Toronto (Canada) (AFP) – Brad Marchand celebrated his $ 49 million deal for eight years with the Boston Bruins and contributed to Canada’s power to a 3-1 victory over Europe in the opening match world Cup final hockey series.
Marchand Tuesday contributed a goal and an assist just one day after inking his contract extension with the Bruins to quell speculation of a possible move of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Steven Stamkos and Patrice Bergeron scored the other goals for Canada against a European side who dug deeply and caused problems for the hosts.
“At first I thought they were better than us for large areas of the game at times,” said Canadian coach Mike Babcock.
“I thought they executed and played fast. I do not think we moved the puck out of our area at all tonight, went back. We had guys out there who did not speak a the other … they had the air faster than they were and we probably looked slower than we were. ”
Marchand pulled Canada ahead after only 2:33 of the opening period, flying behind the defense after darting on the penalty spot.
It was the fourth goal in five games Marchand tournament.
Stamkos then grabbed his first of the tournament, finishing off a pass from Ryan Getzlaf to put Canada 2-0 at the end of the first period.
Canada were shaken but when Europe pulled a goal back in the middle of the second period.
the Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Tatar, whose winning time on Europe had taken in the final, made it 2-1 after seven minutes of the second period to put the underdogs within striking distance.
Slovak compatriot Andrej Sekera Tatar almost leveled 2-2 just before the end of the second period, but was rejected with a superb block by Canada goaltender Carey Price.
But as Europe began to dare to dream of an upset, Marchand, Bergeron and Canada star Sidney Crosby turned on the style to make the game safe.
Crosby has set up a third for the hosts with a sublime play along the boards near Bergeron to finish 3-1.
Europe ended the match with a goal, but Canada were unable to extend their lead in a frenetic closing spell.
Canadians can claim the crown World Cup with victory in the second match on Thursday.