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Canada Gets Convincing Win Over Team U.S.A.

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
In the first meeting between the two groups of Hurricanes players at the 2007 World Championship, Canada's Cam Ward, Eric Staal, Mike Commodore and Justin Williams earned the bragging rights over their American teammates.

Ward started in goal and made 31 saves, Eric Staal had two assists and Mike Commodore had one assist to help the Canadians get a 6-3 win in the final game of the tournament's qualifying round.  With the victory, undefeated Canada is the winner of Group F, while the U.S. will also advance to the quarterfinal knockout phase, which begins on Wednesday.

Team Canada appears to have come full circle from their sluggish start, where they looked less than dominant while narrowly beating Germany and Norway.  Their last two wins, against the Czech Republic and the U.S.A. in back-to-back days, are probably more along the lines of what they expected.

Canada's start in this game was anything but sluggish, with Jay McClement of the St. Louis Blues scoring only eight seconds in.  Canada would score three more times in the first period to build a 4-0 lead heading into the intermission.

The Calgary Flames' Matthew Lombardi was the offensive star for Team Canada with three goals, while the Los Angeles Kings' Michael Cammalleri had two, both in the first period.

Things weren't quite as bright for the Hurricanes on Team U.S.A.  John Grahame started in goal opposite of his partner Ward but gave up five goals in the first two periods, prompting U.S. coach Mike Sullivan to send backup Jason Bacashihua out to start the third period.  It was the first time all tournament that an American goalie other than Grahame appeared in game action.

Erik Cole also had a rough time, as he had to leave the game with an apparent lower-body injury after an unusual play in the second period.  With Canada's Jamal Mayers bent down to pick up his dropped stick, Cole inadvertently skated into him, causing Cole to crumple and immediately be helped off the ice.

While Ward made several good stops in his third appearance for team Canada this tournament, a few of the most notable came against teammate Chad LaRose.  In what is sure to be fodder for locker room conversation next season, Ward absolutely robbed LaRose with a shoulder save on a second period breakaway.  In the third period, Ward got caught out of his net on a failed clearing attempt, which went straight to a waiting LaRose.  Ward was able to get back into his net just in time to stop it.

Both teams will begin the single-elmination round on Thursday.  Canada will play Switzerland, while the U.S. will face Finland.  Be sure to check's World Championship Central for game times as well as updated statistics and photos.

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