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Eberle leads Canada to opening victory

by Jen Sharpe / Edmonton Oilers
Jordan Eberle of Canada (L) celebrates with his teammate John Tavares (C) after he scored during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship group B match Canada vs Belarus on April 29, 2011 in Kosice city, Slovakia.Canada defeated Belarus 4-1.(MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)    
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Three Oilers players are representing their respective countries at the IIHF World Championships in Slovakia. Check regularly for updates as we provide daily reports on their progress.

The first game involving the Oilers took place Friday, April 29 in Kosice.


After going 2-for-2 in exhibition games vs France and the Czech Republic, Team Canada opened the tournament in similar style: with a 4-1 victory over Belarus.

Young Oilers forward Jordan Eberle led Canada with two goals, securing the early top spot on the tournament's leaderboard.

The first marker came less than two minutes into the game. With help from Evander Kane and Mario Scalzo, Eberle tapped the puck past Belarusian goaltender Andrei Mezin.

The Belarusians countered in the period's dying minute, but Canada swiftly recovered, scoring their second goal near the game's midway point and their third early in the final frame.

With 11:21 remaining in regulation, Eberle stepped up again. Capitalizing on a clipping penalty to Belarus' Sergei Demagin, Canada swarmed Mezin and Eberle capped the aggressive offensive effort with his second goal of the game.

Other key contributors for Canada were John Tavares and Jeff Skinner, who scored the middle two goals and assisted on eachother's markers. Tavares tallied an impressive seven shots on net, an accomplishment matched only by Belarusian star Mikhail Grabovski, and was named Canada's player of the game.

With 21 saves on 22 shots, Canadian netminder James Reimer earned the 'W.' Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk did not appear between the pipes.


Oilers forward Magnus Paajarvi will join Team Sweden for its first game Saturday, April 30 vs Norway. (Photo by Getty Images)
Canada enjoys a one-day break before returning to action Sunday vs France. The game starts at 8:15am MT and will be broadcast on TSN.

Meanwhile, Oilers forward Magnus Paajarvi makes his 2011 Worlds debut Saturday. Donning the brightly-coloured "tre kronor" jersey, Paajarvi will join Team Sweden in its effort to defeat Scandinavian rivals Norway. That game starts at 12:15pm MT and will be webcast live

As always, follow the official Oilers Twitter account for updates on Oilers efforts in Slovakia, and visit for a game recap of each Team Canada and Team Sweden game. 

(all times mountain)

Friday, April 29:

Canada 4 - Belarus 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Saturday, April 30:

Sweden vs. Norway - 12:15 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sunday, May 1:

Canada vs. France - 8:15 a.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Monday, May 2:

Sweden vs. Austria - 12:15 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Tuesday, May 3:

Canada vs. Switzerland - 8:15 a.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Wednesday, May 4:

Sweden vs. USA - 12:15 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

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