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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Reuters) - Eric Staal scored four goals and Martin St. Louis chipped in with five assists as Canada thrashed Germany 10-1 on Saturday to secure a place in the ice hockey world championship quarter-finals.
Canada, who needed a late goal to put away Norway in their opening game of the qualification round, came out hard against the Germans, storming to a 4-0 first period lead and showing no mercy in their 14th straight championship win.
Staal, who had just two assists in Canada's four previous games, led the assault with his second period hat-trick tying a Canadian team modern day record for most goals in a period.
St. Louis's five assists also equaled a Canadian world championship record set by John McLean against Poland in 1989.
"Tonight was one of those nights where the puck just seemed to be finding my stick," Staal, a forward with the Carolina Hurricanes, told reporters. "One of those nights where things went in and we'll take it.
Staal, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp and Dany Heatley, with his tournament best seventh goal, found the net in the opening period while Germany could not manage shot at Canadian netminder Cam Ward until there were just 90 seconds left to play.
The Germans made a goaltending change to start the second, replacing Dimitrij Kotschnew with Robert Muller.
The switch did little to slow the rampaging Canadians, Staal welcoming Muller with three goals while Derek Roy added a powerplay tally and Jamal Mayers scored on a shorthanded effort to put the defending champions in front 9-0 after two periods.
"They dominated us right from the first minute to the last," said German captain Marco Sturm. "I think everyone is a little embarrassed right now.
"You saw today, they are just too big, too strong, too good."
The rout continued in the third, Canada hitting double figures on Mike Green's powerplay goal 1:47 into the period.
Frank Hordler spoiled Ward's shutout, scoring Germany's only goal midway through the final frame.
In Quebec City, Ales Kotalik scored the tying goal in regulation and the winner in a shootout as the Czech Republic edged Belarus 3-2 to go top in their group.
It was the second successive shootout defeat for Belarus and ended their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals.
Editing by Rex Gowar