The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team completed the sweep of the United States with a 5-0 win in the final game of the four-game Under-21 test series Saturday in Surrey.
The second straight shutout win was due largely in part to a great performance from Shabaaz Dhaliwal who scored three goals and setup another in Canada’s dominant victory.
The pace was quick with lots of scoring opportunities early in the match.
Tom Fannin had a chance to put Canada ahead just moments into the game but was stopped in tight by Nathaniel O’Lari who once again started in goal for the Americans. Fannin followed his early chance with another just minutes later when he was setup for a tap-in at the side of the net but just slightly missed wide.
The U.S. knew it couldn’t surrender the game’s first goal if it wanted a chance to win, so they pressed to try and take the lead.
Ismael Zapeda found space to the left of Lydon Lemos but couldn’t connect on the hit.
Shortly after Zapeda’s chance, it was Canada again on the attack. Sahib Suri snuck behind the U.S. defence and went in alone on O’Lari, but was stopped on a good challenge from the U.S. netminder.
The first quarter, despite Canada’s offensive pressure, was scoreless.
Early in the second quarter, Canada finally beat O’Lari when Dhaliwal picked up a rebound and snuck it by for the 1-0 lead.
Dhaliwal and Josh Brown had opportunities to extend the lead but both missed wide.
Canada took the 1-0 lead into the half.
The continued pressure paid off in the second half as Canada scored four times but not before Cameron Bonney, who came in at half for Lemos, kicked out a U.S. drag flick on a penalty corner in the first minute of play.
After a missed corner attempt from Canada, the goals came in quick succession from Amrit Sidhu, Tom Fannin, and two consecutive from Dhaliwal for his hat trick.
The win was Canada’s fourth in the four-game series as they continue to prepare for the 2016 Junior World Cup qualificaiton process.
Next up, Canada will hold a development camp in Brampton, Ontario alongside the Pan American Games in July. They will then attempt to qualify for the Junior World Cup by finishing in the top two of the Junior Pan American Championships next spring in Toronto.