Canada blanked Belarus to remain undefeated

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cam Talbot

Cam Talbot stopped 13 shots in the shutout

DAVID BRIEN

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL) led the offence with a goal and two assists and Cam Talbot (Caledonia, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) needed to make just 13 saves for the shutout as Canada’s National Men’s Team blanked Belarus 8-0 on Monday at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

The Canadians temporarily took over sole possession of top spot in Group B with a perfect 3-0 record, pending the outcome of the Finland-United States game later Monday.

Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) had a pair of goals – scoring once shorthanded and once on the power play – and Derick Brassard (Hull, Que./New York Rangers, NHL), Corey Perry (Peterborough, Ont./Anaheim, NHL), Taylor Hall (Kingston, Ont./Edmonton, NHL), Mark Stone (Winnipeg, Man./Ottawa, NHL) and Michael Matheson (Pointe-Claire, Que./Florida, NHL) were the other Canadian goal scorers.

Talbot was never really tested in the Canadian goal, making five saves in the first period, five more in the second and three in the third to record his second win in as many starts.

It took Canada until the 16:17 mark of the first period to open the scoring; Perry circled the Belarus net on the power play before finding Brassard in close to make it 1-0 through 20 minutes.

The floodgates opened in the second, as the Canadians scored four times on 16 shots.

Perry kept on a two-on-one and went five-hole on Belarus goaltender Kevin Lalonde just 63 seconds into the middle frame, and a Boone Jenner (Dorchester, Ont./Columbus, NHL) pass banked off the skate of a hard-charging O’Reilly at 3:58 for a shorthanded goal and a 3-0 lead.

Duchene buried his own rebound on another power play at 11:19, and Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) got a defender moving the wrong way with a quick head fake before finding Hall for the 5-0 goal just 20 seconds after that.

That would be all for the Ontario-born Lalonde, who was replaced by Dmitri Milchakov.

Canada finished the scoring with three more in the third period; O’Reilly got his second goal just 86 ticks into the final stanza on a redirection off a Belarusian skate, Stone finished a give-and-go with Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont./Winnipeg, NHL) at 9:17, and Matheson got a point shot through traffic and past Milchakov at 13:52 for the third Canadian power-play goal of the game.

Canada improved to a perfect 9-0 all-time against Belarus at worlds.

It will enjoy two days off before returning to the ice at the Yublieyny Ice Palace, taking on Germany on Thursday (1:15 p.m. ET/10:15 a.m. PT on TSN) in its fourth of seven preliminary-round games.

Quotes:

Matt Duchene, alternate captain, on the team’s focus through the preliminary round and Canada’s better success on the power-play:

“It’s very similar to last year where we don’t get bad habits, we take care of business for 60 minutes. They had a good first period and we didn’t get upset that we only got one goal – we refocused in the first intermission and came back in the second period. [On the power-play] we shuffled things up a bit, but I think the biggest thing is we put more pucks on the net.”

 

Ben Hutton on the fact that he is one of six players on Team Canada to be drafted to the NHL in 2012 (Murray, Rielly, Dumba, Ceci, Matheson):

“I saw a tweet or something about that – there was all of us and then Chris [Tanev] went undrafted. It’s pretty cool. I played against [Matheson] in college. I knew what type of player he was – fast skater, he can shoot the puck. He’s a great player.”

Bill Peters, head coach:

“I give our leadership group a lot of credit. They realized the importance of this game with two days before our next one. Our depth wore them down and our short-handed goal swung things in our favour.”

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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