World Jrs

Hall leaves game as Canada beats Sweden in exhibition tune-up

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The Canadian Press
12/21/2009 1:10:24 AM
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REGINA -- An exhibition victory over Sweden came with a small scare for Canada's world junior team.

Forward Taylor Hall, a candidate to be the top draft pick in 2010, left late in the first period of Canada's 6-2 victory on Sunday night when he banged his knee after being knocked down in front of Sweden's net.

Coach Willie Desjardins said Hall was kept out of the final two periods as a precaution.

"He's good, he just banged his knee a little bit, he probably would've played in any other game, if we were later on in the tournament he would've kept playing," Desjardins said. "It was just precautionary, he'll be fine."

Before going off, Hall started an offensive outburst as Canada had goals from six different players in a scrappy game played before 6,195 at Brandt Centre.

"There was a lot of doubts about scoring and that on our team and I think we showed tonight that everybody is capable of it," defenceman Alex Pietrangelo said after the game. "We've got four lines that can all play, they could all be first lines."

Hall opened the scoring for Canada, beating a Swedish defenceman just over the blue-line before knocking a rebound behind Jacob Markstrom at 10:48 of the first period.

Jordan Caron, Brandon Kozun, Travis Hamonic, Ryan Ellis and Jordan Eberle also scored goals for Canada, which opens the world junior tournament on Dec. 26 against Latvia in Saskatoon. Nazem Kadri added three assists and Jake Allen made 30 saves.

"I just wanted to get my feet wet and take it step by step, game by game," Allen said.

Carl Klingberg and Jakob Silfverberg replied with third-period goals for Sweden.

Canada built a comfortable 4-0 lead after two periods. Caron beat Markstrom to the five-hole, Kozun finished a pretty three-way passing play from Kadri and Gabriel Bourque and Hamonic scored with a shot through traffic.

After Ellis scored on the power play to make it 5-0 early in the third period, Klingberg ended Allen's shutout bid at 13:39. Eberle and Silfverberg traded goals before the final buzzer.

Desjardins lauded Allen's performance after the game.

"He played unreal," Desjardins said. "There were two or three real big saves. It was a lot closer game than 6-2."

Officials handed out 23 penalties, including eight for roughing and two misconducts, and broke up close to a half dozen skirmishes after whistles.

Pietrangelo, a returnee from last year's team and current member of the NHL's St. Louis Blues, said he wasn't surprised by the scrappiness.

"It has become an rivalry, you can't argue that," Pietrangelo said.

"We do need to work on our discipline but we did send a message."



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Russia 2, Canada 1


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