VANCOUVER (CP) - Canada put the clamps down on defense with a 4-0 shutout of Norway on Thursday night. Meanwhile, Russia defeated Latvia, 3-1.
The Canadians (3-0) secured at least second place in Group A with the victory.The host team can turn its attention to a long-awaited showdown with the U.S. to conclude the preliminary round on Saturday.
First place in the pool will likely be on the line and the team that earns it gets a bye to the semifinals. Team USA (2-0) will take on the Swiss (1-1) today, while Canada has the day off.
Cam Barker, David Bolland, team captain Kyle Chipchura and defenseman Luc Bourdon scored for Canada.
Michael Blunden and Jonathan Toews each had two assists.
Canada outshot Norway 50-13 and Justin Pogge picked up the shutout and his third win of the tournament for Canada.
Bourdon took a Toews pass from the opposite boards and his shot from the faceoff circle beat Norwegian goalie Lars Haugen high stick-side at 16:41 of the second period. It was Bourdon's first goal of the tournament.
Toews made a smart feed from the back boards out front to Chipchura, who beat Haugen with a backhand at 15:16.
Bolland and Dustin Boyd banged away at a rebound on Kris Letang's shot from the blue-line and Bolland got it by Haugen's outstretched leg for Bolland's third of the tournament.
Canada killed off 13 Norwegian power plays and scored twice with a man advantage.
Meanwhile, the Russians downed Latvia, 3-1 in Kamloops Thursday night, after notching two goals six seconds apart to start the game. On the power play, Evgeni Malkin took a pass from Denis Bodrov deep in the Latvian zone and with no defenders to hinder him, he slid a backhander under Avotins at 3:54.
Then off the ensuing faceoff, Nikolai Lemtyugov picked up the loose puck, slipped through two Latvian defenders and shoved the puck one-handed past Avotins, who had come out of his net to attempt a poke-check. Lemtyugov added a second goal for a 3-0 lead. Jurijs Klujevskis scored for Latvia.