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Canada stays on roll at worlds

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators centre Jason Spezza of Team Canada gets a pass away as Juha Kaunismaki of Norway defends while lying on the ice during their qualification-round game Sunday at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Switzerland. Canada cruised to a 5-0 victory to stay unbeaten (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images).

Consider the preliminaries all but officially finished for Team Canada.

After disposing of Norway 5-1 on Sunday at the Arena Zurich-Kloten, the Canadians will now prime themselves for the serious stuff at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Switzerland.

Canada is a perfect 5-0 so far in the tournament, outscoring its foes 32-6. But Monday's qualification-round finale against Finland figures to be the start of a tougher stretch of tests heading into the playoff rounds.

Once again, there was a Senators element to the Canadian scoring summary. Jason Spezza scored his fifth goal of the tournament 37 seconds into the second period, with Ottawa teammate Mike Fisher earning an assist. That pushed the Canadian advantage to 4-1.

Only Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who notched his sixth goal of these worlds in the first period, has more goals for Canada in the competition than Spezza. Matthew Lombardi of the Phoenix Coyotes, Dan Hamhuis of the Nashville Predators and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings also scored for Canada against Norway.

Canada closes out qualification-round play Monday against Finland (2:15 p.m., TSN). Then it's on to the quarter-finals, set for Wednesday and Thursday.

In relegation-round play, Denmark whipped Hungary 5-1 in Kloten to move one step closer to staying in the A pool for the 2010 worlds in Germany .

The Danes, whose roster includes Binghamton Senators forward Peter Regin, can avoid relegation to the B group with a win over Austria on Monday. Denmark has been an A pool regular since 2003.

For a complete 2009 world hockey championship schedule, click here.

For more pictures from the tournament, view our photo gallery here.

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