Canada 7 - Norway 1
2006 IIHF World Men's Championship
RIGA, Latvia – Sidney Crosby is taking the world by storm.
Crosby had a goal and three assists for his second multi-point effort in as many outings to pace Canada to its second victory at the World Hockey Championship on Sunday, a 7-1 win over Norway.
Crosby is tied with linemate Patrice Bergeron, who had two goals and an assist against the Norwegians, for the tournment’s scoring lead. Brad Boyes – the third member of Canada’s top line, also scored against the Norwegians.
With the win, Canada secured its spot in the Qualifying Round. Canada’s next game is Tuesday against the United States. The Americans also have won both their games.
For the second straight game, the Canadians took a 3-0 lead after the first period. But unlike their tournament-opener against Denmark – when the Danes scored three times in the second en route to a 5-3 loss - they didn’t let their opponents get back in the game Sunday.
Any chance of a Norwegian rally was snuffed out in the second period when Canada scored four times. Crosby made it 4-0 and Jason Williams, Bergeron, and captain Brendan Shanahan followed with power play goals.
“Once we got a 3-0 lead, we didn't get soft, we played good defense and started to learn some good habits," said Shanahan, who is one of 18 players to win a Stanley Cup (1997, 1998, 2002) as well as a gold medal at the Olympics (2002) and world championship (1994).
Mike Comrie also scored for the Canadians while goalie Alex Auld had an easy night. He made 14 saves in his first start of the world tournament.
The referees working the world tournament have been instructed to have a zero-tolerance on restraining fouls and the Norwegians found themselves taking many penalties trying to slow their faster opponents.
"They let a little more go here, but they call the severe infractions,” said Shanahan regarding the many calls. “The quality of refereeing has improved enormously over the last few years.”
Canada has entered team that is heavily accented with youth and the fact that the players represent Canada’s future on the world stage wasn’t lost on Shanahan.
“A lot of the guys in the dressing room represent Canada's future," stated Shanahan. "Not just guys like Bergeron and Crosby, but also guys like (Mike) Richards and (Jeff) Carter.”
The Canadians will have reinforcements in the line-up as Brendan Shanahan, Matt Pettinger, Mike Cammalleri and Brent Seabrook were added to the roster on Thursday and will play. Canada is coming off a 5-3 win over Denmark in the opening game of the world tournament and if nothing else the outcome served notice to the Canadians that they can’t take anyone lightly. Norway is making its return to the world tournament for the first time since 20001 when it finished 15th and was relegated to the B Pool. It took the Norwegians four years to find their way back to the world A Pool and their aim is to remain in the top group. Like the Danes, the Norwegians will provide for a tough opponent. Thirteen players on the 23-man roster play in Europe’s top leagues in Finland, Germany and Sweden.
Players to watch:
Canada: Brad Boyes finished third in the NHL’s rookie scoring race, with 26
goals and 69 points on a mediocre Boston Bruins team. In Riga, he is playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and
Patrice Bergeron and the offensive potential is scary. The trio combined for seven points in the 5-3 win over
Denmark. Boyes was a first round pick, 24th overall, by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2000.
Prognosis: The Canadians should win this but the Danes taught them not to take their so-called weaker opponents lightly.
by Alan Adams
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Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations