Ice hockey-Canada rout Austria 10-1 at world championship

Tue May 12, 2015 1:18pm EDT
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By Michael Kahn

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Canada crushed Austria 10-1 at the ice hockey world championship on Tuesday, riding a four-goal opening period to an easy win that left the tournament favorites unbeaten at the end of the group stages.

That win -- combined with a 5-4 overtime victory for the United States over Slovakia -- means the two North American teams claimed the top spots in each of the two groups after the first round.

Even without Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who was rested ahead of the quarter-finals on Thursday, the Canadians had no trouble sweeping aside the Austrians in what was effectively a warm-up game for a team well stocked with NHL talent.

Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza, who scored two goals, said it was good to finish unbeaten after the first round but the focus for the players was on winning a medal.

"The next game will be a dangerous game for us and we need to be sure there isn't a let-down," said Spezza. "It's going to come down to execution and having intensity to start the game is going to be big for us."

Belarus, led by former NHL coach Dave Lewis, will meet Canada in the last eight after defeating Norway 3-2 on Tuesday.

The Canadians spent most of the opening period in Austria's zone and peppered goalie Bernhard Starkbaum with shots.

They inevitably broke through after six minutes when Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly's cross-ice pass found his NHL team mate Tyson Barrie in front of the net for an easy tap-in.   Continued...

Austria's goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum fails to save a goal of Canada's Nathan MacKinnon during their Ice Hockey World Championship game at O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Martin Rose/Pool