Canada got off to a strong start in its quest for world junior supremacy Tuesday afternoon, coming away with a 4-2 win over Finland.
In light of the victory, here are three takeaways from Canada's performance:
A good test
Given the usual cupcake nature of the preliminary opener for Canada, a tournament entrance against Finland - a country many consider to be in the running for a gold medal as well - offered a considerable early test.
A year removed from firing the entire coaching staff, one would believe Finland to be as hungry as ever to return to the gold medal game - a contest they won in 2016 - however, Canada had other plans.
With seven returnees from last year's silver medal outfit, Canada's experience was evident, and there were few indications of nerves playing a factor once the puck dropped.
Slotted in Group A with Finland, as well as the USA, banking points will be especially important for seeding in the medal round, and capturing three off the bat is a solid start.
Sum of its parts
(Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)
In terms of marquee, can't-miss star power, Canada is lacking, but its depth and speed throughout the lineup proved effective against a stout Finnish defensive corps, which features four first-round draft picks.
Canada got at least one point from seven different forwards, while blue-liner Victor Mete contributed two himself.
Head coach Dominique Ducharme wanted to build a complete roster capable of moving the puck quickly, and one game in, Canada looks like a cohesive unit capable of executing the game plan.
When looking for a flaw in Canada's performance, one stands out rather clearly: lack of discipline.
Canada took six penalties, including three in the first period. While five of six power plays were killed successfully, it's a trend that will have to come to an abrupt halt if Canada intends on playing for gold.
Now, needing time to adjust to international rules may have been the cause of the influx of infractions, but Canada will have to adapt quickly. Handing out free opportunities in this tournament is a recipe for disaster.