Mason solid in Canada win

It used to be that Canadian teams would come to international hockey tournaments and risk being undone by undisciplined play.

Red Deer product Chris Mason gets his blocker on a shot as the Czech Republic’s Petr Cajanek looks for a rebound on Thursday

Canada 5 Czech Republic 1

KLOTEN, Switzerland — It used to be that Canadian teams would come to international hockey tournaments and risk being undone by undisciplined play.

The tables have been turned so far at this IIHF World Hockey Championship.

Chris Mason stopped 43 shots and Steven Stamkos scored two power-play goals Thursday as Canada continued its potent special teams play during a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic.

Shea Weber also scored with the man advantage while Dany Heatley and Martin St. Louis added even-strength goals for Canada (4-0).

The Canadians finished the night 3-for-5 on the power play and are now a sizzling 12-for-24 in the tournament.

Ales Hemsky had the lone goal in reply for the Czech Republic (2-2).

In Thursday’s other games, Russia beat Sweden 6-5 in overtime, Belarus edged Norway 3-2 in overtime and Latvia beat Switzerland 2-1 in a shootout.

It was the second loss in as many nights for a Czech team led by Jaromir Jagr.

The 37-year-old may have spent the season away from the NHL while playing in Russia but he was easily the most dangerous player in a white Czech jersey on this night.

Jagr showed poise with the puck and buzzed all around the Canadian zone. However, he was stymied at every turn by Mason — just like most of his teammates.

The Canadian goalie is an interesting story in his own right.

He has twice come to this event as an alternate and now has back-to-back victories after finally getting into a game with the national team.

It certainly helped that his teammates built an early lead. Canada scored three power-play goals in the first period for the second straight game and was able to shut it down from there.

Stamkos made it 2-0 with goals just over six minutes apart.

The first one came after a point shot bounced off a Czech player and onto his stick while the second was scored when he took a pass from Shane Doan, brought the puck to his forehand and beat Jakub Stepanek.

Weber got the team’s third power-play goal at 17:05 of the first period when he hammered home a slapshot — a virtual copy of the other three he’s scored in the tournament. That chased Stepanek from the goal, the third time in four games Canada has seen its opponents pull the goaltender.

Mason did well to keep the Czechs at bay while his team gave them six straight power plays during the second and third periods.

The game got increasingly chippy as time wore on but the result was never in doubt, especially after Heatley scored 22 seconds into the final period before Stamkos set up St. Louis to make it 5-0.

Mason seemed destined to record a second straight shutout but Hemsky spoiled it by scoring on a partial breakaway with 2:40 remaining.

Russia 6 Sweden 5 (OT)

At Bern, Dmitri Kalinin helped the defending champions win their fourth straight game by scoring just over four minutes into the extra period. It was his second goal of the game.

Oleg Saprykin, Ilya Nikulin and Sergei Mozyakin also scored for Russia.

Kristian Huselius, with two, Rickard Wallin, Niklas Persson and Anton Stralman replied for the Swedes.

Belarus 3 Norway 2 (OT)

At Kloten, Ruslan Salei scored 4:35 into overtime as Belarus erased a two-goal deficit and beat the Norwegians.

Alexei Ugarov and Mikhail Grabovski had the other goals for Belarus, which got 38 saves from Andrei Mezin.

Patrick Thoresen and Mats Trygg replied for Norway.

Latvia 2, Switzerland 1 (SO)

At Bern, Aleksandrs Nizivijs scored and goalie Edgars Masalskis stopped all three Swiss attempts in the shootout.

Martins Cipulis scored in regulation for Latvia while Andreas Ambuhl replied for Switzerland.

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