Dominating opener

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Pairing Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron as roommates and linemates is already paying dividends.

The dynamic duo produced three goals and six points as Canada cruised to a 6-0 triumph over Finland before a capacity crowd of 15,015 at the MTS Centre last night.

CANADA 6 FINLAND 0

"The tournament starts in four days, it's important these guys get a feel for how we're going to run the bench," said Team Canada head coach Brent Sutter. "To me, this is Game 1."

Canada opened the scoring with 25 seconds remaining in the first period as Crosby converted a crisp cross-crease pass from Bergeron 12 seconds into a power play.

Team Canada captain Mike Richards of Kenora, a force throughout the course of the night, was rewarded for his hard work with a goal at 7:40 of the second, banking his pass into the net off the skate of Finland goalie Joonas Hallikainen.

Richards created a plethora of chances with linemates Anthony Stewart and Winnipegger Nigel Dawes and was called upon to take plenty of defensive zone faceoffs.

Crosby and Bergeron would hook up again in the second period as Crosby blew past a Finnish defender, went streaking around the opposition goal and found Bergeron in the high slot.

Bergeron showed tremendous patience, sending the Finnish keeper one way while he slipping the puck into the open cage on a fore-hand deke.

Energy line winger Clarke MacArthur completed the three-goal outburst in the second by drilling home his own rebound from the slot at 14:42.

Bergeron scored his second of the night, putting in his own rebound at 7:49 of the third after being set up again by Crosby.

Winnipegger Cam Barker solidified his standing in the mix for the final spot on the blue-line with a strong outing that included a goal at 11:35 of the third period and an assist.

Barker logged regular duty and also had some power play time.

SHUTOUT

Goalie Jeff Glass, the favourite to be between the pipes for the opener, didn't get a lot of work but made 10 saves to record the shutout.

Finland's best chance came early in the first when Lauri Tukonen snuck in all alone but wired his shot off the post.

Finland will face Switzerland tonight at 7:35 p.m, while Canada returns to action tomorrow night against Switzerland in their final test before opening the World Junior Hockey Championship on Dec. 25 against Slovakia.

Brent Seabrook remains day-to-day with a shoulder injury and Canada still has to cut one of the eight defencemen left on the 23-man roster.


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