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US, Canada Open Up With Wins

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Let the competition begin.

Eight teams dropped the puck Friday in Quebec City and Halifax, each looking to get off on the right foot in their preliminaries of the 2008 IIHF World Championships.

And in each of the four games, the games could be deemed blow outs. The closest game was a 5-2 victory for the Czech Republic over Denmark. Russia beat Italy 7-1 in the day’s most lopsided victory.

In matchups with Panthers players, the United States (David Booth and Craig Anderson) shut out Latvia 4-0 while Canada (Jay Bouwmeester) earned a 5-1 victory over Slovenia.

David Booth (Getty Images)
(Halifax) In the last game of the night, the US got all of their scoring off the man advantage. In fact all came with Latvia down one man and the US’s first power play unit on the ice.

LA King’s forward Dustin Brown put the United States on the board 7:21 into the first period while Chicago’s Calder Trophy hopeful Patrick Kane made the score 2-0 with his goal 8:44 into the second period.

The US then scored twice in the final period when New Jersey’s Zach Parise scored at 7:09 in and L.A’s Patrick O’Sullivan scored at 11:05.

Booth had six shots on net and saw 13:59 of ice time on the team’s first line with Brown and David Backes. Anderson served as Boston’s Tim Thomas’s backup.

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Jay Bouwmeester (Getty Images)
(Halifax) While the US outshot Latvia by 24, Canada absolutely pummeled Slovenia in their game. The Canadiens outshot Slovenia by 42, 65-23. It’s an absolutely astounding difference, especially with the final being only a 5-1 victory for Canada.

Dan Hamhuis netted the only goal of the first period 3:45 into the contest as the Canadiens threw 19 shots on Slovenian netminder Robert Kristan.

The Canadien offense then put 31 more shots on net in the second period as three of them crossed the goal line. Ottawa’s Dany Heatley scored his first of the game just 41 seconds in while Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis scored on the power play 10:18 in, giving Canada a 3-0 lead. L.A’s Anze Kopitar got the Slovenians on the board with a power play tally just 2:01 after St. Louis’ goal. But the Canadians regained their three goal lead when Heatley netted his second of the night with a power play goal with 4:53 left in the period.

Heatley would finish off the hat trick 10:25 into the final period of play as it also ended the scoring.

Bouwmeester and Phoenix (former Panther) Ed Jovanovski made up Canada’s first defensive pairing. Bouwmeester finished with two shots on net and 15:13 of ice time on 22 shifts.

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