Monday, May 08, 2006

Young guns outgun Norway

Canada's youthful contingent at the World Championships continued its coming out party on Sunday as Team Canada took down the Norwegians 7-1 in round one action of the tournament.

The Canadians led once again by Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron who set the pace with an impressive offensive outburst, Crosby scoring a goal and counting three assists while Bergeron scored two goals of his own and helped out on another.

Canada never seemed to be in any danger against the Norwegians, unlike the opening game against Denmark the Canadians did not suffer any great lapses on the ice, never giving Norway the chance to get back into the game.

While the Canadian team is made up mainly of the young and ambitious, there is a smattering of seasoning on the roster. Late addition Brendan Shanahan freed from any further NHL commitment's by Detroit's surprising exit in the NHL playoffs, scored a goal to let the young ones know that the old guard still has a few bullets in their guns as well.

Canada will find a tougher showdown on Tuesday, the take on their arch rivals the United States at 1:15 pm EST, 10:15 am PST live on TSN. Both teams go into Tuesday's match up as undefeated. Look for a more physical game as both squads bring a fair amount of history to the ice palaces of Riga.

Tuesday will be good indication for Team Canada as to how much they've come together as a unit. So far the prognosis is good for the team, they seem to on the same page as far as offense goes and with the exception of a game one breakdown, they are becoming more reliable in their defensive game.

The game against the Americans should make for a good measuring stick for them, with 12 goals for and 4 against the USA will give them their best regarding their play thus far. The American key will be in controlling Crosby and Bergeron, should they be able to shut them down then the game should be a close affair, but if the duo are allowed to score as they have in the previous two games it will prove to be a long game for the USA.

Regardless, the third game of the tournament will carry a lot of meaning for the Canadians, a chance to improve their record and put the pressure on their rivals. Should make for an interesting couple of hours of television.

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