Ice hockey: Canada rout Czechs, Europe stun U.S. in World Cup

Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:05am EDT
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - A dominant Sidney Crosby led Canada to a 6-0 win over the Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday following Team Europe's shock victory over the United States in the tournament opener.

Crosby was easily the best player on the ice scoring a goal and adding two assists as Canada lived up to their billing as tournament favorites.

"I feel good," said Crosby, who won his second Stanley Cup with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins three months ago. "The fact I played late into June and you're stepping into this level I think that helps with adjusting."

The Canadian captain opened the scoring near the midway mark of the first period when he took the puck from behind the net and cleverly flicked it in off the back of the Czech goalie to send the two-time defending Olympic champions on their way.

Crosby then assisted on Brent Burns' goal late in the first period and had the helper when Joe Thornton made it 4-0 early in the second.

Carey Price, back from injury and playing in his first meaningful game since last November, made 27 saves for the shutout while Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, and Alex Pietrangelo had the other Canadian goals.

The win leaves Canada tied atop the Group A standings with Team Europe following the latter's 3-0 upset win over a U.S. team that were originally considered a lock to advance beyond the group stage.

Team Europe, a roster made up of players representing eight different countries, scored on their first shot when Slovakian Marian Gaborik took a perfect feed from Denmark's Frans Nielsen and redirected it past U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick.   Continued...

Sep 17, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Canada forward Sidney Crosby (87) screens a shot to Team Czech Republic goaltender Michal Neuvirth (30) as teammate Patrice Bergeron (not pictured) scores in the first period during preliminary round play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports