Canada hammers France 9-1

Dion Phaneuf congratulates Marc-Andre Gragnani after he scored the first goal against France in...

Dion Phaneuf congratulates Marc-Andre Gragnani after he scored the first goal against France in Kosice, Slovakia, May 1, 2011. REUTERS/Petr Josek

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:14 PM ET

Cristobal Huet wasnít able to get past the first period on Sunday as Canada hammered France 9-1 at the IIHF 2011 World Championships.

The former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender, who now plays in Switzerland, was pulled after giving up three goals in the first 20 minutes.

Huetís replacement, Fabrice Lhenry didnít fare much better, conceding six goals, including one on a penalty shot to Jeff Skinner in the third period. The goal was Skinnerís second of the contest.

Marc-Andre Gragnani, Jason Spezza, Chris Stewart, Alex Pietrangelo, Brent Burns, Rick Nash and Travis Zajac also scored for Canada in the win.

Pierre Edouard Bellemare scored the lone goal for France.

James Reimer and Devan Dubnyk shared the goaltending duties for Canada, with the Oilers goaltender replacing the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie with just over 14 minutes left in the third period.

With the win, Canada improves its round-robin record to 2-0 at the tournament. They opened with a 4-1 win over Belarus on Friday.

Canada will play its final group game on Tuesday against Switzerland.

Gragnani opened the scoring on the power play a minute into the first period, snapping a rebound over the shoulder of Huet.

Gragnani spent most of the season with the Portland Pirates before being called up to play with the Buffalo Sabres late in the season and went on to score a goal and added six assists in a seven-game, first round loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Spezza increased Canadaís lead banking in his own rebound off French defenceman Thomas Roussel past Huet.

Skinner added a third before the end of the period, lifting a backhand over a fallen Huet.

Lhenry replaced Huet to start the second period and saw his team cut into the lead as Bellemare snapped a shot over the glove of Reimer on the power play.

Goals by Stewart and Pietrangelo 43 seconds apart, however, quelled any thought of a French comeback.

Burns, Nash, Skinner and Zajac added to Canadaís total in the third.

Reimer finished with 24 saves, while Dubnyk, who entered the game for mop-up duty turned away all eight shots he faced.

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


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