HERNING, Denmark — Connor McDavid had a hat trick while Curtis McElhinney and Darcy Kuemper shared the shutout as Canada beat Norway 5-0 in Group B action Thursday at the world hockey championship.
Bo Horvat added his first two goals of the tournament to round out the scoring.
After opening the round-robin portion of their schedule with three games in four days, Canada’s players looked rested and energized against Norway after two days off — none more so than McDavid.
Canada’s captain walked out from behind the net before firing high over the blocker of Norway goaltender Lars Haugen to open the scoring just 1:23 into the first period.
McDavid added his second of the night as he shot the puck over Haugen’s stick as he fell to the ice at the right faceoff dot with 4:19 left in the first period, then completed his hat trick before the game was half over, roofing the puck over a sprawled Haugen at 8:51 of the second period.
Horvat scored on a shorthanded breakaway at 12:49 of the first while McDavid was serving a high-sticking penalty and from in close off a pass from Pierre Luc-Dubois at 2:24 of the third.
McElhinney made nine saves in 48:12 of action before leaving. Kuemper stepped in to finish the game but didn’t need to make any saves.
Haugen made 28 stops for Norway.
Though their team trailed for most of the evening, the mainly pro-Norway crowd of 5,139 fans on hand for the late game at Jyske Bank Boxen sang, clapped, chanted and whistled from the opening puck drop until the final whistle.
McDavid leads Canada with four goals and six assists and is tied for third place overall in the tournament. In just four games, he has already surpassed his production from the 2016 world championship, when he had one goal and nine points in 10 games on the way to a gold medal as part of a Bill Peters-coached team.
Defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was added to Canada’s roster Wednesday after the San Jose Sharks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Vlasic, a Canadian gold medallist from the 2014 Olympics and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and a two-time world championship silver medallist, is expected to get into the lineup against Finland on Saturday.
Forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau started the tournament wearing No. 44, but switched to No. 11 on Thursday so that Vlasic will be able to wear his usual number.
After Canada’s regulation win and a 3-2 overtime win for the United States over Latvia in Thursday’s early game in Herning, the two North American squads are tied at top of Group B with 10 points each. Norway sits last in the group with three points in four games.
In Group A action in Copenhagen, Slovakia beat France 3-1 and Russia edged the Czech Republic 4-3 in overtime. The Czechs got an immediate boost from the arrival of David Pastrnak and David Krejci, playing in their first worlds games after the Boston Bruins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Canada’s next opponent on Saturday is Finland, currently one point back in third place.