In Canada's opening game of the tourney, Canada had a solid game this morning against Italy who is looking to avoid relegation in the tourney. Canada and Italy both belong to Group B, which also includes Latvia and Switzerland.
Watching the Canadian squad play today the first they you notice is that they are really, really young. Seeing Stamkos, Duchene, Tavares, Kane and Myers skate out there just blows you away about how young they are. Steven Stamkos had a solid game today getting 1 goal, 1 assist and 5 shots on goal. He skated on a line with Corey Perry and Rene Bourque, while Steve Downie skated with Steve Ott and Brooks Laich.
Stamkos set up the first goal which at 2:43 of the 1st period. After circling around the back of the net, he shot the puck which rebounded off of Adam Russo's pads to Corey Perry who put the puck in the net. The game was tight through the first period with the Italians able to tie up the score 1-1 with a slapshot that beat Mason at the 12:44 mark. It looked like the game would head to the intermission tied up until Ray Whitney on a powerplay faked a shot and passed the puck to Kris Russel who scored at 19:12 to put the Canadians up 2-1.
In the second period Canada got goals from Duchene and Stamkos to continue building on their lead. Stamkos' goal came on a delayed penalty when he stuffed in a pass from Duchene. At the end of the 3rd period Rene Borque scored Canada's fifth goal. Ray Whitney, with 2 assists, was named player of the game.
The players of of Team Canada looked to be getting to know one another during the game. Although some of these players had played together at the World Juniors, the preliminary games are good for them to develop chemistry in the lines before the elimination games begin.
Team Canada will play Latvia next on Monday, which will be aired on TSN/TSN.ca at 11am ET.