Jay McClement scored the fastest goal by a Canadian to start a game ever at this event and his team never looked back in a 6-3 win over the United States on Monday.
The Canadians opened the scoring for the first time in the tournament with McClement’s goal eight seconds into the first period and put in a complete effort after it. They took fewer penalties and seemed to overwhelm the Americans for stretches with their speedy offensive play.
Canada has won its first six games at the world championship and will face Switzerland in the quarter-finals Thursday.
Matthew Lombardi had a hat trick and Mike Cammalleri added two goals for Canada.
Paul Stastny, with two, and Lee Stempniak replied for the U.S., which faces Finland in its quarter-final game.
McClement got things started for Canada before several fans at Mytischi Arena had even found their seats. He walked over the U.S. blue-line and beat goalie John Grahame with a hard shot just eight seconds in. The previous Canadian record had been Mike Ricci’s goal 20 seconds into a game against Great Britain in 1994.
The Canadians kept coming and Stempniak was soon called for a slashing penalty. Cammalleri scored his first goal on the power play at 2:05 after Eric Staal made a nice move to split two defenders and found him alone at the side of the goal.
Lombardi stretched the Canadian lead to 3-0 at 12:48 by finishing off a 2-on-1 with Rick Nash before Cammalleri’s tip-in goal less than 40 seconds later signalled that the rout may be on.
But the Americans came out stronger in the second and got their first goal when Stastny swept the puck by Canadian goalie Cam Ward at 9:47.
Lombardi restored Canada’s four-goal lead at 15:19 when he blasted a shot from the top of the circle over Grahame’s shoulder before Stempniak got that back at 17:49 by one-timing a low, hard pass from defenceman Erik Johnson.
The Americans outshot Canada 13-10 in the middle period but trailed 5-2, prompting U.S. coach Mike Sullivan to insert backup goalie Jason Bacashihua for the third.
Lombardi hardly celebrated when he beat Bacashihua at 11:58 to complete the hat trick. Stastny cut the lead to 6-3 less than two minutes later.
Notes: A total of 28 players in the game were facing at least one of their NHL teammates . . . Canada is 36-3 all-time against the U.S. at the world championship. The losses came in 2001, 1985 and 1933 . . . There are nine players on the U.S. roster who are 23 years old or under; Canada has seven such players.