Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Blowout Win for Canada


KANATA, ON – It was a record-setting Sunday at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship as Canada routed Kazakhstan 15-0 in front of 19,176 red-and-white fans at SBP Arena.

The win included a Canadian-record-tying margin of shutout victory – Canada hammered France 15-0 in 2002 – and eight power play goals, topping the previous mark set against Sweden in 2002.

Jamie Benn (Victoria, BC/Kelowna, WHL) led the way with hat trick – the first three-goal game by a Canadian since Jeff Carter at the 2005 World Juniors – and two assists, while Cody Hodgson (Markham, ON/Brampton, OHL) had two goals and four helpers.

John Tavares (Oakville, ON/Oshawa, OHL) and PK Subban (Toronto, ON/Belleville, OHL) had four points apiece. Chris DiDomenico (Woodbridge, ON/Saint John, QMJHL), Jordan Eberle (Regina, SK/Regina, WHL), Tyler Myers (Calgary, AB/Kelowna, WHL), Stefan Della Rovere (Maple, ON/Barrie, OHL), Evander Kane (Vancouver, BC/Vancouver, WHL) and Tyler Ennis (Edmonton, AB/Medicine Hat, WHL) also scored for Canada, who has outscored its opposition 23-1 in its opening two games.

While Canadian head coach Pat Quinn was pleased with the win, the veteran bench boss picked up a few bad habits that could cost the Canadians against stiffer competition.

"We started to let up it slip in the second,” Quinn said. “Our goal is to get better and better and we were scoring and our power play was hot but we started making those nice drop passes and things that when you are playing strong opposition will find a way to kick you and bite you. At the end of the second we talked about it and I thought our third period was more in line with how we want to play."

Quinn was also impressed with how the Canadians toned down their celebrations after they scored when it became apparent the rout was on.

"Part of being professional is not shoving it down anybody's throat,” he said. “I didn't want us to let up how we played, but at the end of the day, I don't like the hot dog stuff and give the kids credit they did it on their own."

Chet Pickard (Winnipeg, MB/Tri-City, WHL) got the start between the pipes for Canada and needed to make just 11 saves for the shutout as the Canadians held a massive 69-11 advantage in shots on goal. At no point in the game did Kazakhstan have more shots on the Canadian net than Canada had goals on the scoreboard.

The Canadians have little time to enjoy their victory – they are back on the ice Monday night at SBP Arena when they face Germany at 7:30 p.m. EST/4:30 p.m. PST.

"We still want to play hard and we have a gold medal to win,” he said. "We will put this game behind us and be ready for tomorrow. We have to understand there are better teams out there and we better be ready for them."

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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