Crosby and Bergeron dazzle in Grand Forks

By Simon Richard

2005 Prospects: Alex Bourret

Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron shined
in the Ralph Engelstad Arena in the opening game of
the 2005 World Junior Championship between Canada
and Slovakia.

Playing with OHL top scorer Corey Perry (ANA), the 2005 top
seeded NHL Entry Draft prospect and the 2004 NHL Calder trophy runner-up
combined for four goals and two assists in the first 30 minutes giving a lead
of 4-0 before the halfway mark.

The Slovakians didn’t help themselves with five minor penalties in
the first period. Nevertheless, they managed to allow only one goal while
playing shorthanded.  

Chicoutimi Sags Marek Zagrapan and Stanislav Lascek
scored a goal apiece in the second period for Slovakia placing their team back in
the game. This period ended 5-2, Jeff Carter having scored for Canada.

At this point, the ending was already set. Canada won 7-3. Clarke MacArthur scored twice for Canada in the third and Peter Olvecky one for the opponents.

Canada outshot Slovakia
36-23. Both goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Jeff Glass had an average game. Expect
to see Rejean Beauchemin in
action next game for Canada.

This game could be an indication of the real value of the Canadian team.
The Slovakian team is not a weak one. Ten of the Slovaks from last year’s
roster were on the ice. There were also 11 Slovakian players used to the small
North American rink, of whom ten are playing in the CHL and one in the USHL.

"We didn’t have a good start but we played better and better
as the game advanced," said Zagrapan after the
game. “Canada
has a great team but if we have had started better, we could have played
against them," he added.

"We played two bad periods and had stupid penalties," shrugged

Corey Perry replaced Jeremy Colliton on the Bergeron line. Colliton
is still suffering what is called an ‘upper body injury’ by the
Canadian staff, on the Bergeron line. "Those are two tremendous players, I
just try to adapt to them," said Perry.

Crosby was aware
of some mistakes made by his team. "We have to learn from the mistakes we
have made today," commented Crosby. “My
line was cut on the second goal but I think that overall we played a good game,"
he added.

"It was an excellent game for us despite the little break we gave
them at the end of the second period and at the beginning of the third one,"
commented Bergeron. Then, we came back to our game plan and everything was fine
for us."

Bergeron commented on his roommate Crosby. “I
didn’t know him before but I’ve been playing and living with him
for about two weeks now. He has an incredible vision of the game and can
anticipate the play as very few players can do. He works hard. All this put
together, I’m very pleased to play with him," concluded the modest
Boston Bruins player.



Richard is the author of La Serie du
siecle, Septembre 1972, a
book about the Summit
Series published in 2002.
Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of
the editorial staff.