POWER PLAY PUSHES CANADA PAST NORWAY AT WORLDS

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Colton Parayko

 PARIS, France – Colton Parayko (St. Albert, Alta./St. Louis, NHL) had a pair of power-play goals – two of the four Canada scored with the man advantage – and the Canadians wrapped up first place in Group B at the 2017 IIHF World Championship with a 5-0 win over Norway on Monday.

It is the fourth year in a row Canada has finished atop its preliminary-round group.

Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, Sask./Philadelphia, NHL) and Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) also scored on the power play, while Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont,/Winnipeg, NHL) had the lone five-on-five goal. O’Reilly and Scheifele finished with a goal and an assist apiece, while Nathan MacKinnon (Cole Harbour, N.S./Colorado, NHL) chipped in with three helpers.

Chad Johnson (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, NHL) was rarely tested in the Canadian goal, making just 10 saves, and only two in the final 40 minutes.

O’Reilly had a very early chance to get the scoring started on a penalty shot less than two minutes in, but Norwegian goaltender Henrik Haukeland got his arm on the shot to keep it scoreless.

Outshot in the early minutes, the Canadians turned up the offence in the latter half of the opening period, finishing with a 21-8 advantage in the first 20 minutes.

Schenn struck first at 17:48, chopping a backhand past Haukeland on the power play. The Norwegians went right back to the penalty box, and Parayko got a wrist shot through a Scheifele screen in front for his first international goal at 18:42 and a 2-0 Canadian lead after one.

Canada went into defensive lockdown from there, holding the Norwegians without a shot on goal for the first 14 minutes of the second period, and to just two in total in the middle frame.

Scheifele netted his first goal of the tournament at 14:57, burying a rebound on the doorstep, before Parayko hammered a slap shot past Haukeland for his second on another power play late in the period.

The Canadians held Norway without a shot in the third period, and O’Reilly finished a tic-tac-toe passing play with a one-timer from the slot with 2:40 remaining to provide the final margin of victory.

Final shots on goal favoured Canada, 48-10.

The preliminary round wraps up Tuesday, with Canada facing off against Finland (2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. PT). It will be the 47th meeting between the long-time rivals, with the Canadians holding a 35-9-2 all-time advantage.

Quotes:

 

“From the get-go the guys have been awesome; they’ve opened up their arms for me and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to continuing on with these guys because they’re all great players and teammates, and good things are [still] to come.”

–      Colton Parayko on getting more comfortable with his linemates and team since joining Team Canada on May 9

 

“We played pretty well today. I think our guys were playing a little bit angry from what happened [in the overtime loss to Switzerland] so there was an extra jump in their step. We knew what was on the line for us – that we had a chance to come first in our group. Guys came out with energy, came out determined, and the result of the Swiss game was added incentive. We wanted to get the lead [and] we did, and our special teams were really good. We had a will tonight and it was good to see.”

–      Jon Cooper, Team Canada head coach, on his team’s bounce back effort

 

Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games champions were also considered world champion. The country has also collected 11 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.

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