Canada ended its World Championship Semifinal drought in Prague, riding a Tyler Seguin hat-trick to a 9-0 rout of Belarus to advance past the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2009, retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
Canada, known for their offensive dominance and quick starts in the tournament, likely didn’t even expect for as fast as a start as they had, with Brent Burns needing only 27 seconds to streak in on Kevin Lalande and strike for the 1-0 lead. Tyler Ennis and Ryan O’Reilly would add goals three minutes apart midway through the first, completely outplaying the Bisons defense and the helpless Lalande. A Seguin power play blast through traffic put things at 4-0 after just 20 minutes, with shots a stunning 20-3.
Seguin added his second three minutes into the second, lifting a Sean Couturier drop pass over the Canadian expat Lalande to put the score at 5-0. Burns added his second, another powerplay tally, at the halfway mark of the game, getting an errant pass from O’Reilly, out of a mad scramble in front of the net, blasting it from the point through the crowd for the 6-0 lead.
Seguin would complete the hat trick again on the power play, backhanding in a deflected Taylor Hall pass to put things at 7-0. O’Reilly notched his second off a Claude Giroux rebound, wiring a wrister through a crowd of four Belorussian defenders (and Lalande) for the 8-0 lead, with Jason Spezza ending the onslaught on a beautiful wide-angle wrister to put the final score at 9-0, scoring their last three in a span of 4:47.
With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 60th title, which they captured from Sweden in the Preliminary Round, retaining with big wins against France, Switzerland and Austria. This marks the first meeting over the title between Canada and Belarus since the 2002 Olympic Semifinals, when Canada thumped Belarus 7-1 en route to gold, Belarus’ first loss since the “Miracle At Salt Lake.” Canada now advances to the Semifinals, facing the hosts Czechia with a trip to the Gold Medal Game, and the IHLC, on the line in two days’ time.
00:27 – GOAL – Burns (Crosby, Hall)
07:36 – GOAL – Ennis (Barrie, Muzzin)
10:15 – GOAL – O’Reilly (Burns)
15:36 – PEN – Volkov, hooking
17:28 – PP GOAL – Seguin (Spezza)
23:23 – GOAL – Seguin (Couturier, Muzzin)
27:55 – PEN – Hall, tripping
29:45 – PEN – team, too many players
31:08 – PP GOAL – Burns (O’Reilly, Eberle)
32:45 – PEN – Kulakov, slashing
39:07 – PEN – Ekblad, tripping
40:59 – PEN – Burns, high sticking
45:57 – PEN – Goroshko, hooking
48:43 – PEN – S. Kostitsyn, roughing
50:32 – PP GOAL – Seguin (Hall)
53:02 – GOAL – O’Reilly (Giroux, Savard)
55:19 – GOAL – Spezza (Burns)
W: Smith (24-24)
L: Lalande (41-50)
SHOTS ON GOAL
20+18+12 = 50
3+13+8 = 24
Goaltenders: Martin Jones, Mike Smith. Defence: Tyson Barrie, Brent Burns, Aaron Ekblad, Dan Hamhuis (A), Jake Muzzin, David Savard, Patrick Wiercioch. Forwards: Sean Couturier, Sidney Crosby (C), Matt Duchene, Cody Eakin, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Ennis, Claude Giroux, Taylor Hall, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza (A), Tyler Toffoli.
Goaltenders: Vitali Koval, Kevin Lalande. Defence: Oleg Goroshko, Dmitri Korobov (A), Yevgeni Lisovets, Ilya Shinkevich, Nikolai Stasenko, Ivan Usenko, Oleg Yevenko. Forwards: Artyom Demkov, Sergei Drozd, Artur Gavrus, Alexei Kalyuzhny (C), Alexander Kitarov, Andrei Kostitsyn (A), Sergei Kostitsyn, Yevgeni Kovyrshin, Alexander Kulakov, Andrei Stas, Andrei Stepanov, Artyom Volkov, Alexei Yefimenko.