2004 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

Canada 3 Vs France 0

Preliminary Round
April 27, 2004 | Prague, CZE

By Alan Adams

PRAGUE – Mike Babcock didn’t mince his words.
“It is pretty evident that our team game has a million miles to come,” Babcock said after Canada beat France 3-0 at the World Hockey Championship on Tuesday. “We have to get speed. I don’t think we had any puck speed. As a group we have to be way quicker with the puck and a way quicker with our speed.”
The Canadians have yet to put in their best effort at the 16-team tournament. They opened with a 2-2 tie with Austria and looked disinterested at times against France.
Canada plays Switzerland on Wednesday and the winner gets first place in the D Pool and the loser falls to third place. Austria has wrapped up second place.
Babcock isn’t about to push the panic button, but he has some concerns that need to be addressed.
“If we just play, everything will look after itself. I think at this point, I like the chance we have to become a good team.”
The Canadians know their hopes of defending their world title will be dashed if they don’t play to their potential.
“Oh definitely, we know we'll have to play much better hockey to beat the Swiss,' said Canadian centre Daniel Briere. ``We know it's going to be tough and if we play the same way we did the first two games, we're definitely going to be in trouble. We have to start playing better.'”
Shawn Horcoff scored twice against France and Jean-Sebastien Giguere got the shutout.
The French were simply happy to be on the same bad ice as the players they follow on satellite television and over the internet.
“We know that Canada did not play at the level (they are capable of),” said French goalie Fabrice Lhenry. “I watch the NHL on TV and I was really happy when the coach told me I was playing against Canada. When you are a kid in France, your dream is to play against those guys and I did my dream today.”
Babcock didn’t have to remind his players they need to turn it up a couple of notches.
“`We're just sitting back a bit too much,' said winger Glen Murray, who had Canada’s other goal against France. “We've got so many good forwards, I think we should attack more.”
Captain Ryan Smyth isn’t about to push the panic button. This is his sixth world tournament and he knows there are four more games to play before the quarter-finals.
“It's a matter of just staying composed right now,' said Smyth. “We know it's early, and we're just trying to find some chemistry here and gel together. That's the biggest thing over here, you have to come together quick.”
Points earned against relegated teams are thrown out heading into the qualifying round so Wednesday's winner will advance with three points while the loser only one.
Murray opened the scoring 8:52 into the first period with Canada on the power play, sliding home a loose puck in the crease with two defenders draped all over him.
Horcoff doubled Canada's lead at 16:27, one-timing a nice feed from Smyth. It was 3-0 after Horcoff was sent in alone by Rob Niedermayer and scored at 8:58 of the second period.
“We are moving in the right direction and it is a long tournament,” said Horcoff. “If we get to the gold medal game it is two weeks away and we want to get better every day. It was like this last year . . . guys are still trying to get a feel.”

Box Score CAN
Compte FRA

First Period/Première période

08:52 1:0 CAN PP1 28   MURRAY Glen 19   MORROW Brenden
7   MORRISON Brendan
16:27 2:0 CAN EQ 10   HORCOFF Shawn 44   NIEDERMAYER Rob
94   SMYTH Ryan

03:23 05:23 FRA 2min 5   POUSSET Nicolas Tripping
08:11 08:52 FRA 2min 19   COQUEUX Olivier Hooking
12:52 14:52 FRA 2min 2   CARRIOU Allan Interference
17:58 19:58 CAN 2min 12   FRIESEN Jeff Interference

Second Period/Deuxième période

28:58 3:0 CAN EQ 10   HORCOFF Shawn 12   FRIESEN Jeff

20:41 22:41 CAN 2min 10   HORCOFF Shawn Interference
24:38 26:38 FRA 2min 4   PRUNET Lilian Slashing
37:39 39:39 FRA 2min 4   PRUNET Lilian Slashing

Third Period/Troisième période


40:36 42:36 FRA 2min 26   POUGET Christian Holding
43:01 45:01 FRA 2min 8   BRIAND Arnaud Hooking
49:32 51:32 CAN 2min 10   HORCOFF Shawn Slashing
50:04 52:04 CAN 2min 27   NIEDERMAYER Scott Highsticking
52:54 54:54 FRA 2min 17   DARAMY Xavier Tripping
56:37 58:37 CAN 2min 15   HEATLEY Dany Tripping
59:04 60:00 FRA 2min 4   PRUNET Lilian Tripping

Goaltenders CAN 35   GIGUERE J S
Gardiennes de but FRA LHENRY Fabrice

Shots on Goal Team

1 p

2 p

3 p


Shots on Goal CAN




Tirs au but FRA





Referee/Arbitre LOOKER Rick
Linesmen/Juges des lignes MAKAROV Pavel, POUZAR Roman

Attendance/Assistance 6629
For more information:
Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations