It’s not a star-studded NHL-loaded roster like the Canadians’ entry, but the Kazakhs do have 12 KHL skaters making up the talent on their World Championship roster. They pestered the Americans one day earlier, giving them all they could handle in a 60-minute bout, but it still registered as a loss to the better team.
At the very least, they stayed in it. And for 30 minutes Saturday at the Hartwall Arena, they had a chance in this one, too. But that was it, as Canada built up a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes, then scored three in 50 seconds early in the third en route to a dominant 7-0 rout over Kazakhstan.
It was the teams' first-ever meeting at the World Championship.
Canada remains in the Helsinki Group’s top spot with six wins -- all but one in regulation time -- for 16 points.
Jordan Eberle led the way for the Oilers, recording two assists, three shots on goal and a +2 rating in 10:51 of ice time. Not to be outdone, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added a late goal on his lone shot, two penalty minutes and a +1 rating in 15:28.
No. 93 was also even in the dot, posting a 3-3 record against his opponents.
Devan Dubnyk made his second start of the tournament. He wasn’t overly busy, tested with a mere 24 Kazakh attempts, but he answered them all in earning the shutout win.
With Kazakhstan’s Sergei Yakovenko in the box serving a hooking minor, Canada grabbed a 1-0 lead. On the power-play, captain Ryan Getzlaf carried the puck down low, spun and dished a pass back to the point where Dion Phaneuf stepped into a one-timer. No. 3 connected at the top of the circle, blasting it past Vitali Kolesnik at 15:45 on the red and white’s 16th shot.
Canada held an 11-shot advantage through 20 minutes.
At 12:05 of the second period, it became a 2-0 game. Jay Bouwmeester and Duncan Keith combined to spring Corey Perry up ice. The Anaheim Duck raced in, one-on-one, against Kazakh defenceman Konstantin Romanov. With a subtle back-and-forth move to fool him, Perry stepped around the net and succeeded with a wraparound move to establish a two-goal lead.
Perry was later assessed a slashing penalty, but it didn’t stop the Canadians’ relentless attack. 1:04 into the kill, Alex Burrows put his club up 3-0. And talk about taking a hit to make a play, as Vladislav Kolesnikov pounded Eberle with a vicious (but clean) open-ice hit by. But, No. 14 successfully advanced the puck in the process, earning an assist on the goal.
Evander Kane, John Tavares and Teddy Purcell each scored early in the third, only 50 seconds apart (the latter pair coming in an eight-second span) as the score arrived in blowout territory, 6-0.
On Tavares’ 5-0 marker, Eberle picked up another assist. The 21-year-old walked from the corner, drove hard to the slot and dished a backhand pass to the doorstep. Tavares made no mistake, potting the puck into the open cage.
With the score at a six-goal Canadian advantage, Kazakh Head Coach Scott Gordon prompted a goalie change. Having made only 34 saves on 40 shots, Kolesnik was replaced with Vitali Yeremeyev. But it didn’t help much, as Phaneuf cashed another 2:06 later to make it a 7-0 game.
Nugent-Hopkins snapped one by Yeremeyev at 16:13 to round out the scoring.
Canada gets back in action Tuesday vs. Belarus to conclude the preliminary round. Puck drop is at 3:15am MT.
ROUND ROBIN SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times mountain) Friday, May 4: