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|Puck drops on 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships|
|Written by Scott Rosts|
|Sunday, 27 December 2009 10:54|
The Canadians opened the World Junior Hockey Championship showing why they've won five straight gold medals.
On Saturday, in opening day action in Saskatchewan, Team Canada didn't hold back in a 16-0 rout over Lativia, which was playing in the tournament for just the third time ever. The Canadian squad went up 5-0 after 20 minutes and it didn't get any better, as they shelled the Latvians during the preliminary round game.
Canada's Gabriel Bourque tied a Canadian record with seven points in the game. Bourque scored three goals and had four assists. He actually had the game-winning goal 36 seconds into the game, but didn't complete the hat trick until there was just a minute and a half left in the third period.
"Yeah, that's the biggest game of my career,'' the 19-year-old Nashville Predators prospect told the Canadian Press after his first hat trick in junior hockey. "I'm so excited. I can't do better than that.''
The 19-year-old, who was drafted by Nashville in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, played on a line that racked up the points. He played alongside Canada captain Patrice Cormier of the Rimouski Oceanic, who had two goals and two assists, and Brandon Kozun of the Calgary Hitmen, who scored twice and had three assists.
"We had a joke after the second period when we asked if his dad was the scorekeeper,'' said Cormier. "But he's a hard worker and he played well."
Jake Allen started in goal for Canada, which has not lost a tournament-opening game in 13 years. Allen only had to make 10 saves for the shutout. Canada fired 67 shots at the Latvian net.
"We weren't going to take them lightly, because we saw what they could do in the pre-season game against Russia," Edmonton Oilers draftee Jordan Eberle told TSN, referring to a pre-competition game Monday, when Latvia upset a powerhouse Russian squad 3-2 in overtime.
Canada 16, Latvia 0
NEXT UP: Canada's next game is against Switzerland Dec. 28 at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT. Latvia faces off against Slovakia on Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
USA 7, Slovakia 3
The U.S. got off to a slow start, but held on to defeat Slovakia.
The Slovakians took a 2-0 lead less than six minutes into the game, but the Americans quickly regrouped and dominated from then out. The win avenged last year's result of Slovakia eliminating the U.S. squad from the tournament.
Derek Stepan, a New York Rangers prospect, celebrated being named captain of the U.S. national Junior team with a three-point effort (1G, 2A), including the go-ahead goal in the second period. Jerry D'Amigo, Danny Kristo and John Carlson also had a goal and an assist each, while Jeremy Morin, Matt Donovan and Jordan Schroeder — a Vancouver Canucks prospect playing in his third straight world junior hockey championship — scored singles for the U.S.
"I was happy with our resiliancy after falling behind early," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We created a lot of scoring chances, and showed a lot of poise after those two quick goals."
Team USA goalie Mike Lee turned aside 17 shots in the win, while Slovakian goalie Marek Ciliak stopped 39 shots in a losing effort.
D'Amigo, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was named Team USA's Player of the Game. Radoslav Illo, who had a pair of assists, was named the Slovakian player of the game. Illo plays for the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League and was a fifth-round draft pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
USA 7, Slovakia 3
4. USA - Morin (unassisted), 2:50
9. USA - Schroeder (Palmieri), 0:58
NEXT UP: Team U.S.A faces off Dec. 27 at against Switzerland at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. The game can be seen live in the U.S. on the NHL Network. It will also be streamed live in the U.S. on FASTHockey.com. Slovakia faces off against Lativa on Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
SWEDEN 10 vs. CZECH REPUBLIC 1
A four-goal first-period lifted Sweden to a 10-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World U20 Championship.
NEXT UP: Sweden takes on Austria at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on Dec. 27. The Czech squad faces off against Finland Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
RUSSIA 6 vs. AUSTRIA 2
Russia pulled away from Austria with four first-period goals and went on to a 6-2 win in opening-day action.
Kirill Petrov led the Russian attack with a goal and two assists. Yevgeni Kuznetsov had two goals, and Maxim Chudinov and Dmitri Orlov also had two points apiece.
Russia's Maxim Trunev was credited with the opening goal just two minutes in when Petr Khokhriakov's shot hit him and went in.
Austria responded near the midway mark on the power play when Konstantin Komarek banged in a rebound past Anaheim Ducks draft pick Igor Bobkov in the Russian net.
Russia responded with goals from Chudinov and 2010 NHL entry draft prospects Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko. NHL draft picks Dmitri Orlov (Washington Capitals) and Petrov (New York Islanders) picked up two assists each in the first.
The two teams swapped second-period goals, Kuznetsov with his second of the night for Russia and Nikolaus Hartl with a breakaway goal for Austria to make it a 5-2 game heading into the third. Petrov added one more in the third to make it 6-2.
Bobkov needed just 14 saves for the win for Russia, while 5-foot-8 netminder Lorenz Hern stopped 27 of 33 shots in the loss and was named Austria's player of the game. Kuznetsov was the Russian player of the game.
Russian team captain Nikita Filatov, a highly touted Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, was held off the scoreboard.
NEXT UP: Austria faces Sweden on Dec. 27 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. The Russians enjoy a day off, as they will return to the ice Dec. 28 to face Finland at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 27 December 2009 17:41|