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Canadian junior team hammers Red Bull Salzburg 5-0 in exhibition opener

NHL.com @NHL

SALZBURG, Austria - The Canadian national junior hockey team fought off the effects of a long flight and some jet lag to make quick work of Red Bull Salzburg in an exhibition game Monday.

Kyle Turris scored twice while goaltenders Steve Mason and Jonathan Bernier each made nine saves in a 5-0 victory in the first of three warmup contests for Canada leading up to the world junior championship.

"We missed a lot of chances, 5-0 was the score but it certainly could have been higher," said head coach Craig Hartsburg. "We learned some things, looked good and bad, and move on."

Riley Holzapfel, Luke Schenn and Steven Stamkos also scored for the Canadians, who left Calgary for Europe on Friday after the completion of their selection camp. They still play Slovakia on Thursday and Finland on Saturday before the Dec. 26-Jan. 5 championship opens in the Czech Republic.

Canada will be seeking a fourth straight gold medal at the tournament. It should get better tests in the two remaining exhibition tilts than was offered by Salzburg, which used a mix of senior second division players along with junior players.

"It was a tough day for our kids," said Hartsburg. "It was a day that kind of hit us with our travel, the jet lag and the tired, but they did a pretty good job of staying focused and trying to play well as a team.

"You're looking for system play that we've been talking about and doing little things right, changes and stuff and I thought the kids were focused on it."

The Canadians controlled play from start to finish, taking a 2-0 lead on goals 39 seconds apart midway through the first period by Holzapfel and Turris.

Turris and Schenn scored 1:03 apart early in the second to make it 4-0 before Stamkos capped the scoring at 3:03 of the third on the power play.

While there was plenty for Hartsburg to be happy about, he saw more than enough things to work on in practice the next couple of days.

"There's lots of little things that we're looking at," he said. "Small things within the game like getting on the right side of the puck, defensive side of the puck, more shots, I think we have up chances to shoot the puck too many times.

"Some of it is chemistry, the kids playing together for the first time, so we'll continue to work on those things."

Mason and Bernier split the playing time almost exactly down the middle in this one but will each get a full game before the tournament opens.

"Bernier will play the next game and Mason will play the last exhibition game, but both were solid tonight," said Hartsburg. "Not a lot of heavy shots and traffic and stuff like that but they were solid."

Thomas Honecki stopped 32 shots for Salzburg.

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