HALIFAX – It took a while to get going, but Canada overpowered Norway to the tune of 8-2 this afternoon at the Metro Centre to set up a semi-final date with Sweden in the late game at the Colisee in Quebec City on Friday. The Canadians scored four power-play goals in the win.
Derek Roy led the way with three goals and an assist. Jonathan Toews and Dany Heatley had one goal and two assists, and Rick Nash had two goals. The game featured 20 minor penalties.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game having played them before," goalie Cam Ward said. "They held on tough until the middle of the second period."
Once again the big line got the scoring going right from the opening faceoff. Dany Heatley picked up the puck at centre ice and came down the left side where he was checked weakly by two defenders. He picked the puck up near the goal line and fired a shot at goalie Pal Grotnes who missed the routine shot. The goal, his tournament-leading tenth, came just 37 seconds after the opening faceoff.
"That's two games in a row now," linemate Rick Nash said of his team's fast start. "It's always good to get one early."
The Norwegians tied the game at 7:51 on a 5-on-3. They moved the puck around hesitatingly, but then Morten Ask blew a slapshot by Cam Ward from the top of the right faceoff circle. Late in the period they had another 5-on-3 but couldn’t capitalize a second time. In all, there were nine minor penalties in the first period alone, and over the course of the first two periods there were five, 5-on-3 situations.
Canada went ahead a short time later on a 5-on-3 of its own. Ryan Getzlaf capped a flurry of activity around Grotnes by banging home a loose puck in the slot to give Canada a 2-1 lead.
The second period saw Canada in complete control until the five-minute mark when Norway finally got into the Canadian end and tied the score, 2-2. Anders Bastiansen whipped a nice pass to Mathis Olimb in the slot and his quick shot beat Ward over the glove to silence the crowd of 9,192.
"Everybody on our team felt good after we tied the game and made the building quiet," Norway's Tommy Jakobsen said. "I thought we had them on their heels in the first half of the game, but when you make a mistake against a good team like Canada, they'll make you pay."
Canada took its third lead of the game at the end of another power play. Norway killed off a 5-on-3, but one second before the second penalty had expired Jonathan Toews rifled a shot over Grotnes’s glove. After that, Canada relaxed, the fans roared their approval, and the home side went into overdrive. Derek Roy scored two goals before the end of the period to make the lead a more comfortable 5-2.
The Canadians added three more goals in the third with almost casual ease. Nash added a pair of goals, the first on another power-play on a nice give-and-go with Heatley around the crease, the second a low shot through a crowd. Roy finished his hat trick on a solo effort to close out the scoring.
"We felt we had something to prove, and we proved it," Nash said.
On facing Sweden in the semi-finals, Ward said: "This is going to be something new for us because they've been playing in Quebec. We're kind of unfamiliar with how they play, but we have a great coaching staff who'll prepare us well, I'm sure."