HALIFAX | If they hope to defeat the United States, Junior Team Canada will have to tighten their defense which, in the eyes of assistant coach Stéphane Julien and responsible for defensemen, had their “worst game” of the tournament, Monday against the Slovaks.
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ECJ was particularly ineffective in the third period, in front of the sustained forecheck of his opponents.
“I would say it was the worst game for our defenders. We moved the puck too quickly, our recovery was less good. [...] I don't think it's a matter of physical play, but more pressure. We weren't physically shaken by anyone, but the pressure they put on us meant that our defenders didn't make the right decisions and our defensive withdrawals weren't good enough either. »
Quebec defender Tyson Hinds could only agree with the words of his coach.
“We will have to improve our communication in the defensive zone. Often, we were wrong, we went to two on the same guy. These are mistakes that we have to improve because against the United States, it will hurt. »
THE MOST CONSTANT
If ECJ emerged victorious from its quarter-final match, it certainly owes Hinds a lot of credit. With about 11:30 to go in the third, and Canada ahead 3-2, Hinds literally stole a goal from the Slovaks when he lunged full length behind goalkeeper Thomas Milic who had just made the first save, to block what seemed like a certain goal to Adam Sykora.
"It's instinctive. You step back, just in case. I was in the right place at the right time, but I don't know if I could do it again if it happened again! »
In Hinds' case, it was another demonstration of his usefulness, according to Julien.
“Tyson is probably our most consistent guy, game after game. I've seen the video [of his save] three or four times and you can feel he has a sense of urgency in his game. He went behind Milic to save the puck and that shows his level of competition and his desire to win. »
"I'm lucky he was there," added goaltender Milic. My arm got caught and I had to extend to try to make the save, and luckily he was there for the return. Besides, he was smart not to close his hand on the puck to avoid giving them a penalty shot. »