John McFarland had a hat trick as Canada routed host Belarus, 11-3, Thursday at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Ryan O'Connor scored twice and had an assist, and Greg McKegg had a goal and 3 assists as Canada rolled to its second straight victory since dropping its tournament opener to Switzerland.
Canada coach Guy Carbonneau feels his team finally is playing the way he wants it to heading into Friday's showdown with the U.S.
"For us, it was important to get a good start, which we did," said Carbonneau. "We came out really quick."
Canada scored three times in the first 5:24 of the game, and led 4-1 after one period.
Calvin Pickard, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American goaltending prospect for the 2010 Entry Draft, stopped 18 of 21 shots before being lifted in the third period with the score 9-3. Kent Simpson, ranked No. 3 by Central Scouting, stopped all five shots he faced in his first action of the tournament.
Canada, the U.S. and Switzerland are tied for second in Pool A with 1-1 records, behind 2-0 Sweden. Canada still can win the group if it beats the U.S. Friday and Sweden on April 18 in its final preliminary-round game.
In the only other game Thursday, Teemu Pulkkinen scored his second goal of the game 7:23 into the third period as Finland rallied from a 2-1 deficit for a 5-2 victory against Slovakia to stay unbeaten at 2-0.
Pulkkinen also had 2 assists, and Mikael Granlund Central Scouting's top-rated European skater for the June draft, had 2 goals and an assist. Pulkkinen's second straight 4-point game makes him the tournament's leading scorer with 8 points, and ties him for the tournament lead with 4 goals. Joonas Donskoi, rated No. 14 by Central Scouting, had 3 assists. Pulkkinen is No. 17 on Central Scouting's list.
Finland and Russia, both 2-0 in Pool B, play Friday.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org