Hodgson hits half-dozen

Canada’s offence shines in 6-1 win over Italy

17.05.2014
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Chizhovka Arena Minsk  Belarus

Canada's Jonathan Huberdeau (#11) battles for position with Italy's Daniel Tudin (#19) in front of Italian goalkeeper Daniel Bellissimo. Photo: Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images

Canada has really gotten their offence rolling in the last two games. Cody Hodgson has been a key part of the attack.

Hodgson followed up his hat trick from yesterday’s 6-1 win over Denmark with another pair in today’s 6-1 dito over Italy. He now has a tournament-leading six goals.

"I wouldn’t have expected that coming in to it. But the most important games are the ones coming up," said Hodgson. "I’m playing with some good wingers right now. It seems like we’re generating a lot of chances as a line and on the power play. Hopefully it continues."

Joel Ward, Jason Chimera, Kyle Turris and Brayden Schenn also scored for Canada.

Goaltender James Reimer was solid when called upon, saving 21 shots in the game.

There also was some bad news for Team Canada. With just one minute to go in the first period, forward Alex Burrows left the game after taking a hit to his knee from Italy’s Joachim Ramoser, who was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct on the play.

"Burrows came in and cut to the middle," said Italy's Nathan di Casmirro. "I think he was kind of falling. I don’t think our player tried to run him like that. He just kind of found him in a bad spot. I hope Burrows is all right.

"Our guy feels bad about it too. He’s a young guy in his first tournament," di Casmirro continued. "So he was pretty down. We were trying to cheer him up and stuff like that."

After five games, Canada has 13 points and tops the group ahead of Sweden’s late game versus Slovakia. Italy is the last placed team in the group, with three points.

David Borrelli had the Italian goal but other than that and a fast start to the game, when both Brian Ihnacak and Marco Insam both had good chances to score, there really wasn't much to be happy about from an Italian perspective.

Canada clawed their way into the game and 13 minutes in, Joel Ward scored Canada’s first, coming in on a 2-on-1 break with Mark Scheifele. As he was looking towards Scheifele, he let go of an accurate wrist shot that went through Daniel Bellissimo’s five-hole.

"I think after a sluggish start – we relied on Reimer quite a bit in the first 10 or 15 minutes – we got it going and played our game, which is cycling pucks down and wearing teams out," said Canada's Brayden Schenn. "We did a pretty good job of that."

Six minutes later, Ramoser’s hit on Burrows caused a break in play. On the five-minute power play, Canada produced little for the first two minutes. After that, they put more pressure on the Italian net and made it 2-0 when Hodgson picked up a rebound in front, letting go off a quick wrist shot that eluded Bellissimo.

And Canada wasn’t finished by any means. Six minutes in, Scheifele once again found himself on a 2-on-1 break, this time carrying the puck. He found Jason Chimera with a crisp pass, who made no mistake with his angled wrist shot, putting Canada up 3-0.

Three minutes later, Canada made it 4-0 with a short-handed goal from Kyle Turris. On yet another 2-on-1 rush, Matt Read passed the puck to Turris, who pushed the puck into the net as Bellissimo moved from his right side to his left.

Hogdson had his second of the night late in the middle round, with a backhanded shot high on Bellissimo’s glove side. The goal came after a sustained pressure in the Italian zone. Nathan MacKinnon and Brayden Schenn had the assists.

After two periods, Andreas Bernard replaced Bellissimo in the Italian net. The change gave Italy some life, as they finally got their first of the game as David Borrelli deflected a Giulio Scandella shot from the point.

But that was all the Italians could muster this night as Canada continued to control the play in the third. With 3:30 remaining, Brayden Schenn closed out the scoring for the game and made it 6-1 after a feed from Nathan MacKinnon.

PETER WESTERMARK

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