Canada blanks Norway
Parayko scores twice in win
A dynamite power play, and a little bit of attitude, got Canada back on the winning track at the world hockey championship.
Colton Parayko scored twice as Canada clinched first place in its preliminary-round group with a 5-0 win over Norway on Monday.
Both of Parayko’s goals came on the power play as Canada went 4-for-5 with the man advantage. Brayden Schenn and Ryan O’Reilly also scored with Canada a man up, while Mark Scheifele added an evenstrength goal.
Coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Switzerland on Saturday, the Canadians came into Monday’s game “a little bit angry,” according to coach Jon Cooper.
“We don’t want to hear any anthem but ‘O Canada’ at the end of the games,” added forward Matt Duchene.
Duchene was part of the 2016 Canadian team that dropped a 4-0 decision to Finland to close out the preliminary round before rebounding to win the gold medal.
“As soon as we lost, I went in the room and I told the boys — we’re going to win this tournament. There’s no doubt about it after losing that game to Finland.
“Hopefully it’s the same way this year. We played our best game of the tournament today. We dominated start to finish. We’re still not scoring as much 5-on-5 as we’d like. Hopefully it comes when we need it.”
Chad Johnson stopped all 10 Norwegian shots he faced for his first shutout of the tournament.
Despite Canada’s determination, Monday’s game began with a series of early setbacks. O’Reilly missed high and wide on a penalty shot, Wayne Simmonds had a nice tic-tac-toe goal waved off, then Canada was whistled for having too many players on the ice.
“You’re sitting here thinking, ‘We’ve had a hard time scoring goals against the Swiss and the French and here now, we’re getting our chances but they’re still not going in or they’re not counting,” Cooper said after the game. “But we felt we were on top of our game and that it was just a matter of time. Thank goodness the power play was rolling.”
Schenn opened the scoring with 2:12 to play in the first by shovelling a point shot from Chris Lee past Norwegian goaltender Henrik Haukeland while Mathias Olind served a crosschecking penalty.
Less than a minute later, with Olind back in the box on a holding call, Parayko extended the lead to 2-0 by threading a wrist shot through traffic and over Haukeland’s glove hand.
In the second period, Scheifele deposited a rebound from a Mike Matheson shot past Haukeland for his first goal of the tournament, then Parayko notched his second of the game on a big power-play slap shot with 1:46 to play in the middle frame.
“One of the assets he has, is that he’s really got a cannon for a shot,” said Cooper of Parayko, who was named Canada’s player of the game. “When you can open him up, he can keep a penalty kill honest.
“We’ve got a bunch of skill guys that are close to the net and if things don’t open up there, you can put it up to Colton. The laser beam, the sights were on today and it was good for us.”
O’Reilly added a fourth power-play goal to put Canada up 5-0 in the late stages of the third period, while Norway failed to record a shot over the last 20 minutes. Canada’s power play is now 10-for-20 through six games.
Cooper continued to alternate Johnson and Calvin Pickard from game to game. Johnson has now allowed four goals in his three starts.
The Canadians play their last preliminary-round game today against Finland. The quarterfinals take place on Thursday in Paris and Cologne, Germany.
Canada’s Colton Parayko (left) celebrates with teammate Mitch Marner after scoring his team’s second goal during the Ice Hockey World Championships group B match against Norway in the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France on Monday.