada’s 16 goals in a single tournament game was two back of the record of 18 set in both 1985 and 1986.

The defending champions face Slovakia (1-0) on Sunday.

Jonas Gahr replaced German starter Arno Tiefensee after one period and allowed 12 goals on 33 shots. Tiefensee gave up four goals on 11 shots following a 45-save outing versus Finland the previous day. Canada’s Devon Levi stopped eight of nine shots over two periods for the win. Dylan Garand played the third turning away five of six.

Sweden opened Pool B with a 7-1 thumping of Austria on Saturday.

The top four teams in each pool advance to the Jan. 2 quarterfinals, followed by semifinals Jan. 4 and the medal games Jan. 5.

Canada overwhelmed Germany scoring seven times on Gahr in Saturday’s second period. The Canadians’ goal celebrations muted as the score became lopsided. German captain Tim Stuetzle had the energy, however, to check Bowen Byram over the boards and into Canada’s team bench toward the end of the period. Krebs scored Canada’s fourth in the dying seconds of the first period. Germany argued the clock had expired, but officials ruled Krebs scored a power-play goal at 19:59. Gahr and Tiefensee both misplaying the puck behind the German net led to a pair of Canadian goals, including Mercer’s wraparound short-hander in the first period.

McMichael also scored a short-handed goal in the third period.

READ MORE: Canada blanks Russia 1-0 in world junior hockey tourney tuneup

Canada’s Braden Schneider was ejected before the game was nine minutes old. The defenceman’s shoulder check caught Jan-Luca Schumacher’s head for a major penalty and game misconduct.

Three Germans are eligible to leave quarantine Sunday followed by another five on Tuesday. One player is in isolation until the day before the tournament ends Jan. 5.

Canadian captain Kirby Dach is sidelined for the tournament because of a wrist injury sustained in a pre-tournament against Russia.

Head coach Andre Tourigny will alternate the captaincy between Byram and Cozens with McMichael a full-time alternate. Byram wore the C on Saturday. The loss of Dach also meant reshuffling Canada’s forward lines. Cozens shifted to the wing of Newhook and left-winger Dylan Holloway. McMichael was promoted to top-line centre.

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