The St. Louis Blues players taking part in the tournament in Denmark have each come up with some signature moments. Brayden Schenn came up with a big one when Canada needed it.
Despite being one of the most, if not the most, talented team on paper, Canada has had a few struggles at the 2018 World Championships in group play. The man who came up big for the St. Louis Blues time after time in 2017-18, did it for his country in the final game of the group stages.
Brayden Schenn scored a big goal for Canada to clinch them their spot in Group B on May 15. Schenn scored the opening goal in a 3-0 win over Germany, providing all the scoring the team would need.
It was a solid goal for number 10. Canada pinched along the boards just in front of the bench and kept the puck in the zone. The puck trickled into the corner, where the Canadians took control and a wide-open Schenn blazed into the high slot and one-timed a wrist shot past the goaltender.
Schenn’s playing time has been a little hit or miss for someone playing at a high level. Even so, he’s earned his over 14 minutes per game and rewarded Canada with two goals and four points in the group stages.
Interestingly, Jaden Schwartz has played more minutes per game but not found a way to hit the back of the net. He finished the group stages with three assists.
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Joel Edmundson capped off a good group stage with another point against Germany. That assist gave him three for the tournament so far and four points overall.
Elsewhere, Tage Thompson did not play at all in Team USA’s final group stage game. The Americans lost a 6-2 decision to Finland in what proved to be the deciding game for the group.
Despite having more regulation wins, Team USA finished second in the group due to how the tournament is set up. It all works on a point system with three points for regulation wins, two points for overtime or shootout wins, one point for overtime/shootout losses and no points for regulation losses.
Even as a soccer fan, who is more used to the three point system, this set up was strange. You don’t end up rewarding Team USA for having more regulation wins because the tie breaker was head-to-head, which went to Finland.
So, now the USA must face the Czech Republic in the first round. So, it could be Thompson against Dmitirj Jaskin, who has found life in this tournament, scoring four goals and seven points.
Canada will play against Russia in the knockout round. Nikita Soshnikov actually got on the ice in the Russians’ last game, playing in only his third of the tournament. He’s been an afterthought, not registering a point in the limited minutes given him. It’s understandable that he’s seen less time, but disappointing as he brought good energy in his time with the Blues.
Last, and perhaps least, Ville Husso did not factor in the USA game. He rode the pine for the fourth time this tournament and his counterpart turned away 35 shots.
It seems as though Husso will be unlikely to see much more game action the rest of the way. So, while 10 Blues traveled to Denmark, we are only likely to hear about six in the knockout rounds and maybe five if Thompson has found his way out of the lineup.
Time will tell. It’s going to be exciting if Schenn can keep up this pace for next season with the Note though.