Talbot earns second shutout as Canada rolls over Slovakia 5-0 at hockey worlds. | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Talbot earns second shutout as Canada rolls over Slovakia 5-0 at hockey worlds.

Canada's Taylor Hall, left, scores a goal on Slovakia's goalie Julius Hudacek during the Hockey World Championships Group B match in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, May 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dmitri Lovetsky
May 14, 2016 - 2:01 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Cam Talbot insists his teammates are making it easy for him.

He made 18 saves to pick up his second shutout as Canada blanked Slovakia 5-0 on Saturday at the world hockey championship. The win moved the Canadians to a perfect 5-0 in Group B preliminary-round play in St. Petersburg, Russia, tied with Finland.

"You can't say enough about this group of guys, the way they play defensively and not just offensively," said Talbot after the game. "You can tell that we don't give up a lot of Grade A scoring chances. When we do, we're there to clean up the rebounds when I give them up.

"It's been a lot of fun to play behind these guys."

Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist for Canada, while Taylor Hall added a power-play goal. Morgan Rielly, Matt Duchene and Mark Scheifele also scored.

"We were not really happy with the way we played last game (against Germany)," said Brassard. "I thought tonight was a complete effort from our team. We were skating, we were dangerous in all three periods. I know if we play like that, we're going to be hard to beat."

With a boisterous crowd of supporters cheering them on, the Slovaks pressured Talbot aggressively in the game's early minutes. As in earlier games in the tournament, Talbot weathered the storm until Canada gained momentum that would carry the team through the rest of the game.

Once again, Canada spread the scoring throughout the lineup, starting when Rielly — a defenceman on loan from the Toronto Maple Leafs — threaded a wrist shot from the blue line past Hudacek at 11:30 of the first period.

"A little lucky, I think," said Rielly of his first goal of the tournament. "Just a point shot and a good screen in front.

"It's nice to get the first one out of the way, but the most important thing is that we got the win."

Duchene added his third of the tournament as Canada outshot the Slovaks 14-4 in the opening frame, then Hall and Scheifele extended the lead to 4-0 in the second. Brassard added his third of the tournament in the third, moving into a tie for second place in the scoring race with nine points, along with Patrik Laine of Finland and Artemi Panarin of Russia.

Hall's goal was his sixth of the tournament, which ties him for the tournament lead in goals with Gustav Nyquist of Sweden. Hall's power-play goal came at 13:56 of the second after he converted a pass from Mark Stone from the top of Hudacek's crease.

With the win, Canada further improved its status as the tournament leader in goal differential, with 30 goals scored and just four allowed through five games. The goals have come on just 164 shots-a lofty shooting percentage of over 18 per cent.

Talbot has now given up just three goals in 240 minutes of action, improving his record to 4-0. His two shutouts tie him for the tournament lead with Dominik Furch of the Czech Republic, who has not surrendered a single goal in his two starts.

In earlier action on Saturday in Group B, Finland kept its record perfect with a 3-1 win over France and Hungary defeated Belarus 5-2 for its first top-division win at the world championship in 77 years.

In Moscow's Group A, Sweden beat Norway 3-2, Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist in his first game as Russia beat Switzerland 5-1 and Latvia bested Kazakhstan by a score of 2-1.

Canada is scheduled to practice on Sunday before wrapping up the preliminary round with games against France on Monday and unbeaten Finland on Tuesday.

After the game, coach Bill Peters announced that defenceman Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators has been added to the Canadian roster.

"When we talked to him, there was no hesitation — the answer was yes," said Peters. "The next question I believe, was 'What flight am I on?'"

"Smart player, can skate well," added Rielly of Ellis, "Makes good decisions. Good shot. He'll be a big piece on the back end."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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