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Canada Remains Perfect Through Five Games

by Ryan Boulding / Colorado Avalanche

CANADA (5) VS. SLOVAKIA (0)

Hockey Canada remained perfect at the 2016 IIHF World Championship after the team shutout Slovakia 5-0 on Saturday at the Yubileiny Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Canadians continued to show their offensive prowess, potting two tallies in the first period, another pair in the second and one more in the final frame to cap off the victory.

Team Canada forward Matt Duchene registered his third marker of the competition when he beat Slovakian netminder Julius Hudacek to give the Canadians a 2-0 lead 18:30 into the opening stanza.

Duchene finished the match with the goal, two penalty minutes, three shots and a plus-1 rating through 15:52 of playing time.

The 25-year-old center ranks ninth in the tournament field with seven points (three goals, four assists) in five contests. He’s tied for second on Team Canada in goals (3) and assists (4).

Canada (5-0-0-0) takes on France (1-1-0-3) on Monday.


SWEDEN (3) VS. NORWAY (2)

Sweden continued to hold sway near the top of the standings in Group A after toppling Norway 3-2 at the Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday.

After a first period that saw only penalties, the Swedes got on the board just 56 seconds into the middle frame to take the lead.

Two more tallies in the third proved more than Norway could muster, though the Norwegians did mount a comeback bid that fell just short. After going down 2-0, Norway retaliated to put the game within one.

Sweden countered with the eventual game-winner to make the contest a 3-1 affair, but forward Andreas Martinsen found twine with 1:58 to play and an extra attacker on the ice to breathe new life into the match.

The defeat hurt the Norwegians (1-1-0-3) as they had an opportunity to move as high as fourth place in Group A with a win. Instead, the club sits in seventh place with two games remaining in the preliminary round.

Martinsen finished the contest with the goal and one shot in 17:51 of ice time.

Swedish rear guard Anton Lindholm didn’t dress in the match. He has yet to make his debut at the tournament and remains on the practice squad.

Sweden (3-1-0-1) faces Switzerland (1-1-2-1) on Sunday in its second back-to-back set of the opening round. Norway has a day off before playing Russia (4-0-0-1) on Monday.


FINLAND (3) VS. FRANCE (1)

Finland kept pace with the Canadians at the top of the standings for Group B on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over France at the Yubileiny Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Finns put three markers in the back of the net in a 9:50 burst in the middle period to take a lead that would never falter.

France found the scoresheet once in the final frame to end Finland’s shutout bid, but that’s the only offense the national team could manage.

Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen did not dress in the contest and has yet to see any ice time at the competition.

Finland (5-0-0-0) concludes its second back-to-back set of the World Championship this weekend when it meets Slovakia (2-0-0-3) on Sunday.


RUSSIA (5) VS. SWITZERLAND (1)

Host-nation Russia stayed near the top of the Group A standings on Saturday after a 5-1 triumph over Switzerland at the Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia.

The Russians got on the board at the 5:13 mark of the opening period and failed to surrender that lead for the duration of the match.

The club tallied once more in the second and thrice in the third to seal the victory.

The Swiss ended Russia’s shutout bid with a marker of their own with 1:16 left in the contest.

Switzerland netminder Reto Berra was between the pipes for the matchup and turned aside 33 shots in the loss.

The Swiss (1-1-2-1) hold fourth place in Group A and take on the Swedes (3-1-0-1) on Sunday.

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