Heatley helps Canada cancel Czechs
Senators forward's goal adds insurance in fourth straight win at worlds
|Senators forward Dany Heatley of Team Canada keeps his eye on the Czech Republic's Jaromir Jagr during their qualifying round game Thursday at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship. Canada posted a 5-1 victory to improve to 4-0-0 in the tournament (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/HHOF-IIHF Images).
But it was Dany Heatley and the boys sporting the red maple leaf who made off with a 5-1 triumph on Thursday at the Arena Zurich-Kloten as qualifying-round play began at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Mason, of the St. Louis Blues, stopped 44 shots as Canada boosted its record to a perfect 4-0-0 in the tournament. The Czechs held a 45-24 edge in shots on goal but couldn't overcome a 3-0 lead built by the Canucks in the first period.
A pair of Ottawa Senators helped Canada put the finishing touches on the victory in the third. First it was Heatley netting an unassisted goal just 22 seconds into the period, his third tally of this world tourney. Then with 10:05 left in the contest, Chris Phillips drew an assist on a goal by Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning's Steven Stamkos, with two, and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators scored Canada's goals in the opening 20 minutes, all of them coming on the power play. Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers spoiled Mason's bid for a shutout, notching the lone Czech goal with 2:40 to play.
Canada is now off until Sunday, when it faces Norway in Kloten (10:15 a.m., TSN).
In other games Thursday, Russia edged Sweden 6-5 in overtime, Belarus dumped Norway 3-2 and Latvia shocked host Switzerland 2-1 in a shootout.
Friday update: U.S., Finland open Round 2 with wins
The Senators' Ryan Shannon had a second-period goal as the United States whipped France 6-2 in its qualification round opener in Bern. Also on Friday, Jarkko Ruutu and Finland stayed unbeaten in the tournament by edging Slovakia 2-1 in overtime in Kloten.
In relegation-round play, Peter Regin of the Binghamton Senators scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third period as Denmark dumped Germany 3-1 in Bern. Christoph Schubert of the Senators had the lone goal for the Germans.
For a complete 2009 world hockey championship schedule, click here.
For more pictures from the tournament, view our photo gallery here.