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Spezza provides early spark in Canada's rout

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza provided an early spark for Canada on a Sunday afternoon in Slovakia.


The Ottawa Senators centre set up a first-period goal by Marc-Andre Gragnani of the Buffalo Sabres, then found the back of the net himself as Canada rolled past France 9-1 for its second straight victory at the IIHF 2011 World Hockey Championship.

While Canada only edged the French 3-2 in a pre-tournament game in Paris, it didn't need long to open the offensive floodgates at the Steel Arena in Kosice. Gragnani struck on the power play just 1:02 into the first period, then Spezza fired home his first goal of the tournament at the 6:35 mark. Jeff Skinner of the Hurricanes hit the scoresheet before the period ended on the rout was on.

Skinner added a second goal in the third period, while Chris Stewart and Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues, Brent Burns of the Minnesota Wild, Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils also scored for Canada. Pierre Edouard Bellemare replied for France, whose roster includes Senators rookie forward Stephane da Costa.

Canada closes out preliminary round play Tuesday against Switzerland (10:15 a.m., TSN).


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