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Canada routs Denmark in exhibition for U18 worlds

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The Canadian Press
4/14/2014 3:39:00 PM
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LAPPEENRANTA, Finland -- Forward Brayden Point impressed head coach Kevin Dineen for the second straight exhibition game as Canada's under-18 hockey team defeated Denmark 7-2 on Monday.

Point scored twice and had an assist as the Canadians tuned up for their U18 world championship opener Thursday against Sweden.

"He goes to the hard places," said head coach Kevin Dineen, who recently guided the Canadian women's team to Olympic gold in Sochi. "He earns everything he gets."

Point, who plays for the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors, had a goal and an assist in last Friday's 3-2 loss to Finland.

The five-foot-eight forward has been centring a line with Travis Konecny of the Ottawa 67's and Brendan Perlini of the Niagara IceDogs. Konecny had a goal Monday and Perlini added three assists.

"For the most part that line has been very good," Dineen said. "They're a pretty dynamic group."

Ryan Gropp of the Seattle Thunderbirds, Clark Bishop of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Ben Thomas of the Calgary Hitmen and Haydn Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels had the other Canadian goals.

Julio Billia of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Mason McDonald of the Charlottetown Islanders split the goaltending duties. Billia allowed both goals as Canada outshot Denmark 46-23.

Preliminary round play begins Thursday and continues through April 22 with the medal games set for April 27. Canada has won gold at this tournament on three occasions: 2003, 2008 and 2013.

The defending champions haven't had a lot of time together. Some players just arrived in Europe on Monday.

"We're at a bit of a disadvantage ... with this quick turnaround and putting a team together," said Dineen. "But at the end of it we're talking about the best 17-year-old hockey players in Canada and when you have that it may make up a little bit for lack of chemistry."

Brayden Point (Photo: Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
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