Hall scores hat trick as Canada trounces Germany

Canada’s Taylor Hall, left, scores his third goal of the game past Germany's Danny aux den Birken. (Petr David Josek/AP)

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Taylor Hall and his Canadian teammates are getting used to the bigger international ice at the world hockey championship.

What they could do when they’re totally comfortable is scary.

Hall had a hat trick to lead Canada in a 10-0 rout of Germany on Sunday, keeping the Canadians at the top of Group A in the international tournament.

"I think the coaching staff has done a really good job of preparing us for what it’s like on this big ice and giving us tips and pointers on what the successful teams do over here," said Hall. "We’re trying to incorporate that and I think we’re doing a good job."

Cody Eakin had a pair of goals for Canada (2-0), while Aaron Ekblad, Claude Giroux, Tyler Ennis, Sidney Crosby and Matt Duchene also scored.

The Canadian team is made up entirely of NHLers, who are used to playing on standard North American rinks that are 200 feet by 85 feet. International rinks are also 200 feet long, but are significantly wider at 100 feet.

"It was a game where we were able to penetrate a little bit and that’s always nice," said Hall. "In this big ice you want to get to the middle of the rink as quick as you can and get shots off.

"I think we’re starting to figure out how to play on this ice and it’s nice."

Crosby agreed with Hall, saying he saw improvement between Sunday’s rout and Friday’s 6-1 victory over Latvia.

"It was good," Crosby said. "I thought we were better today than we were last game. So that’s the most important thing that you gotta get better with every game. It should happen as the guys get more comfortable with the ice."

Martin Jones earned the shutout for Canada with 17 saves. Mike Smith had been in net for the Canadians’ win on Friday, with head coach Todd McLellan electing to rotate his goalies early in the tournament.

"One of our main points when the game was a little bit out of hand there was to try and play well for Jonesy," said Hall. "Make sure that we played with good habits and I think we did that."

Dennis Endras and Danny Aus den Birken split time in net for Germany (1-1).

Crosby corralled a bouncing pass from Ryan O’Reilly and put the puck over the right shoulder of Endras at the 11:58 mark of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

Just 23 seconds later, Hall gave Canada a 2-0 lead, taking a feed from Edmonton Oilers teammate Jordan Eberle from behind the net and snapping it past Endras.

O’Reilly earned his second assist of the game, stealing the puck behind Germany’s goal-line and passing it out to Eakin, who tapped the puck in to the net for a 3-0 lead.

Eakin’s backhand off a rebound for his second goal in two minutes 21 seconds for a 4-0 lead heading to the first intermission.

Duchene passed back to Hall on a 3-on-2 breakaway then crashed the net, screening Endras as Hall’s shot went into the German net early in the second period.

Ekblad chased Endras from the net, sweeping in unmarked from the blue-line to one-time a pass from Jake Muzzin for a 6-0 Canadian lead.

Giroux helped Canada pile on, re-directing a goal-line pass.

Giroux set up a goal a little over seven minutes later, feeding Ennis in the slot. Again, Germany’s weak centre defence left Ennis virtually unmolested as he swatted the puck in.

Hall’s third of the game capped a five-goal second period. Duchene sent a cross-ice pass to Hall, who slammed it past Aus den Birken.

Duchene was awarded a penalty shot in the third period and made no mistake for a 10-0 lead.

Also Sunday, defending champion Russia and Sweden also made it two straight wins with victories over newcomers Slovenia and Austria, respectively.

Evgeni Dadonov contributed two goals and two assists in Russia’s 5-3 win in Group B in Ostrava. In Group A in Prague, Nashville Predators centre Filip Forsberg led Sweden with a hat trick and an assist in a 6-1 victory.

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