Gabriel Bourque scored three goals and added four assists as Canada opened the 2010 world junior championship with a 16-0 rout of Latvia. Bourque's seven point outburst tied Team Canada's record for scoring in a world junior game. The score represented the largest shutout victory ever for Canda at the tournament.
Kings prospect Brandon Kozun added 2-3=5 while Brayden Schenn tallied two assists.
Bourque scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal just 36 seconds into the game. Late in the third period, when his pursuit of the scoring mark was the only drama left, Bourque flipped a shot from the side of the net that bounced off the skate of Latvian defenceman Ralfs Freibergs and into the net.
It was that kind of day for Bourque and Team Canada.
"It feels pretty good," Bourque told TSN after the game. "It was just the first game of the tournament and I don't want to go too high. It's just the first game. I'm excited but I have to focus on the next game."
The seven points put Bourque in company with Mike Cammalleri and Dave Andreychuk. His linemates, Brandon Kozun and Patrice Cormier, had five points each.
The chemistry was amazing considering the three were only put together after the pre-competition games.
"You have to keep in mind that this was against Latvia," said TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie. "But that was part of the goal for Team Canada when they put this line together, to try and create more offensive upside for what is normally regarded as a checking line."
Bourque's second goal came on the powerplay, shortly after Nazem Kadri had also put one home with the man advantage, and it gave Canada a 3-0 edge less than seven minutes into the game.
Latvia pulled starting goaltender Raimonds Ermics at 9:09 of the first, and replacement Janis Kalnins quickly coughed up a goal to Luke Adam that made it 4-0 Canada. Cormier made it 5-0 with his first of two before the first period was done.
It got worse for Latvia in the second period as Jordan Eberle scored twice to lead a six goal assault. Travis Hamonic, Kadri, Kozun and Adam Henrique added singles to make it 11-0 through 40 minutes.
Adam, Cormier and McMillan scored again in the third, along with Brandon McMillan, leaving the final heroics up to Bourque.
Jake Allen started in goal for Canada, which has not lost a tournament opener for 13 years now. Allen only had to make 10 saves for the shutout. Canada fired 67 shots at the Latvian net.
Notes: Latvia's Player of the Game was Eriks Sevcenko while Bourque was the obvious choice for Canada... Kadri earned a penalty for head-checking, something new for the tournament this year. He received a two-minute minor and an automatic 10 minute misconduct... Canada's next game is against Switzerland Monday at 3:30pm et/12:30pm pt on TSN, TSN HD and TSN.ca.
Canada 16, Latvia 0
1. Canada - Bourque (Ellis, Cormier), 0:36.
2. Canada - Kadri (Pietrangelo, Hall) PP, 4:22
3. Canada - Bourque (Schenn), PP, 6:39
4. Canada - Adam (Della Rovere), 11:43
5. Canada - Cormier (Hamonic, Bourque), 17:52
6. Canada - Eberle (McMillan, Pietrangelo), 4:49
7. Canada - Hamonic (Pietrangelo), 9:28
8. Canada - Kadri (Hall), 10:26
9. Canada - Kozun (Bourque, Schenn) PP, 18:50
10. Canada - Eberle (Pietrangelo) PP, 19:40
11. Canada - Henrique (Bourque), 19:57
12. Canada - Cormier (Kozun), 1:33.
13. Canada - McMillan (Kozun, Adam) PP, 4:35
14. Canada - Kozun (Cormier, Bourque), 9:19
15. Canada - Bourque (Kozun), 18:28
16. Canada - Adam (Caron, Della Rovere), 19:32
Canada – Jake Allen.
Latvia – Raimonds Ermics (out at 9:09 of 1st), Janis Kalnins.