The winning streak just keeps on going.
The Canadians haven’t lost a game in close to two years at the World Hockey Championships (knock on wood), and they continued their winning ways – and their offensive show of force – Saturday after picking up a relatively easy 5-0 victory against the Slovaks.
It was the fifth consecutive game – sixth overall going back to least year’s tournament – in which Canada scored at least five goals. And as it has been for much of this year’s tournament, Canada once again thrived off a balanced attack as 11 different players picked up at least a point in the game, while only two picked up multiple points.
Morgan Reilly got the score fest started 11:09 into the first period, with Derick Brassard drawing an assist (his ninth point of the tournament) on what would stand up as the game-winning-goal. Matt Duchene added to the Canadian lead with 1:30 remaining in the period, picking up his seventh point to put him two behind Brassard and three behind the tournament leader Vadim Shipachyov.
Continuing the theme of great individual performances this tournament, Taylor Hall scored Canada’s third goal of the game – his tournament-leading sixth – just three minutes into the second period to take the life out of the Slovakian team and make the remaining period-and-a-half a mere formality.
Still, that didn’t keep the Canadians from adding to the score, putting up two goals before the game was over. One of those came courtesy of Mark Scheifele, with Mark Stone drawing his second of two assists in the game, while Brassard netted Canada’s fifth goal, also his second point, of the game. In net, Cam Talbot was solid, stopping all 18 shots he faced (including 11 in the second period alone) to pick up his fourth win and second shutout of the tournament.
Canada now goes into its two remaining games – against France and Finland – still tied with the Finns atop the Group B standings at 5-0. Before closing out its round robin against the Canadians, Finland also plays Slovakia Sunday afternoon.