Hot Hodgson dooms Danes

Galbraith's 40 saves can't save Denmark

15.05.2014
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Chizhovka Arena Minsk  Belarus

Canada's Cody Hodgson (right) carries the puck over the blue line with Denmark's Morten Poulsen chasing. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images

Cody Hodgson scored a hat trick to lead Canada to its third straight World Championship victory, a 6-1 decision over Denmark, on Thursday.

Matt Read potted two goals, Jonathan Huberdeau had a single, and Kyle Turris, Nazem Kadri, and Ryan Ellis added a pair of assists apiece for Canada.

"As a team, we had a strategy of wearing [the Danes] down and keeping pucks in their end, and eventually that showed in the third period, as we had so much possession time," said Hodgson.

"It was a big win for the guys," added Troy Brouwer. "We’re putting ourselves in a good situation in the round-robin here. It’s all you can ask for right now."

Nicklas Jensen replied for Denmark.

Netminder Ben Scrivens got his second win in as many starts for Canada, outdoing Denmark’s Patrick Galbraith. The Canadians outshot Denmark 46-30 in front of 7,085 fans.

The Canadians are in contention for top spot in Group A with Sweden, which defeated them 3-2 in a quarter-final shootout last year en route to gold. After playing Italy on Friday, Canada takes on Sweden on Sunday.

Denmark’s next game is Saturday versus the Czech Republic.

"We had 30 shots in this game and also a lot of chances offensively, so we'll take that with us going forward," said Denmark's Jannik Hansen.

Canada opened the scoring at 5:24 on a nice left-wing rush by Hodgson, who pushed the puck past the Danish defence at the blue line and raced down unimpeded to zing one past Galbraith on the short side.

The Danes drew even at 9:06, as Nicklas Jensen converted a dandy cross-ice pass from Morten Madsen on a 2-on-1 break. Scrivens sprawled and got a piece of it with his glove, but not enough.

A few minutes later, Hodgson dragged down Jensen as his fellow former Vancouver Canuck first-round draft pick tried to dipsy-doodle to the Canadian net. However, the Danish man advantage was squandered when the team took a minor for too many men on the ice.

Late in the first, Galbraith played it cool when Hodgson was allowed to waltz out from behind the goal line and unleash a backhander on net.

Right after the expiry of a second-period penalty to Huberdeau, Hodgson capitalized on a bad giveaway up the middle and burst in to blast a slapper through Galbraith for a 2-1 lead at 5:03.

With less than six minutes remaining in the second period, Schenn spun off the goal line to feed an unchecked Alex Burrows in front, but the puck bounced off Burrows’ stick into the goalie’s pads. Galbraith also came up big with a glove save on Turris late in the period, which Canada dominated with a 20-8 edge in shots.

Denmark's relatively good fortune was about to run out as Canada's offence kicked into high gear.

At 1:15 of the third period, Read stormed to the net to pound a rebound high to the glove and make it 3-1 Canada.

Read got his second of the night less than two minutes later, one-timing home a great Turris set-up on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush.

"When they score on our power play, that is a tough blow for us," said Hansen. "It's hard to come back from."

At 8:35, Huberdeau notched his first marker of the tournament, completing a nice passing play at the side of the net as he banged in his own rebound to put Canada up 5-1.

Hodgson completed his hat trick on the power play at 10:24, tapping a Nazem Kadri rebound past Galbraith's right skate for a 6-1 lead.

"He was a really good player for us tonight," Huberdeau said of Hodgson. "I think he’s just got to keep going and do what he did. He scored three goals for us and we all know he is a good player."

"If you give them a chance to score, they'll punish you, and that's what happened in the third," said Danish defenceman Steffan Lassen.

It was the fifth all-time meeting between Denmark and Canada at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. The only time Denmark has gained a point from Canada was a 2-2 tie in Finland 2003, when the Danes returned to the elite division after a 54-year absence. Last year, Canada beat Denmark 3-1.

A pre-game ceremony honored Danish captain Morten Green for playing his all-time national team record 257th game. Green received a Danish jersey with “257” on the back. The 33-year-old forward, who currently plays for the DEL’s Schwenninger Wild Wings, surpassed ex-Danish captain Jesper Damgaard.

LUCAS AYKROYD

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