Canada hammers Kazakhstan 15-0 at WJC
Devils' prospect Patrice Cormier chips in with an assist
Jamie Benn of the Kelowna Rockets scored a hat trick to lead Canada to a 15-0 thumping of Kazakhstan at the 2009 world junior hockey championship Sunday.
John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals and Cody Hodgson of the Brampton Battalion each had four-point nights with two goals and two assists apiece. Defenceman P.K. Subban of the Belleville Bulls also scored twice.
Medicine Hat Tigers forward Tyler Ennis contributed a goal and two assists. Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats, Chris DiDomenico of the Saint John Sea Dogs, Evander Kane of the Vancouver Giants, Stefan Della Rovere of the Barrie Colts and Rockets defenceman Tyler Myers also scored in front of 19,176 at Scotiabank Place.
Patrice Cormier assisted on Kane's goal to pick up his first point of the tournament. Cormier, who was selected with New Jersey's third choice, 54th overall, in the 2008 Entry Draft, is one of three Devils' prospects playing in this year's tourney. Mike Hoeffel (1st round/57th overall, 2007) is skating for Team USA, and Mattias Tedenby (1st/24th, 2008) is representing Sweden.
Chet Pickard of the Tri-City Americans made 11 saves for the shutout in his first start of the tournament, while Canada pelted the Kazak net with 69 shots.
It was one of the most lopsided victories in Canada's history in the tournament. Canada beat Germany 18-2 in 1985 for a 16-goal differential and also shut out France 15-0 in 2001.
Canada (2-0) meets Germany on Monday for its second game in as many days. The Canadians conclude the Pool A preliminary round Wednesday against the Americans, who were to meet the Czechs later Sunday.
Russia improved to 2-0 in Pool B with a 5-2 victory over Finland, while the Swedes were to face Slovakia in the later game.
The top team in each pool earns a bye to the semifinal. The runners-up plays the third-place teams from the other pool in the quarter-finals.
Ties in the standings can be broken by goal differential, so the Canadians felt they couldn't take their foot completely off the gas even when they were up by a comfortable margin. Their post-goal celebrations became more subdued by the sixth goal.
After a 9-0 loss to promoted Germany to open the tournament the previous night, it didn't look good for Kazakhstan, which faced the defending champions less than 24 hours later.
While the Kazaks competed hard in one-on-one battles, they came no where near to matching Canada's passing skills and team game. Canada threw the puck around the offensive zone almost at will.
Goaltender Andrei Yankov made some spectacular saves in the first period as the Canadians circled his net like sharks, but it was difficult for him to keep the score close when Canada outshot his team 22-2 in the first 20 minutes.
After 35 saves on 44 shots, Yankov was replaced by Maxim Gryaznov to start the third period.
With half the population of Canada, Kazakhstan has 4,716 registered hockey players and eight indoor rinks compared to half a million hockey players and 2,400 indoor rinks in Canada.
Kazakhstan stayed in the 2009 'A' championship by finishing eighth in 2008. But the country doesn't have enough depth of talent in hockey to build consistent success in the tournament.
Kazakhstan's shining moment in this tournament, however, was beating Canada 6-3 for seventh place in 1998.
Della Rovere played despite a badly bruised leg from a blocked shot in Friday's opener, which meant Subban didn't have to move up from defence to replace him.
NOTES - Benn, a 19-year-old from Victoria, was one goal short of the record for goals in a game by a Canadian player at the world junior tournament. Mario Lemieux (1983) and Simon Gagne (1999) each scored four times in a game . . . Canada improved to 2-1 versus Kazakhstan in the world junior tournament. Canada avenged the loss to the Kazaks in 1998 by thumping them 12-2 a year later in Winnipeg.