By Mackenzie Liddell
It was another lopsided affair in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday night, as Brayden Schenn continued his world junior domination with four goals as Canada routed Norway 10-1.
Schenn’s fourth tied the Canadian record for most goals in a game previously held by Mario Lemieux and Simon Gagne.
Erik Gudbranson scored twice while Marcus Foligno, Louis Leblanc, Sean Couturier and Casey Cizikas scored one apiece and seven Canadians finished with multi-point games.
Rasmus Juell was the lone goal scorer for Norway (0-3).
Mark Visentin got his first start of the tournament for Canada (3-0) and finished with 31 saves, including a few key stops early in the contest to preserve the lead.
Steffen Soberg and Lars Volden split goaltending duties for Norway, combining for 33 saves.
It didn’t take long for Canada to put this game out of reach, as they went up 3-0 by the midway point of the first and never looked back.
They were handed a gift for their first goal when Nicolai Bryhnisveen coughed up the puck to Brett Connolly who dished it to Cizikas for a quick one-timer.
Schenn added to his tournament leading totals shortly after, as he set up shop at the side of the net and Johansen found him with a great pass from behind the goal line, giving Canada a 2-0 lead.
Gudbranson made it 3-0 with a slap shot from the point and Leblanc scored 2:47 later on a wraparound.
Norway answered immediately after Leblanc’s marker but Canada countered with goals from Schenn and Foligno to finish the period up 6-1. Soberg was pulled from the game following Canada’s fifth goal.
Canada seemed to take its foot off the gas in the second, throwing 14 shots at the Norwegian netminder but without the urgency and hustle demonstrated in the opening period.
Despite the lackadaisical effort in the second, Canada jumped on Norway early, as Schenn completed the hat trick 44 seconds in and almost had his fourth shortly after. On the play, Ellis became the highest scoring defenseman in world junior history, surpassing Finland’s Reijo Ruotsalainen with his 22nd point.
Schenn continued his stellar night in the third, scoring his fourth of the contest after going hard to the net and diving to knock in a rebound.
Team Canada continued to run up the score in the final minutes of the game, as Couturier netted his first of the tournament and Gudbranson blasted home his second of the game with 29 seconds remaining.
The extra tally was meaningless to the result, but it must have given Gudbranson the edge for player of the game honors, as he beat out Schenn for the award despite his five point night and the crowd chanting his name as the award was about to be presented.
Canada will face its toughest opponent of the tournament to date when they take on Sweden Friday at 4 p.m ET. Norway will finish its tournament with a match against the Russians on Thursday in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Notes: Calvin de Haan (leg), Cody Eakin (hand) and Jaden Schwartz (lower-body) did not play due to injuries suffered in the previous game against the Czech Rebublic.
Zack Kassian also didn’t suit up for Team Canada after being handed a two-game suspension for his head check on Czech forward Petr Senkerik. Kassian was assessed a match penalty during the game – which comes with an automatic one-game suspension – and was handed an extra game by IIHF Disciplinary Judge Dan Marouelli after further review.
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