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Canada beats Germany, 8-2; Russia next

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  February 23, 2010 07:07 PM

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The collective whoosh you just heard?

Don't worry.

It was merely all of Canada collectively exhaling.

Jarome Iginla scored twice, Joe Thornton got the rout rolling with the game's first goal, and Canada blasted Germany, 8-2, tonight at Canada Hockey Place.

With the victory, Canada advances to the men's ice hockey quarterfinals. Canada will face Russia -- and nemesis/superstar Alex Ovechkin -- tomorrow.

Roberto Luongo, starting in net after Martin Brodeur's shaky performance in Sunday's 5-3 loss to Team USA, stopped 20 of 22 shots.

Canada dominated play thoroughly, but didn't get on the scoreboard until former Bruin Thornton's point-blank tally at 10:13 of the first period.

The score remained 1-0 entering the second, but goals by Shea Weber and a pair by Iginla five minutes apart put the game out of reach.

Sidney Crosby, Mike Richards, Scott Niedermayer, and Rick Nash scored in the third for Team Canada, much to the glee of a raucous crowd that seemed to be over Sunday's stunning loss to Ryan Miller and the US before the first faceoff.

Marcel Goc and Manuel Klinge scored for Germany, Klinge's goal coming in the final minute.

* * *

19:00, CANADA 8, GERMANY 2: Manuel Klinge punches one in past Luongo. Hey, two is better than one.

16:28, CANADA 8, GERMANY 1: Rick Nash with a lasered wrister after long cross-ice feed from Chris Pronger. After the puck eludes -- or perhaps goes through -- Greiss, Nash offers a gesture that almost looks like a yawn. Too easy, indeed.

13:25: Greiss has 24 saves on 31 shots, while Luongo is 19 for 20. The difference is that Luongo has faced maybe three legitimate chances tonight, while Greiss has been peppered.

Crosby leads Canada with five shots, while Heatley has four and three others have three. Seidenberg and Marcel Muller lead Germany with three each.

11:22, CANADA 7, GERMANY 1: Three goals in the past five minutes and four this period. That's the definition of pouring it on. The latest comes on a breakaway by Scott Niedermayer, who has six goals in 62 games for the Ducks this season. He beat Greiss five-hole.

10:45: At this point, all of our suspense is based in wondering if Bergeron or Sturm can get on the scoreboard. There's a much better chance of the former. Canada is still ruling play.

6:41, CANADA 6, GERMANY 1: Toews fends off a pair of Germans for the puck behind the net, shovels it left to Brenden Morrow, who throws a pretty backhand to Richards in the slot. Greiss never has a chance at his one-timer. Great play by all three players. Morrow and Richards didn't get much ice time early in the game, so they're taking advantage of their chances.

Third period, 1:10, CANADA 5, GERMANY 1: Beautiful goal by Crosby, who slips in toward the far post and effortlessly redirects a pass from Staal in the corner.

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19:20: A tight and raucous "Go, Canada, Go!" chant fills the rink as the second period winds to a close. We'll keep you posted if we here any "Go, Germany, Go!" chants tonight, but don't hold your breath.

16:34, CANADA 4, GERMANY 1: Now there's one for Germany. With Sturm buzzing in front, Marcel Goc collected the loose puck behind the net after a slapper from the point, zipped left, and tucked it in past a prone Luongo. Get Brodeur in there, now.

13:17 Decent wrister from the point by Germany's John Tripp. Closest thing to a scoring chance they've had . . . but it really wasn't that close.

11:00: Bergeron getting some ice time now, with Nash and Corey Perry, it appears . . . and Nash earns a penalty shot after he's taken down while breaking in on Gress. Alexander Sulzer with the takedown.

Who takes the penalty shot? Who else? Mr. Crosby.

But No. 87 comes away emptyhanded, his backhand deflecting off Greiss's glove.

8:50, CANADA 4, GERMANY 0:The floodgates are officially open. Iginla again, this time with an absolute rocket from the right point after a nifty cross-ice feed from Staal. The goal came 35 seconds after Germany's first power play (Heatley, slashing) fizzled with just one shot on goal.

3:41, CANADA 3, GERMANY 0: Considering Canada suddenly has one fewer goal than Germany has shots, would it be too soon to declare this one over? Probably not. Jarome Iginla gives the home team something else to cheer, punching one from the far post past Greiss on the power play after Rick Nash and Doughty created havoc in front. It came 15 seconds after Seiderberg was sent off for slashing.

2:32, CANADA 2, GERMANY 0: Pardon us for hopping in the time machine and leaping back 38 seconds here, but the officials just agreed -- correctly, with the assistance of replay -- that Webber's shot found the back of the net before deflecting out after hitting the water bottle. (It may have also gone through the netting. Very tough to tell, even on replay.) The assist went to Mike Richards.

Second period, 3:10: Slight delay here as officials sort out the situation after Shea Webber's slappe from just inside the blueline appeared to go wide -- upon first glance anyway -- as Jonathan Toews collided with Greiss.

Between periods . . . . . . a couple of quick stats. Patrice Bergeron has played just 13 seconds for Canada. You'd think Mike Babcock might value his faceoff skills and unselfishness a little more, but this is a pretty tough lineup to crack . . . Just one penalty in the first period, the high stick called on Germany's Schmidt . . . Greiss has 13 saves on 14 shots, while Luongo is 4 for 4 . . . Scott Niedermayer (6:40) and Duncan Keith (6:29) were Canada's leaders in ice time. Keith in particular has been active . . . Just 4:02 for Toews . . . Christian Ehrhoff leads Germany (6:47), 5:24 for Sturm . . . OK, second period about to get underway . . .

End of first period: CANADA 1, GERMANY 0: Or should we say, JOE THORNTON 1, GERMANY 0. Canada is outshooting Germany, 14-4, and none of the underdog's shots -- by Dennis Seidenberg, Jakob Ficenek, Travis James Mulock, and Korbinian Holzer, if you were wondering -- can be considered legitimate scoring opportunities. The hunch is that Canada will string together a couple of quick scores and end all suspense before the second period is complete.

By the way, CTV, which has done a terrific job of broadcasting these games -- they show stuff live and everything -- is on in the press room, and Bob Ryan is right. The host, Brian Williams, could be a stand-in for BU coach Jack Parker.

16:02: Point-blank and wide-open opportunity for Ryan Getzlaf, but he couldn't keep the puck on his stick as Greiss poked it away. The hockey equivalent of a blown layup. Canada has had probably a half-dozen open looks so far. It's not so much that Greiss is playing well as it is that they're just not capitalizing. Have to figure that will change . . . right?

15:53: Germany has just two shots on Luongo, the first coming at 11:43. (Make it three. Luongo has officially broken a sweat.)

10:13, CANADA, 1-0: Score one for old friend Joe Thornton. Hanging out on the doorstep on Greiss's left, he took a feed from Heatley behind the net and flicked it in before Greiss could see it. The play materialized when Drew Doughty controlled the puck, fed Duncan Keith for a slapper from the right point, leading to Heatley gathering the puck and putting Canada on the board. Pretty play all around.

8:59: Decent look for Nash in the slot after some sloppy puckhandling by Greiss and the German defense, but Greiss deflected the shot behind the net. Best save yet. Scoring chances so far: Canada 6, Germany 0.

7:29: Or maybe not. Germany kills the penalty despite Canada controlling the puck for most of the two minutes. Looks like they're being a little too picky, particularly Heatley. The best chance came when he fed Dan Boyle from the left of Greiss to the right faceoff circle, but Greiss seemed to get a good look at the puck.

No nerves here yet. Crowd is still rocking. They really love "I Got A Feeling'" by the Black Eyes Peas here. Not a good, good night yet, however.

5:29: Canada on the power play after Christopher Schmidt is called for a very legit high sticking penalty on Staal. Could be 1-0 by the time you read this.

4:07: Eric Staal with a big hit in the corner on Germany's Jakub Ficenec.

By the way, the referees are Jyri Ronn (Finland) and Christopher Rooney (US), while the linesmen are Stefan Fonselius (Finland) and Brian Murphy (US).

First period, 2:52: Canada is controlling play early. Dany Heatley had a good bid on wrister from the right faceoff circle, and Jonathan Toews, who played a terrific game against the US, seems to be everywhere early.

* * *

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- We're checking in live from Canada Hockey Place, where the host team tries to avoid -- only a slight exaggeration here -- an epic national disaster in tonight's quarterfinal play-in against Germany.

Roberto Luongo -- a local favorite already as the Canucks' stalwart goalie -- gets the start in net, replacing Martin Brodeur, who was shaky in Canada's 5-3 loss to the United States Sunday. Brodeur is now the backup.

Germany, captained by the Bruins' Marco Sturm, will start Thomas Greiss in net.

The mood is optimistic, with the red and white receiving a hearty roar from the crowd moments ago as it took the ice. Canada dominated play against the US for the most part, but couldn't overcome a spectacular performance by goalie Ryan Miller. The belief here is that the 24-year-old Greiss, who has played 12 games for the San Jose Sharks this season, won't be up to Miller's standard.

They're dropping the puck now . . . we'll be back for more updates right here . . .

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