Team Canada thumped Belarus 11-1 Easter Sunday to improve to 3-0 at the IIHF world under-18 hockey championship in Umea, Sweden.
Alex Newhook of St. John’s has been one of Canada’s top performers through the early goings of the tournament, collecting two goals and an assist in Sunday’s win.
Through three games, Newhook has three goals and three assists to share the Canadian scoring lead with three Western Hockey League players — Brayden Tracey of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Peyton Krebs of the Kootenay Ice.
Canada opened the tournament last Thursday with a 5-3 win over Finland, a game in which the Finns actually led 3-0 at one point.
Newhook scored Canada’s second goal of the game.
Friday, Canada skated away with a 7-4 win over Switzerland, with Newhook picking up a pair of assists.
Newhook, who turned 18 in January, was the MVP and top scorer (102 points in 53 games) in the British Columbia Hockey League this season, his second with the Victoria Grizzlies.
He is one of only two players on the Canadian roster not playing in the Canadian Hockey League (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and WHL), joining Dylan Holloway of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Newhook is set to attend Boston College next season, while Holloway is off to the University of Wisconsin.
The U18 championship is not Newhook’s first taste of international action. He won a bronze medal with Canada West at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, and played for Canada Black at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Canada has won only three world U18 championships since 2000, in 2003, 2008 and 2013. Part of the reason is a number of CHL teams are still playing this time of year.
The United States has dominated the U18s, winning 10 championships since 2000.
However, in contrast to that, Canada has dominated the Gretzky-Hlinka Cup U18 summer championship, winning all but three championships since 2000.
Known as the Ivan Hlinka Cup and staged in the Czech Republic since 1991, the event was rebranded the Gretzky-Hlinka Cup last year and will be alternated between Edmonton and the Czech Republic through 2022.
In Umea, Canada plays the Czech Republic Tuesday.