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Wednesday, September 8, 2004
Brodeur nabs first shutout of World Cup

Associated Press

TORONTO -- Jarome Iginla had two goals and an assist to lead Canada into the World Cup of Hockey semifinals with a 5-0 victory over Slovakia on Wednesday night.

Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Smyth and Joe Sakic also scored for Canada, which will play the Czech Republic in Toronto on Saturday night in one semifinal.

The United States plays Finland on Friday night in St. Paul, Minn., in the other semifinal.

Canada has dominated the tournament, going 4-0 while outscoring its opponents 15-3.

"This was our first real test in a do-or-die game and I think we responded real well," goaltender Martin Brodeur said.

Brodeur, arguably the best goaltender in the world, was barely tested, finishing with 23 saves for his first shutout of the tournament.

Slovakia couldn't contain Canada's top line of Iginla, Sakic and captain Mario Lemieux, who were on the ice for three goals.

"They're very easy guys to play with," Iginla said. "I still battle not being in awe a little bit."

Lecavalier scored the first of four second-period goals on a power play at 2:28. Brad Richards skated around a defenseman before passing to a streaking Lecavalier, who didn't miss the open net.

Iginla scored just under three minutes later with a quick shot from the side of the net. Lemieux, who was in front of the net, was initially credited with the goal.

Smyth made it 3-0 at 11:29 after Slovakia defenseman Zdeno Chara turned the puck over at Canada's blue line. Three Canada players hustled down the ice before setting up Smyth, who scored his third goal of the tournament.

Just 19 seconds later, Iginla fed Sakic, whose wrist shot beat goalie Jan Lasak.

Canadian coach Pat Quinn felt relieved after the scoring barrage.

"That was beautiful to watch for anybody that loves this game," Quinn said.

Slovakia called a 30-second timeout and replaced Lasak with Rastislav Stana.

Iginla, Canada's best player when it won the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics, made it 5-0 with a wrist shot at 7:49 of the third. Lemieux and Sakic assisted.

Slovakia went 0-4 and was outscored 18-4 in the tournament.