ZURICH-KLOTEN – Playing for the first time in 71 years, Canada overwhelmed Hungary by a 9-0 score. A dozen different players earned at least a point in the game. Martin St. Louis had a hat trick plus an assist to lead the attack. Chris Mason, playing in his first game after joining the team once his NHL’s St. Louis Blues were eliminated, earned the shutout by stopping 16 shots. Canada fired 51 shots the other way.
"I was pretty nervous going in," Mason admitted. "You know it's going to be the kind of game where you're not going to get a lot of shots, so I worked on staying focused, and I think I did that."
The win puts Canada in first place of Group A with six points, and the loss leaves Hungary pointless after two games.
In truth, the game resembled something from the 1930s when Canada would play virtually the entire game in its opponent’s end. The rabid Hungarian fans were left to cheer when one of their own players simply checked the puck off a Canadian stick, and a veritable roar erupted when they recorded a shot on goal.
Canada was so vastly superior that the game featured many penalties against the Hungarians as they were beaten to every loose puck, outmuscled, and outskilled every minute of the game.
The first goal came at 5:18 after Canada played virtually the entire game to this point in the Hungary end, an Ian White point shot deftly deflected in front by St. Louis past goalie Levente Szuper.
"We wanted to come out strong and come out hungry, and we knew they'd be ready to play," said Mike Fisher. "We did a good job in all areas using our speed and size, and we didn't let up."
Indeed, they didn't. The second goal came at 9:40 on the power play, and this time Shea Weber’s point shot beat Szuper cleanly. It was the third man advantage for Canada in the first half of the first period, all infractions the result of Canada’s superior speed and strength.
Spezza’s great pass between his legs from behind the net to Derek Roy in the slot made it 3-0 and a nice two-on-one made it 4-0 when White made a perfect pass to James Neal for the one-timer. In all, nine different players recorded a point in the period.
The second period started off testily after Scottie Upshall received a five-minute major and match penalty for a hit to the head of Andras Benk, but the penalty wasn’t a minute old before the Hungarians were called for hooking and then holding. St. Louis and Weber scored soon after, bringing about a goaltending change in the name of mercy. The besieged Szuper went to the bench and Zoltan Hetenyi came on.
"What can I say?" Szuper commented. "We tried our best. In games like these, you learn a lot. As a goaltender, you hate to give up a goal, but for the team, there is a lot to be learned."
The match penalty to Upshall immediately disqualifies him from the next game for Canada.
Mike Fisher and St. Louis completed the scoring in the third.
"We had all lines working tonight, and we moved the puck well. It was important for us to maintain pressure from the beginning of the game and all the way through," player of the game St. Louis said.
Canada closes out its round robin Tuesday night against Slovakia while Hungary fights to stay out of the Relegation Round earlier that day with a decisive game against Belarus.