CANADA BLANKS U.S., TAKES TOP SPOT IN GROUP
KOŠICE, Slovakia – Kyle Turris (New Westminster, B.C./Nashville, NHL) recorded a goal and an assist and Matt Murray (Thunder Bay, Ont./Pittsburgh, NHL) made 28 saves to lead Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 3-0 victory over the United States on Tuesday to close out the preliminary round at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
The win clinches first place in Group A for Canada, who will face off against Switzerland, the fourth-seeded team in Group B, in the quarter-finals Thursday (10:15 a.m. ET/7:15 a.m. PT).
Pierre-Luc Dubois (Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Que./Columbus, NHL) and Jared McCann (London, Ont./Pittsburgh, NHL) also struck for Canada, which enters the playoff round riding a six-game winning streak.
Canada forged ahead of its forever foe for good less than two minutes into the game as Dubois replicated the ice-breaking goal he netted against Denmark on Monday by burying a centring pass from Mark Stone (Winnipeg, Man./Vegas, NHL).
Turris doubled the Canadian lead just past the eight-minute mark, beating U.S. goaltender Cory Schneider over his pads after receiving a cross-ice dish from a hard-charging Anthony Mantha (Longueuil, Que./Detroit, NHL).
A seesaw effect was created in the second period as both squads went up and down the ice generating chances. Murray and Schneider, who combined to make 27 saves in the frame, proved their elite mettle by fending off multiple wild scrambles and odd-man chances.
The Canadians broke through at 15:59 of the middle stanza as McCann received Turris’ pass from the boards and proceeded to rip a hard wrist shot past Schneider from the deep slot.
Canada harnessed the momentum from this late tally into some relentless forechecking pressure that forced Schneider to make a couple of big saves to keep the American deficit at three goals after 40 minutes.
The United States turned the territorial tide in the third period by outshooting Canada 10-7, but Murray proved to be impenetrable in net as he gifted the Americans very few secondary opportunities. The defining moment of his perfect outing was his point-blank pad save on James van Riemsdyk’s deke to the backhand with time running out.