Canada routs France at hockey worlds

Updated: May 1, 2011, 5:05 PM ET
Associated Press

KOSICE, Slovakia -- NHL rookie of the year finalist Jeff Skinner scored twice for Canada and the Olympic champions routed France 9-1 Sunday to advance to the second round of the ice hockey world championship.

Canada beat Belarus 4-1 Friday and is 2-0 going into its last Group B game, against Switzerland on Tuesday.

"We look like we got a team with hunger to score goals," Canada coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We got better as the game went on."

Marc-Andre Gragnani opened the scoring 1:02 into the game on a rebound during a power play. Jason Spezza doubled the lead at 6:35 and Skinner, who plays for the Carolina Hurricanes, finished the first period barrage with a goal at the 12:02 mark.

Pierre Edouard Bellemare scored for France midway through the second period on a power play, but Chris Stewart and Alex Pietrangelo replied within 43 seconds to give Canada a 5-1 lead.

"When we were leading 3-1, it was tough. But we finally came out and found our game," Canada captain Rick Nash said. "They've played 70 games together, ours was the fourth, it's quite a difference. I think the team that usually wins the tournament is the team that gets better and better. That's all what we need to do."

Bret Burns, Nash, Skinner and Travis Zajac finished the rout with third-period goals.

"The talent and depth of the Canadian team was too much for us today," France coach Dabid Henderson said.

France now needs a good result in its final group-stage game against Belarus to avoid the relegation round.

Russia rebounded from Friday's opening-day loss to Germany by beating Slovenia 6-4 in Bratislava in a hard-fought win.

Vitali Atyushov, Maxim Afinogenov, Dmitri Kulikov and Yevgeni Artyukhin scored for Russia to lead 4-2, but Slovenia equalized through goals by Bostjan Golicic and Rok Pajic with 8:32 left in the final period.

Alexander Radulov scored at 56:19 and Sergei Zinoviev then added the sixth goal.

Marcel Muller and Felix Schutz both had a goal and assist to lead Germany 4-3 over host Slovakia to the next round.

Ryan Gardner scored twice to help Switzerland to a 4-1 win over Belarus and a berth into the second round.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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