Canada dominates Russia, takes first place in their group

Dave Sandford

On the second half of a back-to-back, Canada played their best game of the tournament.

We all thought Canada was in it tough this morning, even with Boone Jenner and JC Lipon coming back into the lineup.

Valeri Nichushkin put the Russians in a rough situation early in the game though, as he hit Tyler Wotherspoon from behind and drew a five minute major and a game misconduct.

Canada went on to score two goals on the ensuing powerplay, one from Dougie Hamilton and one from Mark Scheifele. Canadian captain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins assisted on both goals.

Before the period was over, Nikita Kucherov got the game within one with an unassisted tally, which brought with it some pressure by the Russians.

6 minutes and 30 seconds into the second period however, Jonathan Drouin capitalized on a wrap around and put the game out of reach for Canada. Nugent-Hopkins was also awarded an assist on the play, bringing his assist total to 8 for the tournament, more than any other player has points. Oddly enough, the second highest scorer in the tournament is Canadiens prospect Alex Galchenyuk, with 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points.

Johnathan Huberdeau sealed the deal in the third period with an empty net goal that went unassisted.Huberdeau was demoted a line today as he wasn't doing much on the top line, Scheifele and Nugent-Hopkins instead had Drouin, and the line clicked well.

After starting the game strong, Russia was extremely outplayed the final 50 or so minutes, and in total Canada outshot the Russians 48-22. To do this in the second half of a back to back when Canada played another strong team in the USA yesterday is even more impressive.

Malcolm Subban once again stood on his head, playing better as the tournament goes on. Credit to Steve Spott for sticking with him even when he was struggling.

Canada gets a bye through the first game of the medal round, and will likely face either the Czech Republic or Team USA next, unless there's an upset.

Quite honestly, while the Russians have more high end scorers, the game against the USA was much tougher for Canada by the looks of it. Increased depth in the States seems to make a huge difference. The USA has been the team so far that looks like the most dangerous against Canada.

Jonathan Drouin was named player of the game for Canada, while Boone Jenner was given the Team Canada cape.

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