PARIS (AP) — Defenseman Colton Parayko scored twice and center Nate Mackinnon moved atop the tournament scoring leaders with three assists as defending champion Canada beat Norway 5-0 at the ice hockey world championship on Monday.
Canada tops Group B with five wins from six matches, putting it three points ahead of 2010 winner Czech Republic. Canada has 27 goals for only eight conceded, with the only defeat to third-placed Switzerland.
Brayden Schenn, Mark Scheifele, and Ryan O’Reilly got the other goals while goaltender Chad Johnson had an easy 10-shot shutout for Canada, which is chasing a third straight title and record-equaling 27th. Russia holds that record, with 22 of those achieved as the former Soviet Union.
Canada coach Jon Cooper said the players were fired up after losing to the Swiss 3-2 in overtime on Saturday.
“Our guys were playing a little bit angry from what happened two nights earlier,” Cooper said. “So the guys had an extra bit in their step, they came out with energy, and determined.”
Canada’s last group game is on Tuesday against fourth-placed Finland, which is three points clear of Norway.
Mackinnon has five goals and six assists so far, one point more than Russian pair Artemi Panarin and Vadim Shipachyov.
They were in action later, however, with unbeaten Russia facing Latvia in the German city of Cologne, which is co-hosting with Paris. A win for Russia would move it ahead of the United States at the top of Group A, while Latvia is vying with Germany for a remaining quarterfinal spot.
Of Mackinnon, Cooper said: “He’s a first overall (NHL) pick for a reason. He’s an exceptional talent, a rare breed of both power and skill. Tie that in with the fact he competes really hard and he can keep defenders on their toes.”
Parayko’s ability to shoot form distance gave Canada the bonus of extra firepower.
“He really has a cannon for a shot,” Cooper said. “You can put it up to Colt. The laser beam sights were on today.”
Norway coach Petter Thoresen thanked his goaltender Henrik Haukeland for keeping the score down.
“Our goalie was very good. I’m glad about that, because it could have been ugly numbers on the scoreboard,” Thoresen said. “Our guys didn’t start well and just wanted to fight all the time.”
France was facing last-placed Slovenia later Monday in Group B.
Denmark beat Italy 2-0 in Group A’s other match with late third-period goals from Nichlas Hardt and Peter Regin.
Italy ended the tournament with seven straight losses and was relegated.
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