Kane, Heatley shine as U.S., Canada win world openers
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists and Tim Thomas made 24 saves to help the United States beat Latvia 4-0 on Friday night in the Americans' opening preliminary round game in the world championship.
Kane, the 19-year-old star who had 72 points in 82 games for Chicago this season, assisted on Dustin Brown's first-period goal, then added a goal midway through the second. Kane took the puck near Latvia's blue line, skated in and fired a snap shot past goalie Edgars Masalskis. Kane also set up Zach Parise's third-period goal.
American forward Lee Stempniak was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a breakaway shortly after Kane's goal. Stempniak couldn't beat Masalskis, who closed his pads to stop a shot. Masalskis made 45 saves.
The Americans will return to action Sunday night against Slovenia.
In the other Group B opener in Halifax, Dany Heatley had three goals and an assist in defending champion Canada's 5-1 victory over Slovenia.
Heatley has 23 goals in the world championships, the most by a Canadian player. The Ottawa Senators star broke the mark of 21 set by Marcel Dionne.
The Canadians had a 65-22 shots advantage.
In Group D play in Quebec City, the Czech Republic beat Denmark 5-2, and Russia routed Italy 7-1.
The tournament is being played in Canada for the first time.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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