Canada rout Belarus to remain unbeaten at ice hockey world championships

Moscow (AFP) –


Defending champions Canada whitewashed Belarus 8-0 in their world championship Group B encounter to chalk up their third win in as many matches in Saint Petersburg on Monday.

Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly scored twice, while Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot made just 13 saves to pick up a shutout and to secure Canada's 13th consecutive win at the worlds.

Canada dominated the play but scored only once in the opening period through New York Rangers center Deric Brassard, who sent the puck home off his skipper Corey Perry's pass from behind the goal line.

Anaheim winger Perry, O'Reilly, Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene and Edmonton Oilers Taylor Hall added one apiece to give Canada a commanding 5-0 lead at the second intermission.

In the third Canada eased up pressure but scored on three more occasions as O'Reilly netted his second of the match while Mark Stone and Michael Matheson were also on target to complete the rout.

"There's a lot of offense, there's a lot of skill, there's a lot of youth," Perry said.

"I've said this in the very first day: we're excited to be here, put this jersey on, and play for our country."

In the late Group B match the 2011 champions Finland edged the United States 3-2 also to make it three wins from three.

Mikko Koivu and Antti Pihlstrom put Finland 2-0 ahead before Boston Bruins Frank Vatrano narrowed their lead in the first period.

Connor Murphy levelled 53sec into the third period but Leo Komarov netted Finland's winning goal in a powerplay at 44:16.

In the early Group A match in Moscow Chicago Black Hawks Artemi Panarin collected two goals and two assists, while Columbus keeper Sergei Bobrovski produced 27 saves to set Russia's 4-0 win over Latvia.

Russia outshot their rivals 13-7 in the first period but to no avail as Latvia's goaltender Elvis Merzlikins was in command of his net keeping it clean before the first interval.

Panarin put Russia in front 29sec into the second period when he sent the puck home with an angled slap shot off his captain Pavel Datsyuk's feeding pass.

Yevgeny Dadonov made it 2-0 at 27:34 sweeping the puck into unguarded post off a Vadim Shipachyov's short cross.

Shipachyov added his goal 7:02 into the third, while Panarin finished the scoring with his second of the match with 2:30 remaining.

"It's always pleasant to keep a clean sheet," Bobrovsky said. "But it's not just my personal achievement, its the result of the entire team's work.

"The guys did a great job today. They didn't give up. They got in front of the puck. They battled for everything."

In the last Moscow match the Czech Republic battled back from two goals down to overpower Sweden 4-2 to claim top spot in Group A.

Robert Rosen opened the score 9:15 into the match with a powerplay goal, while Martin Lundberg added a shorthanded goal with eight seconds remaining in the first period.

But the Czechs never gave up and replied with the goals by David Pastrnak, Jan Kovar and Michal Birner for a 3-2 lead in the second.

Birner scored his second of the match 14:32 into the third period to secure Czech Republic's well-deserved win.