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Bruins Off to Strong Starts At IIHF Men's World Championship

by Eric Russo / Boston Bruins

BostonBruins.comBrad Marchand is fresh off the best season of his career. The 5-foot-9, 181-pound winger led the Bruins with a career-best 37 goals, good for fifth-most in the NHL.

And while his Bruins campaign ended sooner than he would have liked, Marchand picked up right where he left off with a strong start at the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Russia.

Marchand tallied a goal in each of his first two games of the tournament to help propel Canada (3-0) to convincing victories over the United States and Hungary. Frank Vatrano (USA) and David Pastrnak (Czech Republic) have also been significant contributors to their teams during the preliminary round, combining for six points in six games.

In a 5-1 win over the U.S. on Friday, Marchand, who was a plus-3 in just over 14 minutes of ice time, capped the scoring with a shorthanded tally late in the third period. The 27-year-old grabbed the puck near his defensive blue line and surged past two defenders in the neutral zone before snapping one five-hole past U.S. goalie Keith Kinkaid.

Marchand notched his second goal of the tournament in a 7-1 victory over Hungary after taking a feed from Connor McDavid on a 2-on-1 and flipping it off the blocker of goalie Zoltan Hetenyi. He was held off the scoresheet in an 8-0 win over Belarus Monday.

Canada’s win over the United States also gave Marchand bragging rights over Bruins teammate Frank Vatrano, who registered two shots on goal in the loss. Vatrano then tallied two assists in a 6-3 win over Belarus on Saturday, before scoring in the United States’ 3-2 loss to Finland Monday afternoon.

Vatrano charged in over the blue line and ripped a slap shot from the top of the right circle that sailed through the five-hole of goalie Mikko Koskinen. The East Longmeadow, Mass. native is second on Team USA (1-2) with three points in three games.

Pastrnak assisted on Roman Cervenka’s goal that gave the Czech Republic (3-0) a two-goal lead en route to a 3-0 win over Russia in its opener Friday. He also had a helper on Tomas Plekanec’s opening goal in a 4-3 victory over Latvia Saturday.

The 19-year-old forward, who is second on the Czech Republic with three points, followed up a strong weekend performance by notching his team's first goal in a 4-2 win over Sweden on Monday. Pastrnak took a feed from Roman Cervenka, who was stationed behind the net, and one-timed it from the top of the crease to beat Jacob Markstrom.

SCHEDULE

(Preliminary round; all times EST)

Thursday, May 12

United States vs. France, 9:15 a.m. (NBCSN)

Czech Republic vs. Norway, 9:15 a.m.

Canada vs. Germany, 1:15 p.m.

Friday, May 13

United States vs. Hungary, 9:15 a.m. (NBCSN)

Czech Republic vs. Kazakhstan, 9:15 a.m.

Saturday, May 14

Canada vs. Slovakia, 1:15 p.m.

Sunday, May 15

United States vs. Germany, 9:15 a.m. (NBCSN at 3 p.m.)

Czech Republic vs. Denmark, 9:15 a.m.

Monday, May 16

Canada vs. France, 9:15 a.m.

Tuesday, May 17

United States vs. Slovakia, 5:15 a.m. (NBCSN)

Czech Republic vs. Switzerland, 5:15 a.m.

Canada vs. Finland, 1:15 p.m.

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