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Mayers shines as Canada opens world championship with 3-2 win over Germany

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The Germans played a tight game at the IIHF world hockey championship on Saturday but Canada walked away with a victory in its first game thanks to two goals from Jamal Mayers.

His second of the night at 11:52 of the third period gave Canada its winning 3-2 margin.

"Your first game is always difficult and you have to recognize the Germans have some good young players that play extremely hard," Murray said.

Eric Staal had the other goal for Canada, which next plays Norway on Monday.

Christoph Ullmann and Robert Dietrich replied for Germany.

Canada made its physical presence felt early but not in the way coach Murray had envisioned. Defenceman Shea Weber was ejected just 1:19 into the game after catching Yannic Seidenberg with a hard open ice check that sent the German sliding 25 feet along the fresh ice.

Seidenberg is seven inches shorter than Weber, who was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for a hit to the head. The German forward had difficulty getting up and missed the rest of the game.

"I didn't intend to hurt him at all," said Weber. "It happened really fast."

The hit likely won't result in a suspension. Referee Jyri Petteri Ronn didn't fault Weber in his report to the IIHF's directorate after the game.

"The referee put on the report that it was not with intent (to injure) so it should die right there," said Murray. "But we are in Moscow."

Canada was able to kill off the five-minute disadvantage.

Ullmann opened the scoring for the Germans at 9:51 shortly after his team had killed off a penalty of its own. Canadian goalie Dwayne Roloson made a nice save on Ullmann as he drove to the net but the German was able to scoop in the rebound.

Mayers tied the game at 17:39 at the end of an inspired shift that saw him block two shots. He planted himself at the edge of the crease and redirected a pass from linemate Jason Chimera by German goalie Dimitrij Kotschnew.

Canada took the lead just 53 seconds into the second period. Staal burst into the German zone and took a nice backhand pass from Carolina Hurricanes teammate Justin Williams before sliding the puck through Kotschnew's legs.

But the Germans tied it 30 seconds later on a goal from the neutral zone. Dietrich took a long shot from just over centre ice that slid under the left pad of Roloson, the 37-year-old goalie who was making his first ever start for Canada.

It stayed tied until the third period, when Mayers scored his second goal. Chimera stole the puck from Kotschnew behind the goal and got it in front to Mayers.

He had a wide open net.

"I almost missed," said Mayers. "Even though he was out of the net, a lot of time goalies make that desperation play with their stick. So I had to get a lot on it I thought."

Notes: The public address announcer introduced Roloson by his given name Albert . . . Mytischi Arena seats about 7,000 and was opened in November 2005. It's the home of Russian League team Khimik . . . The last three players to win the scoring title at the world championship are all Canadian: Sidney Crosby (2006), Dany Heatley (2005) and Joe Thornton (2004) . . . A 2006 IIHF survey found that 25,793 men were playing hockey in Germany. That's roughly 460,000 fewer than in Canada.



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