PARIS, France – Mitch Marner (Thornhill, Ont./Toronto, NHL) scored twice and added an assist – all in the first period – and Canada beat Finland 5-2 to finish off the preliminary round of the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
Canada took top spot in Group B with a 6-0-1-0 record and will now play Germany in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Colton Parayko (St. Albert, Alta./St. Louis, NHL), Brayden Point (Calgary, Alta./Tampa Bay, NHL) and Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL) also scored.
Calvin Pickard (Winnipeg, Man./Colorado, NHL) made 18 saves for his third win of the tournament.
Three goals in a span of 1:20 got things going early in this rematch of last year’s gold medal game.
Marner opened the scoring only 2:46 in, toe-dragging across the middle and going glove side from the slot.
Twenty-two seconds later, Oskar Osala fanned on a shot but the loose puck was fired into an open net by Jani Lujunen, tying the game for Finland.
Canada then retook the lead when Parayko rifled home a drop pass from Marner only eight seconds into the game’s first power play.
Just past the midway mark of the first period, Canada took 10 seconds to convert on its second man-advantage of the game.
Nathan MacKinnon (Cole Harbour, N.S./Colorado, NHL) fed Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont./Winnipeg, NHL) down low; Scheifele spun and sent a backhand out front for Marner, who netted his second goal of the game and collected his third point of the period. It was the team’s sixth power play goal in the past two games.
Canada outshot Finland 15-6 over the opening 20 minutes.
A fortunate bounce gave Canada a three-goal lead midway through the second period. Michael Matheson’s (Pointe-Claire, Que./Florida, NHL) point shot went wide of the net, but the puck bounced back in front for Point to punch home.
Finland got one back before the second intermission when Atte Ohtamaa’s point shot beat Pickard high glove side.
Only 34 seconds into the third period, Duchene outraced three Finnish defenders and beat goaltender Haari Sateri low with a forehand for his first point of the tournament.
Canada outshot 28-20 overall.
“Our powerplay has been outstanding and our PK has been doing the job too. We obviously killed the five-on-three tonight, and shorthanded we were perfect, so we want to keep that going. Special teams is the name of the game this tournament because a lot of penalties are getting called, so it’s big for us.”
– Matt Duchene on Canada’s success with special teams
“He oozes with confidence, hockey–sense, and skill. You give him the puck in the open ice and think he’s got one of three options, and then he invents option four, five and six. It’s impressive to watch him play and he’s deserved what’s coming to him. He’s worked hard and has done everything we’ve asked of him, and he’s a really gifted player; especially around the net.”
– Jon Cooper, Team Canada head coach on Mitch Marner
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.