Winnipeg Jets prospect Mark Scheifele (The Canadian Press)As much as Canadians love to kvetch about international hockey officiating, it was eventually their friend on Friday at the world junior championship.
Team Canada, which beat Slovakia 6-3, got off the deck after Dougie Hamilton and Mark Scheifele each hit the deck to draw penalties late in the second period. With Canada down two goals and reduced to 10 forwards after by major penalties and game misconducts to JC Lipon (for checking to the head) and Anthony Camara (for charging), desperate times called for desperate measures. First the 6-foot-5 Hamilton, after being interfered with and cut, fell to his knees, ostensibly to draw the referees' attention to the foul.
Defenceman Morgan Rielly, Hamilton's replacement on the ensuing power play, scored to pare the margin to 3-2. Minutes later, the 6-foot-3, 187-pound Scheifele knocked down Slovakia's Tomas Rusina. When the Slovaks' Martin Reway — listed at six inches shorter and some 20 pounds lighter at 5-9, 165 — made the rookie mistake of retaliating with a light bump, the Winnipeg Jets prospect flopped. Ty Rattie tied the game nine seconds into the power play. By the end of the period, Scheifele had put Canada ahead for good on his way to being named Canada's best player of the day by the IIHF.
The IIHF world U20 championship is about winning, not who plays the purest hockey. The officials also made a non-call after Scheifele was taken down in a knee-on-knee collision early in the game. It's understandable if that would have prompted not caring much about showing up officials.
Regardless, diving is not seen as part of The Canadian Way. Hamilton and Scheifele's flopping, even after the earlier penalties that reduced Canada to 17 skaters, set off an intense early-morning debate on Twitter.Read More »from World junior championship: Canada flips over flopping by Dougie Hamilton, Mark Scheifele — but it paid off