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Duchene, Canada Shutout Czech Republic

First day of World Cup also saw Europe beat USA

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

CANADA (6) VS. CZECH REPUBLIC (0)

Canada's offense performed like a well-oiled machine as it won 6-0 versus the Czech Republic in its first game of the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The Canadians had 50 shots in the contest, the second-most shots on goal by one team in a game in World Cup history. The Czech Republic holds that record with 56 shots on Sept. 3, 2004, against Germany.

The Czech could have used that kind of performance against tournament host Canada, which played solid defensively and only allowed 27 shots on goaltender Carey Price.

Avalanche forward Matt Duchene  finished the contest with an assist, two penalty minutes and a plus-1 rating in 11:11 of ice time. He played on a line with Joe Thornton and Ryan O'Reilly.

Canada was led by its top line of Sidney Crosby (one goal, two assists), Brad Marchand (one goal, two assists) and Patrice Bergeron (one goal), all of who scored in the opening period.

Duchene assisted on Thornton's second stanza goal at 7:22. Jonathan Toews and Alex Pietrangelo also netted markers.

EUROPE (3) VS. UNITED STATES (0)

Marian Gaborik scored 4:19 into the contest and Team Europe surprised the United States with 3-0 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre.

The U.S. outshot Europe 35-17, but it couldn't solve goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Team USA had a good push in the third period, registering 17 shots on net, but couldn't close the three-goal gap that was built after Europe's Leon Draisaitl and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's tallied in the second frame.

Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson  played 13:40 of the game for the Americans. He began the outing paired on the backend with Jack Johnson.

The United States now faces a tough challenge on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MT against Canada. It's a "must-win" game for the Americans, as a loss would certainly eliminate them from advancing to the World Cup of Hockey's semifinals.

Team Europe plays the Czech Republic at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

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