Canada’s National Men’s Team opened with a win over USA

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Taylor Hall

Team USA scored first, but Canada came back 31 seconds later with a goal from Taylor Hall

DAVID BRIEN

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL) had a goal and an assist to pace a balanced offence, and Canada’s National Men’s Team opened the 2016 IIHF World Championship with a 5-1 win over the United States on Friday.

Taylor Hall (Kingston, Ont./Edmonton, NHL), Brendan Gallagher (Tsawwassen, B.C./Montreal, NHL), Boone Jenner (Dorchester, Ont./Columbus, NHL) and Brad Marchand (Hammonds Plains, N.S./Boston, NHL) had the other goals for the Canadians, who got points from 10 different players.

Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) was the only other multi-point scorer, picking up two assists, and Cam Talbot (Caledonia, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) made 24 saves to record the victory in goal.

It was the Americans who struck first; Patrick Maroon converted on a U.S. power play at 4:54 in for a 1-0 lead.

But it was all Canada after that, starting with Hall’s goal just 31 seconds later; he squeezed a shot under the pad of U.S. goaltender Keith Kinkaid to quickly pull the Canadians even.

Gallagher, celebrating his 24th birthday, netted the eventual game-winner at 8:48 of the opening period, roofing a quick shot past Kinkaid from the face-off dot to the right of the U.S. goal.

After doubling up the Americans on the shot clock in the first period, 16-8, the Canadians were outshot 14-11 in the second, but Duchene had the lone goal of the middle frame, going just inside the post at 11:37.

The red-and-white added a pair of insurance goals in the third period, the first off the stick of Jenner, who circled the net before beating Kinkaid under the glove for the 4-1 goal at 5:54.

The final goal came with the Canadians killing a penalty; Duchene knocked down a pass in the defensive zone and sprung Marchand, who went five-hole on a partial breakaway to cap the scoring with a shorthanded marker.

Canada finished with a 33-25 advantage in shots on goal, and ran its winning streak at the world championship to 11 after a perfect 10-0 run through last year’s worlds in the Czech Republic.

The Canadians are back on the ice Sunday (5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT, TSN), when they face off against Hungary.

Next game:

Team Canada will face off against Hungary on Sunday, May 8 at 5 a.m. ET; catch all of the action on TSN (broadcasting all 64 tournament games) and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners.

Quotes:

Brendan Gallagher, who celebrated his birthday with a goal, on his linemates Boone Jenner and Ryan O’Reilly:

“[They’re] two easy guys to play with. You look at Boone, just how hard he works; he creates a lot of chances for our line. And Ryan O’Reilly, he’s one of the more complete players in the world. He does everything well and we use him in every situation. They’re pretty easy for me to play with.”

Cam Talbot on playing for Canada and adjusting to the larger, international ice surface:

“It’s a dream come true to come out here and wear the Canada crest. [On the larger ice, you have to] play a little bit smart, a little bit more in control, and manage the bounces the best you can.”

Head coach Bill Peters on the team’s opening performance:

“We have a young group, we have a hungry group.  They are passionate and full of energy. We will continue to get better as the tournament progresses but we are really pleased with our start.”

Team Canada went undefeated at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic, on its way to its first gold medal in eight years. Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 19 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games gold-medallists were also considered world champions. The country has also collected 11 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.

 

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