Canada into quarters of 2012 IIHF World Championship
HELSINKI – Canada defeated Kazakhstan 8-0 in the first ever meeting between the two countries at the World Championship to confirm a quarter-finals date next Thursday.
Devan Dubnyk blocked all 24 shots to record his first career World Championship shutout for the victors. Canada fired 58 shots at two Kazakh goalies.
“As far as scoring chances go, it was easy,” Dubnyk said, “but I don’t know if that makes it easier to get a shutout. Anytime you can keep them all out, it’s good, regardless of who the opponent.”
Defenceman Dion Phaneuf had two goals while Duncan Keith and Ryan Getzlaf had three assists each. In all, 15 players recorded a point.
“Back to back games are always a little challenging,” said Duncan Keith, “but I think we did a good job of sticking with the program. They came hard, and it was a tough first period.”
Canada improves its record to 5-0-1-0, good for 16 points while the Kazakhs sit in eighth and last place with one point on a winless record of 0-0-1-5. At this point, the team is in jeopardy of being relegated. They will have to upset Finland in regulation on Monday and then hope Belarus loses its last two games, a scenario that isn’t likely.
“We had no emotion, so it was a tough game, a lousy game by both teams,” offered Konstantin Pushkaryov. “The Canadians didn’t even try, and we didn’t do anything, didn’t even score a goal. We weren’t strong enough mentally.”
Canada got the only goal in a tepid first period. It came on the power play, the first of two in the period for Canada, on a nice turnaround pass from captain Ryan Getzlaf to Phaneuf. Phaneuf moved in from the point and ripped a slapshot over the glove of goalie Vitali Kolesnik.
Early in the second period, Roman Savchenko had a glorious chance to tie the game. Goalie Devan Dubnyk made a save off a routine shot from the side but kicked the puck into the slot right onto Savchenko’s stick. The puck was bouncing, so Savchenko’s shot rolled high over the net.
But for less spin on that little black disc, the game would have been tied. But it wasn’t, and Canada pounced. Corey Perry made it 2-0 when he beat defenceman Sergei Yakovenko to the outside and then curled around the net instead of shooting, fooling Kolesnik in the process. Perry tucked the puck in the far side at 12:05 to make it 2-0.
Alexandre Burrows then made it 3-0 on a nice short-handed effort. Jordan Eberle was nailed in the centre-ice area and drew a penalty, but Burrows collected the puck and took a shot that bounced off Kolesnik’s glove and in. It was a short-handed goal and gave Canada the cushion it needed to enjoy the third period.
Canada opened a huge lead with three quick goals early in the third, chasing Kolesnik from the net in the process. Vitali Yeremeyev came on in relief and allowed the final two goals.
The lop-sided game allowed Canada’s coach Brent Sutter to give some players additional ice time, notably the fourth line of Burrows, Jamie Benn, and Teddy Purcell, as well as teen defenceman Ryan Murray. No player reached 18 minutes of game action.
Canada has two days off now before finishing its round robin with a game against Belarus on Tuesday. The Kazakhs play Finland on Monday.