Photo courtesy of Garrett James Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: Team USA defeats Czech Republic at B.C. exhibition game

Standout performance by Canucks prospect Hughes

As if Vancouver Canucks fans didn’t already love top prospect Quinn Hughes, last year’s first round pick gave them even more reason to anticipate what he will add when he leaves school and comes to the NHL.

Hughes, the ultra-talented United States defenceman who was wearing the ‘C’ for the Americans, set up a pair of first period goals, didn’t back down when challenged physically throughout the game and then dropped the gloves in the third period with the Czech Republic’s Jakob Lauko, earning a pair of minors and 10-minute misconduct to end his night prematurely.

The last hit in question also happened to be against his younger brother Jack Hughes, the top-ranked prospect for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

It all made for an eventful night as Team USA defeated the Czech Republic 6-2 on Saturday night at Langley Events Centre in the Lordco Auto Parts Road to the World Juniors.

The IIHF World Junior Championship gets underway December 26 and runs until January 5 at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena and Victoria’s Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

“Me and him were going at it the entire game and I saw him hit a couple of other guys a little dirty and I didn’t appreciate that too much,” Quinn Hughes told the media following the game.

Known more for his offensive prowess – the University of Michigan sophomore leads all NCAA defencemen in assists and is second in points this season – Hughes said as today showed, he’s not afraid to mix it up when necessary.

But his offensive game – his bread and butter – was on full display, especially in the first period.

Forty seconds in, he intercepted a pass in the Czech zone and fed a wide-open Oliver Wahlstrom, with the New York Islanders prospect burying the puck past goaltender Jakub Skarek. Less than three minutes later, the Hughes brothers teamed up to set up Wahlstrom again for the 2-0 lead.

Phil Kemp capped off a dominating period, making it 3-0 on a blast from the blue-line, as the U.S. finished with a 20-2 shots on goal advantage.

The Czech Republic had a couple of good chances to open the second while on a power play but shortly after the man-advantage expired, Jakub Lauko was able to slip the puck past American goaltender Kyle Keyser.

The U.S. would restore the three-goal advantage courtesy of a power—play marker from Ottawa Senators prospect Josh Norris and then in the final seconds of the period, Sasha Chmelevski was in all alone and made a great deke for the 5-1 lead.

The final period saw each team score once. Carolina Hurricanes prospect Filip Zadina cut the deficit to 5-2 on a power play before Ty Emberson scored short-handed for the 6-2 final score.

Shots on goal were 44-21 for the United States.

“We kind of clogged up the neutral zone and we played good defensive hockey,” Quinn Hughes said, especially about the first period when their opponent managed just a pair of shots on goal. “And I thought we were resilient. We had a great start and then cooled off in the second period but in the third, I thought we were really good.”

The Americans also had the bulk of the 4,000 fans at Langley Events Centre on their side which helped create a considerable buzz in the building, something he noticed.

“It was fun having the crowd behind you. It makes me more excited about my position (with the Canucks) here,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Photo courtesy of Garrett James Langley Events Centre

Photo courtesy of Garrett James Langley Events Centre

Photo courtesy of Garrett James Langley Events Centre

Just Posted

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

UPDATED: Missing 25-year-old Saanich woman found Saturday

Yuhan Jin thought to be travelling by foot or bus, carrying two suitcases

Peninsula businesses launch amidst COVID-19

New music school, martial arts studio, pet food store, welcomed with warm community response

Victoria program helps businesses shift swiftly in wake of COVID-19

Bring Back Victoria helps businesses open patios, create welcoming, safe spaces for customers

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read