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Canada opens under-18 world hockey championship with 11-2 rout of Germany

NHL.com @NHL

FARGO, N.D. - Canada only needed one dominant period to set the tone Thursday at the world under-18 hockey championship.

Bryan Froese of the WHL's Everett Silvertips scored three goals, two of those coming in a seven-goal second period that propelled the defending-champion Canadians to a tournament-opening 11-2 rout of Germany.

Canada overcame a shaky first period against the Germans, taking the lead for good when Froese and Sudbury Wolves phenom John McFarland scored 48 seconds apart early in the second. Ethan Werek of the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs made it 4-1 shortly after, and the Canadians added four more goals in a 7 1/2-minute stretch in the second half of the period against a shell shocked German team.

Canadian head coach Mike Johnston applauded his team for turning it on after struggling through a first period that saw the teams tied 1-1.

"We were pushed really hard in the first period," said Johnston, the head coach of the WHL's Portland Winter Hawks. "I was really pleased with how we responded to what was happening.

"This is when lines and defence pairs are starting to jell. Everything is new, and players are trying to get used to each other. I was happy with what I saw tonight."

Froese, who had 57 points in 72 games with the Silvertips this season, opened the scoring on a power-play midway through the first period. With Tobias Reider in the penalty box for tripping, Froese beat German netminder Dustin Haloschan at 9:55.

The Germans took advantage of their own power play opportunity less than four minutes later, as Matthias Plachta beat Canadian goalie Michael Zador with Kyle Clifford of the OHL's Barrie Colts serving a high-sticking minor.

Any momentum the Germans had built through 20 minutes evaporated when Froese and MacFarland scored quick goals in the second. Werek added a power-play goal, and Landon Ferraro of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels - the son of former NHL forward Ray Ferraro - extended the lead to 5-1 at 11:44.

Werek scored his second of the night at 14:10, Cody Eakin of the WHL's Swift Current Broncos gave Canada a 7-1 advantage at 15:05 and Froese completed his hat trick at 19:07. The Canadians finished the period with seven goals on just nine shots.

"We talked a lot before the game about respecting our opponent, and I thought we did that," said Johnston. "Give them credit for how they came out - they pressed hard on the forecheck.

"I think the key thing was that we scored early and started building momentum from there. They were sort of hesitant to play the same style they had in the first period, and if they had stayed with it longer, it would have been better for them and more difficult for us."

Lukas Steinhauer took over goaltending duties in the third period after Haloschan surrendered eight goals on 20 shots. Steinhauer finished with seven saves, allowing goals to Eakin, Curtis Hamilton of the WHL's Saskatoon Blades and Brett Connolly of the WHL's Prince George Cougars.

Marcel Ohmann added a third-period goal for Germany.

The other Pool B game saw Sweden trounce the Czech Republic 7-0. Magnus Svensson Paajarvi led the way with two goals and an assist for the Swedes, while Calle Jarnkrok, Jacob Josefson, Tim Erixon, Fredrik Styrman and Carl Klingberg added singles.

Later Thursday, Finland took on Russia and the host Americans faced Norway in Pool B action.

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