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World Juniors 2015 Canada vs Slovakia recap: Canadian domination

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It was never in doubt. Canada crushes Slovakia 8-0 to open their 2015 World Junior Championship campaign.

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Canada opened the period with a strong forecheck, clearly intent on setting the tone for the rest of the game. The hard work would quickly pay off within five minutes, thanks to some pretty passing between Anthony Duclair and Sam Reinhart. Reinhart's no-look backpass found a wide open Robby Fabbri, who made no mistake and buried the shot behind Slovak goaltender Denis Godla.

The Slovakians immediately responded with a scoring chance of their own, however Sam Morin put together some fantastic defending, saving two shots from high scoring areas.

Canada would find an insurance goal shortly thereafter, thanks to a perfect pass by Domi, and a clinical finish by Rangers prospect Duclair. These two have shown fantastic chemistry in their limited playing time together, and they'll be a duo to watch as the tournament rolls on.

Perfect isn't a hyperbole when it comes to describing this pass. Take a look at another angle. It was an absolute sublime pass by Domi.

Team Canada wasn't done there, earning their third goal in the opening 10 minutes, via a slick controlled-zone entry from Nic Petan. Petan found a streaking Fabbri, who put home his second goal of the game.

Slovakia settled down as the period went on, however it was clear they were scrambling in the rare occasions when they controlled the puck. Essentially, it was operation give the puck to Martin Reway at all costs. Canada ended up with as many goals as Slovakia had shots in the first frame, outshooting their opponents 14-3.

The second period started much like the first, as the deluge of Canadian goals continued. Even though Godla started to find his groove, the constant pressure from Canada was too much.

Jake Virtanen's wrap around attempt turned into a goalmouth scramble, where it was Nick Paul that finally pounced on the loose puck to put Canada ahead 4-0.

Nic Petan set up another goal for his country, this time finding a streaking Brayden Point. Point's goal put the Canadians up by five. That was all she wrote for Dennis Godla, who was mercifully pulled by the Slovakian coach following the Point goal.

Max Domi quickly took advantage of cold David Okolicany, beating him with a nice toe drag and quick release. The score was 6-0, as people started to look up whether or not the IIHF enforces a mercy rule.

Unfortunately for Slovakia, no such mercy rule exists, meaning Nic Petan was free to give Canada a seven goal lead, thanks to a particularly pretty snipe from a tight angle. It was Okolicany's second goal allowed in as many shots.

Canada outshot Slovakia 14-5 during the period, and if we're being brutally honest, the nicest save from a Canadian goalie came when Eric Comrie snagged a shot from the bench that was going out of play.

The third period was relatively uneventful, although it started with a bit of misfortune for Sam Reinhart, who was Lucic'd during the opening faceoff.

A sloppy Shea Theodore giveaway gave Zachary Fucale a chance to shake off some rust, and to Slovakia's credit they did apply some decent pressure during the man advantage, but Fucale held the fort.

Connor McDavid showed a brief flash of brilliance, in what was otherwise a relatively quiet game. He cut to the net, embarrassing a couple Slovakian defenders on the way, however his shot attempt was stuffed by a timely pad stack.

Virtanen would add another goal, completing the two-point conversion for Canada; 8-0.

Final thoughts on the game

There's a different vibe to this year's Canadian team. Whereas past teams struggled to finish, this edition seems to have absolutely no problems finding the back of the net. Simple put, Slovakia couldn't match Canada's talent level tonight.

If there's one criticism that comes to mind, it's how underwhelming Frederik Gauthier and Lawson Crouse seem to be compared to the rest of the roster. They don't have the same skill level, and it's tough to justify using a roster spot on a player who's best quality is that they're capable of playing on the penalty kill.

As for McDavid, I would say his performance wasn't spectacular. He and Curtis Lazar haven't found great chemistry quite yet. On the other hand, Nic Petan has found an instant bond with Robby Fabbri, rivaling Max Domi's line in terms of dominance.

Canada is back in action tomorrow, facing Germany at 8PM EST.

Slovakia's next match up will also be tomorrow, against the defending champions, Finland.

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