GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Brent Sutter will accept mistakes, as long as they're corrected -- and quickly. The head coach of the Canadian junior hockey team wasn't thrilled with what he saw late in the second period and early in the third of yesterday's 7-3 win over Slovakia.
Canada saw the Slovaks rally from a 5-1 deficit to make it 5-3 before the Canadians returned to the strong form that had given them their once-commanding lead.
"We're up 5-1 and we started cheating a little bit," Sutter said. "We started thinking offence and not being accountable defensively.
"When we started cheating and making some soft plays, that allows the opposition to make some great plays.
"But we're going to have some bumps along the way, but it's how you respond to it that I'm interested in and I thought we responded well today.
"It's not that we played all that bad, either. We just have to make sure that tomorrow we're better."
Patrice Bergeron gave Canada a 1-0 lead at 3:55 of the first period with his first of two goals. Linemate Sidney Crosby then scored his first of two at 10:59, cashing in from the side of the net on a nice pass from Corey Perry off his backhand in the slot.
Bergeron's second goal was an unassisted effort a minute into the second period, then Crosby followed on a power play at 9:52 for a 4-0 lead.
The Slovakians got their first on a power-play by Marek Zagrapan at 12:06 before Londoner Jeff Carter sent Canada into a 5-1 lead 32 seconds later.
Perry rang a shot off the post with three minutes left in the period and, as luck usually has it, Slovakia went down the ice and scored, Stanislov Lascek beating Canadian goalie Jeff Glass.
Peter Olvecky brought the Slovakians to within two just 1:13 into the third, which was the wakeup call for Canada.
Clarke MacArthur put it away with a pair of goals. His first came at 17:44 as Canada killed off a five-on-three. He then scored with seven seconds left on a penalty shot awarded when a Slovakian threw his stick at the puck.
"We know we can play better," Carter said. "We know we have to clean up our own end. We started off well but then we made some mental errors and any team in this tournament is capable of capitalizing in those situations."