Canada remains unbeaten at the 2016 IIHF World Championship
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Derick Brassard (Hull, Que./New York Rangers, NHL) led a balanced offence with a goal and an assist, and Canada’s National Men’s Team improved to 5-0 at the 2016 IIHF World Championship with a 5-0 win over Slovakia on Saturday.
The Canadians kept pace with Finland atop Group B, clinched a quarter-final spot and ran their world championship winning streak to 15 games, including last year’s unbeaten run to gold in the Czech Republic.
Morgan Rielly (West Vancouver, B.C./Toronto, NHL), Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL), Taylor Hall (Kingston, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) and Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont./Winnipeg, NHL) had the other goals for Canada, which has outscored its opponents 30-4 through five games.
Cam Talbot (Caledonia, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) made 18 saves for his fourth win and second shutout.
The opening goal came just past the 11-minute mark of the first period when Brassard won a face-off back to Rielly, who snuck a point shot through a screen and past Slovakian goaltender Julius Hudacek.
The Canadians made it 2-0 with 90 seconds left in the opening frame; Brad Marchand (Hammonds Plains, N.S./Boston, NHL) intercepted a puck along the end-boards before setting up Duchene for a one-timer.
Canada doubled its lead with a pair of goals in the second period, beginning with a power-play tally from Hall, who finished off a pretty set-up from Mark Stone (Winnipeg, Man./Ottawa, NHL) and Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) at 13:56.
Hall has now scored in all five Canadian games, and his six goals leave him tied with Swedish forward Gustav Nyquist for the tournament lead.
Just under five minutes after the Hall goal, Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver, B.C./Buffalo, NHL) made a pass from behind the goal line to Scheifele, who danced around a Slovak defenceman before sliding in the 4-0 goal.
Brassard finished the scoring midway through the third period, redirecting a Corey Perry (Peterborough, Ont./Anaheim, NHL) pass past Hudacek at the side of the net.
Talbot made more than half of his saves in the second period, when Slovakia held an 11-9 advantage in shots on goal. He has a tournament-leading 0.75 goals-against average and .960 save percentage.
Overall, Canada outshot the Slovaks 33-18.
The Canadians see the ice next against France on Monday, live on TSN at 9:15 a.m. ET/6:15 a.m. PT.
Cam Talbot on the World Championship as an opportunity to head into summer on a positive note:
“It’s an opportunity for a lot of guys to end the season on a high note. It’s a great experience to be here. It’s a great tournament and really fun to be a part of. Hopefully it’s going to be an exclamation point on an otherwise year that might have left a bad tasted in your mouth.”
George McPhee, co-general manager of Team Canada, on Ellis’ addition:
“We had the opportunity to add one more experienced, puck-moving defenceman. Ryan is very familiar with these players and has had a lot of success with them internationally; he will be a great fit with this group.”
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.