December 31, 2004
By KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun
1. Jeff Carter: Canada's hulking centre contributed the first hat trick of the World Junior Hockey Championship and was virtually unstoppable.
2. Mike Richards: Canada's captain returned from a charley horse injury and led the way with another tenacious effort. His first goal of the tournament turned out to be the game-winner, but once again his work ethic was most impressive.
3. Corey Perry: With his first two goals of the tournament, Perry shifted from the role of set-up man to finisher while continuing to play well with Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby.
With the Finns trailing by a 1-0 count and on the power play late in the first period, Colin Fraser outworked a pair of Finnish players and found Richards in the slot for a short-handed goal with 22 seconds left, sending the Canucks on their way to another blowout.
SMACK OF THE GAME
Shortly after Finland had broken Jeff Glass' shutout bid, Dion Phaneuf crushed Kim Nabb with an open ice hit at centre ice that sent the crowd into a frenzy, once when it happened in real time and then again when it was shown on video replay during a stoppage in play.
During a Canada power play early in the first, Perry broke a scoreless tie by batting a puck out of the air from his knees. Phaneuf took a shot from the point that bounced off a sprawling Finnish defender, banked off the glass behind the net and bounced into the slot, where Perry connected with the airborne biscuit.
BUMPS AND BRUISES
Cam Barker missed yesterday's contest and after the game, head coach Brent Sutter said the team would make a statement regarding his status. Right-winger Jeremy Colliton sat out with a knee injury and won't likely play before Tuesday, if at all. Defenceman Brent Seabrook left yesterday's game with an undisclosed injury and will be re-evaluated today.
Canada finished the round robin with a record of 4-0, clinched top spot in Group B and advances to Sunday's 3:38 p.m. semifinal after outscoring its opponents 32-5.