Canada wins sixth straight at worlds
DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
|Marcus Kruger of Sweden blocks Edmonton Oiler Jordan Eberle of Canada during their qualification round Group F game at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Kosice, May 9, 2011. (PETR JOSEK/Reuters)
Rick Nash was given credit, although it appeared Brent Burns actually scored the winning goal as Canada defeated Sweden at the IIHF World Championship in Kosice, Slovakia on Monday.
Burns’ shot from the point with 7:29 left in the third period looked to have made it cleanly through, by Nash who was parked in front of the Swedish net, and past goaltender Erik Ersberg. The goal stood up as the winner in the qualification-round game, giving Canada their sixth consecutive victory at the tournament and setting up a quarterfinal showdown with Russia Thursday in Bratislava.
James Neal and John Tavares scored the other goals for Canada, while David Petrasek and Mattias Tedenby countered for Sweden.
Jonathan Bernier earned the win in goal for Canada, turning away 23 shots. Ersberg made 40 saves for Sweden, getting the surprise start in favour of Viktor Fasth, who did not even dress.
Fasth has been Sweden’s top goaltender in the tournament, winning his four starts, recording three shutouts in the process.
Neal opened the scoring just over a minute into the contest on Canada’s first shot on goal. The Pittsburgh Penguins forward found himself in alone on a breakaway and slipped a shot through the pads of Ersberg.
Just prior to the goal, Cal Clutterbuck had wired a shot off the crossbar.
Sweden tied the game less than three minutes later as Petrasek fired a shot past Bernier, who was making his second-consecutive start since joining the team late, following the Los Angeles Kings first-round exit from the NHL playoffs. Toronto Maple Leafs rookie James Reimer started the first four games of the tournament for Canada.
Tavares gave Canada the lead before the end of the period, whacking at a puck, which Ersberg appeared to have covered, and getting it to cross the goal line.
The Swedes disputed the manner of the goal to no avail.
In the second, Tedenby tied the game, beating Bernier from a sharp angle along the goal line.
Both teams had a number of great chances to take the lead before Burns seeing-eye point shot on the power play.
The quarterfinal round begins Wednesday with the Czech Republic taking on the United States, while Sweden faces Germany.
Finland will play Norway in the other quarterfinal with the winner advancing to play either Canada or Russia in the semifinal.