DUCHENE SCORES TWICE; CANADA SECURES SPOT IN SEMIS
TORONTO – Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL) scored twice, Corey Perry (Peterborough, Ont./Anaheim, NHL) and Patrice Bergeron (Ancienne-Lorette, Que./Boston, NHL) once each and Canada defeated the United States 4-2 Thursday night at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
With the win Canada clinched a spot in the semifinals and eliminated the United States from contention.
Carey Price (Anahim Lake, B.C./Montreal, NHL) made 34 saves for his second straight win.
Not much needs to be said when it’s Canada versus the United States. Even when nothing is on the line neither side has trouble getting up to play the other. Just over a week ago the two teams played two less-than-friendly pre-tournament games.
A tough, physical match was expected tonight, especially with the Americans’ tournament on the line. What probably wasn’t expected was that before the game was even seven minutes old, seven shots on net would result in three goals.
Canada found itself down early. Ryan McDonagh banged home a loose puck down low only 4:22 into the game.
A minute and a half later Marc-Édouard Vlasic’s (Montreal, Que./San Jose, NHL) point shot went wide left off the end boards and back out around the other side of the net. An open Duchene quickly backhanded the puck in.
Only 14 seconds after that, Logan Couture (London, Ont./San Jose, NHL) drove down the wing and threw the puck on net. Jonathan Quick’s attempt to bat the shot with his blocker resulted in the puck going off Perry and in.
Just past the midway point of the period, Duchene picked up his second goal of the game. A bad turnover by the Americans in their own zone allowed Brent Burns (Barrie, Ont./San Jose, NHL) to feed Duchene, who deked one defender then went five-hole on Quick.
The lead grew to three in the second period. John Tavares (Mississauga, Ont./New York Islanders, NHL)– celebrating his 26th birthday on Tuesday – absolutely undressed defenceman Matt Niskanen; the puck then went off Bergeron’s skate, then McDonagh’s and in.
Seemingly living the adage, ‘you’ve got to be good to be lucky,’ Canada enjoyed some friendly home-ice bounces in the third period. The Americans rang two shots off the post, and had a third go off Price’s glove, hit the post but stay out.
From the side of the net, T.J. Oshie got one back for the U.S. late in regulation
Canada wraps up preliminary play on Wednesday against Team Europe (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). To the winner of the game goes top spot in Group A.