KAZAN, Russia - Taylor Hall of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires had a goal and three assists as Canada opened the world under-18 hockey championship with a convincing 9-2 win over Germany on Sunday.
"We made some progress today, we had a good team outing, we did a lot of good things that were necessary and it's a step towards the direction we want to go" said Canadian team coach Pat Quinn, the former NHL player and longtime NHL head coach. "One game doesn't do much but it's a good way to start.
"All in all, I was very happy. I don't mind that the guys scored that well because it's good for our confidence and we hope to build off of that."
Jordan Eberle of the WHL's Regina Pats added two goals and an assist while Eric O'Dell of the OHL's Sudbury Wolves had a goal and two assists and captain Cody Hodgson of the OHL's Brampton Battalion registered three assists for Canada. Nicolas Deschamps of Chicoutimi of the QMJHL, with two, Tyler Myers of the WHL's Kelowna Rockets and Windsor teammates Ryan Ellis and Greg Nemisz had the other goals for the Canadians.
Jake Allen of St. John's of the QMJHL stopped 13 shots in goal.
The Canadians took control of the contest in the second, outscoring Germany 4-1 to take a commanding 6-1 advantage into the third.
"That was our big period," Hodgson said. "The first period was alright, we were just kind of feeling out the competition.
"In the second, we came out and skated and tried our best and it worked out for us."
But Quinn was especially impressed with the Canadian team's play without the puck.
"Early on we were working hard when we had it but when we lost the puck we were kind of just drifting a little bit," he said. "Our forwards did a much better job of pursuit after the puck was lost and support for our defence.
"As a result we were much closer together as far as being five-man units and what happened out of that was good defence created good offence and we had a lot of chances. If our shooting was good we probably could've had 20 goals tonight."
In other tournament action, Sweden defeated Belarus 6-2, Russia beat Slovakia 6-4 and the U.S. dispatched Switzerland 7-2.
Canada's next game is against Denmark on Tuesday, which is fine with Quinn.
"With the travel over and a really early rise yesterday to come out of Minsk into here and a bunch of plane trouble and all the things that went on they didn't get as much sleep as you'd like to get.
"Some of the kids are still trying to adjust to the time here, which is eight hours out of Toronto, but we've got nine Western boys so add two to three hours there so we're almost reverse on the clock. This will help us and we're going to give the kids some time to rest. And, of course, we also have some obligations, too, we've also got study time to look after so we're going to look after our duty that way."