Crouse scores twice as Canada thumps Kazakhstan 5-1 at world hockey championship

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RIGA, Latvia — Lawson Crouse scored twice as Canada remained unbeaten at the world hockey championship with a 5-1 win over Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Joe Veleno and Sammy Blais each had a goal and two assists for Canada (4-0, 11 points), while MacKenzie Weegar added a goal and an assist.

“We are trying to get better every day and learn things from every game," Crouse said. "The ultimate goal is to win gold, and we are taking steps forward every day, but we need to keep playing to our identity and playing within our structure."

Adil Beketayev had Kazakhstan's only goal.

Joel Hofer stopped 16 shots for Canada in his national team debut.

Nikita Boyarkin made 35 saves for Kazakhstan.

Weegar took the only penalty in the disciplined game when he was whistled for tripping in the second period.

Canada, which has the next two days off, moved two points ahead of idle Switzerland for top spot in Group B. The two teams will meet Saturday.

“I am happy about how we have played through four games," Canada head coach André Tourigny said. "The boys have been having fun together, they fight for each other and they care for each other.

"Structure-wise, they have been playing with their instincts and not over-thinking, and there is less confusion on the ice, which is common for a new team. We are starting to play with more pace, and we are getting close to where we want to be."

Switzerland, which has yet to concede a goal at the tournament and has a full nine points from three regulation wins, returns to action Thursday against Slovakia.

"(The Swiss) are a very structured team that have done a great job of keeping the puck out of their net, so we will need to do whatever we can to generate scoring chances and capitalize on those chances, and take care of the puck in our own zone," Crouse said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press