Seattle Thunderbirds goaltender Thomas Milic was perfect, turning aside all 12 shots sent his way, as Canada blanked Switzerland by a 7-0 score to remain perfect at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship on Friday night in Plano, Texas.
Everett Silvertips defenceman Olen Zellweger recorded four assists in the game, including one in the second period on Francesco Pinelli’s first goal of the night and three more in the third period.
For the second consecutive game, Edmonton Oil Kings forward Dylan Guenther recorded the game-winning goal. A product of Edmonton, Alta., and a projected top-10 pick in the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft, Guenther scored 10:50 into the first period, giving Canada a 1-0 lead that ultimately stood the test of time on Friday.
Regina Pats phenom Connor Bedard continued to make his presence felt, giving Canada a 2-0 lead with 5:55 to go in the first period by scoring his first goal of the tournament. Kamloops Blazers forward Logan Stankoven continued to contribute, adding an assist on Bedard’s goal.
Milic, a third-round pick (51st overall) of the Thunderbirds in the 2018 WHL Draft, is 2-0-0 in two starts at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship, allowing only one goal in Tuesday’s opening game versus Sweden. Milic is among the goaltending leaders at the event, making 40 saves on 41 shots, carrying a 0.50 goals-against average, .976 save percentage and one shutout.
Zellweger, a second-round pick (42nd overall) of the Silvertips in the 2018 WHL Draft, is enjoying a quality start at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship, recording five assists in three games to date. A 5-foot-10, 174-pound product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Zellweger served as an offensive catalyst from the blueline in Everett prior to departing for Texas, notching 13 points (2G-11A) in 11 games during the 2020-21 WHL season.
Canada will wrap up preliminary action at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship on Saturday evening (7 p.m. MT) when they face Belarus.