Canadian juniors blank Slovakia
With first place already locked up, Canada finished off the preliminary round with a 3-0 win over Slovakia Sunday at the world junior hockey championship in Leksand, Sweden.
Defenceman Kris Russell scored two goals and goaltender Carey Price earned his second shutout of the tournament by making 32 saves.
Russell's four goals in as many games are the most by a Canadian defenceman in one world junior tournament.
"The puck was finding its way in, and it's nice to get that, but the guys did a great job of screening in front so the goalie didn't have as much of a chance," said Russell.
Steve Downie added a goal and an assist for the Canadians, who played in front of a sparse crowd of 1,434 at the Ejendals Arena.
Canada (4-0) secured first place in Pool A after a 3-1 win over Germany Friday, while Russia (4-0) clinched first in Pool B with a 5-0 thumping of Finland on Sunday.
Canada and Russia both earned byes into the semifinal round on Wednesday.
"Going into the semifinals, this is what we really wanted, to make sure we had no regrets in this game and really go in knowing we're a great team," said Russell.
After the Canadians took an early 2-0 lead in the first period, Slovakia tried to force Canada into taking penalties.
While the plan worked sporadically, including two-man advantages four times throughout the game, Price was able to bail out his team with several key stops.
Canada scored two power-play goals on 11 chances.
Canadian forward James Neal didn't play dueto a sore groin.
Canada will face the winner of the quarter-final game between Finland and the U.S. on Tuesday.
The Americans defeated host Sweden 3-2 in overtime Sunday in Pool A.
The Czech Republic doubled Switzerland 4-2 in Pool B action and will play Sweden in the quarter-finals with the winner matching up against Russia in the other semifinal game.
With files from the Canadian Press