Thursday, December 27, 2007

Canada off to a good start at World Juniors

John Tavares provided the bulk of the scoring and Jonathan Bernier provided 44 saves to lead Team Canada to their first win and the beginning of their defence of the World Junior Championship.

Tavares who was featured on five of the Canadian power plays scored two of Canada's three goals on the day, more than enough to defeat the hose Czech Republic 3-0 at opening day in Pardubice.

The Canadians who played a little tentative in the early going, never seemed to be in any danger of losing control of the game once they jumped out to a 1-0 lead, able to combine their trademark physical play with some exciting offence and solid deensive play, it was the kind of game that they needed to play to get the tournament under way and their heads into the task at hand.

And while Tavares, the young star of the Oshawa Generals making his World Juniors debut is finding that the ice may not be what he is used to in the OHL, he's making the best of it when coach Craigh Hartsburg calls his name.

Matthew Halischuk scored the third Canadian goal, while highly touted draft possibility Steve Stamkos picked up three assists, something that surely won't hurt his stock for this springs amateur draft.

Canada has the short schedule on Thursday, having to be ready to face off against Slovakia early in the day, 17 hours after they played the Czechs.

The second game of the tournament for Canada starts at 9:30 am EST making for an early wake up call for those on the West coast where hockey will lead into breakfast at 6:30 am..!

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