Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Beats Belarus 9-0 at Worlds, Will Face Czechs in Semifinals

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Beats Belarus 9-0 at Worlds, Will Face Czechs in Semifinals

Article excerpt

Canada into semis with 9-0 rout of Belarus

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PRAGUE - After five straight disappointing quarter-final defeats at the world hockey championship, Canada wasted little time ensuring there would not be a sixth early exit.

Defenceman Brent Burns scored just 27 seconds into the game en route to a four-point night, and Canada set the tone early in a dominant 9-0 thrashing of Belarus in a world championship quarter-final Thursday.

"We wanted to start quickly," said coach Todd McLellan. "We thought that some of the games that the Belarusians won, they were comfortable early.

"Sometimes the plan doesn't go as laid out, but tonight it did. We scored right on the very first shift then had some good shifts after that so we had a chance to push a team back that maybe wasn't sure of themselves."

The impressive offensive showing moved Canada into the semifinals for the first time in six years. Canada will next face the Czech Republic on Saturday after the hosts beat Finland 5-3 in a later semifinal.

"We had the opportunity to play a very hard game against the Czech team (in the preliminary round)," McLellan said. "Their advantage is playing in this building with their rabid fans behind them and the energy that they bring."

Canada rolled through the preliminary round of the tournament with a perfect record but wanted to avoid complacency heading into the playoffs, where one bad game can end a team's gold-medal hopes. Thursday's fast start went a long way to prevent a letdown.

"That was one thing that we wanted to make sure that we did," said defenceman Aaron Ekblad. "If you remember against Sweden (where Canada fell behind 3-0 in the first period), one of the main topics for us is to get a good start."

Burns led Canada with two goals and two assists. Forward Tyler Seguin added three goals to tie for the tournament lead with eight, while Ryan O'Reilly scored twice. …

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