International Ice Hockey Federation

Canada rolls along, 6-0

Big Mac attack continues in one-sided win

Published 08.05.2017 20:14 GMT+2 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Canada rolls along, 6-0
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 8: Canada's Mark Scheifele #55 stick handles the puck while Belarus's Sergei Drozd #13 stick checks during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Nathan MacKinnon kept his hot hand going, scoring two more goals and adding a great assist. Mitch Marner added two signature helpers of his own.

Canada continued its dominance over Belarus, winning for the tenth straight time in World Championship competition without a loss. 

The win keeps Canada atop the Group B standings with a perfect 3-0 record while Belarus falls to 0-3 and in desperate need of some points to avoid relegation.

Brayden Point started and finished the scoring, and Jeff Skinner had a goal and two assists.

MacKinnon now leads the tournament in goals with five, and he, Skinner, and defenceman Tyson Barrie all have seven points, second behind Russia's Artemi Panarin.

"We had a good power play," MacKinnon said. "I managed to find the high glove again, a good pass from Marnsie, pretty much the same play. Obviously, with the linemates I have, the power play we have, and the opportunity I’m getting from the coaching staff, it makes it easy for me."

Cal Pickard earned the shutout this afternoon by stopping just 13 shots.

"We have to play a perfect game to keep the score tight," said Belarus forward Charles Linglet. "Rule number one is to not take too many penalties. We did it against the Czechs, and we were doing it again today. It’s something we’ve got to rectify, because we’re not going to win a game if we keep doing this."

It was clear from the outset that Belarus had no answer for Canada’s puck pressure. And, when Canada had the puck, the players showed creativity and imagination in making short, crisp passes, creating all kinds of scoring chances.

Belarus goalie Mikhail Karnaukhov was peppered with 45 shots, many of them good scoring chances.

Canada led 1-0 after the first period, but the score didn’t come close to telling the story of puck possession by Canada. Belarus was simply happy when it cleared its end or managed a distant and harmless shot on Cal Pickard.

That first goal came off a nice pass by Marner to Brayden Point in the slot. He took aim and drilled a shot over the shoulder of Karnaukhov at 5:08.

MacKinnon scored a pair of goals in the second. The first, at 4:20 on the power play, was an exact replica of one he scored yesterday from the left faceoff dot. He cradled the puck, then wired a snap shot to the top corner over the goalie’s glove.

The second was the result of some terrible luck by Belarus. First, Artyom Demkov broke his stick, and as Canada passed the puck around taking advantage of the situation, the puck bounced off Demkov’s skate and went right to the goal line. MacKinnon poked it home for his fifth goal in the last five periods of play.

And just to show he's not all shot, MacKinnon took a pass at centre ice early in the third, went deep, and pushed a lovely pass out to Jeff Skinner at the blue ice. Skinner roofed the puck at 7:01 of the third to make it 4-0.

"He’s a fantastic player," Point said of MacKinnon. "You see the couple of shots he had in this game and the game previous, the goalie doesn’t even move on them, they’re so hard and accurate. The play I liked best today was his assist when he broke down the wall, beat a couple of guys, and then put it on Skin’s stick for the goal. He’s a fun player to watch."

Over the second and third periods the Belarussians took six successive penalties as they just couldn't keep up. Canada got another goal at 10:16 as a result. Just as Pavel Vorobei came out of the box for serving another delay of game penalty--the team's second of the day--Claude Giroux snapped a rebound past Karnaukhov to make it 5-0.

Point added his second on a nice toe drag and hitting the same spot over Karnaukhov's shoulder as he did the first time. The goal, at 14:42, made it 6-0. 

Canada now has some time off and doesn’t play again until Thursday in a much-anticipated match against hosts France. Belarus has one day off and plays Switzerland on Wednesday.

"It’s going to be a big test against France," MacKinnon noted. "We’re excited. My first year [2014], we lost to France in Minsk. Every year, it’s a one- or two-goal game against these guys. It’s going to be tough."