Canada beats Russia to win Pool B, secure bye
It started out with a tremendous pace at both ends for both squads, but ultimately a pair of first period power play goals would prove to be all Canada would need in a 4-1 win over Russia that gives them a perfect 4-0 record in Pool B.
A key moment came just after the mid-point of the opening period, when Valeri Nichushkin was given a five-minute major, along with a game misconduct penalty for a hit from behind on Tyler Wotherspoon.
That would prove critical, as Canada was able to light the lamp twice during the five minute man-advantage.
First, Dougie Hamilton took the feed near the blue line from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and rifled a slapshot over the right shoulder of Andrei Makarov in the Russian goal.
Nearing the end of the power play, Jonathan Huberdeau fired a shot from the slot that was saved, but Mark Scheifele was able to gather the rebound, kick it forward and then shovel a backhanded shot into the net.
Scheifele would factor in Russia's lone goal though, when he turned the puck over in the Canadian zone right onto the stick of Nikita Kucherov who snapped a shot past Malcolm Subban high on the glove side.
Thanks mostly to the five-minute power play, Canada held a 23-10 advantage in shots on goal during the opening 20 minutes.
Early in the second period, 17-year old Jonathan Drouin -- who had been moved to the top line -- picked up a loose puck behind the Russian net and wrapped it around with his backhand, banking into the net off Makarov's skate to restore Canada's two-goal edge.
Russia best chance to add another goal didn't come until there were less than four minutes remaining in the third period, when Alexander Khokhlachyov picked up a puck that had caromed off the end boards and tried to shovel it into the net, but banged it off the side of the post instead.
Huberdeau would add an empty net marker in the final minute he flipped the puck out of the Canadian zone and it ended up bouncing into the Russian goal.
Nine seconds later the Russians had a chance to pull one back when Vladimir Tkachyov was awarded a penalty shot, but his forehand attempt low on the blocker side of Subban was steered wide of the goal.
Subban went on to stop 21 of the 22 shots he faced.
Canada held a 48-22 advantage in shots on goal, limiting Russia to only four in the final 20 minutes.
Canada now receives a bye to the semi finals on January 3 and will play the winner of the quarter-final between the Czech Republic and the United States.
Russia, meanwhile, will play Switzerland in the quater-finals on January 2.