Eric Staal scored four goals as Canada routed Germany 10-1 on Saturday to record its fifth straight win and become the first team to clinch a quarterfinal berth at ice hockey’s World Championship.
Canada will face Finland on Monday with the top seed in the quarterfinals at stake.
Martin St. Louis had five assists, and Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Patrick Sharp, Derek Roy and Mike Green scored the rest of the goals.
“We were just trying to get Staal as many goals as possible,” Roy said. “We said he was on pace for six. We were just trying to feed him in the third period, he had the hot stick going.”
“He’s a great player,” he said.
Canada even put the puck in the net for Germany, spoiling Cam Ward’s shutout bid, with Dan Hamhuis knocking it into the goal.
Staal scored with about six minutes left in the first period, as part of Canada’s four-goal outburst.
German coach Uwe Krupp sent in goalie Robert Mueller to start the second period but he was of no help. Staal scored two more goals in the first 8:20 of the second period before getting a fourth at 15:30.
“Obviously you want to help out as much as you can,” Staal said. “I felt like I was working hard and getting to those areas but just not getting enough wood on it.
“It was just a matter of time,” he said.
Staal and St. Louis became the sixth and seventh Canadian players in the modern era to record five points in a game at this event.
Eric Lindros holds the record with six points, which he had twice during the 1993 world championship in Germany.
“Our team was outmatched in just about every aspect of the game,” Krupp said. “It was a sobering experience for everybody.
Thank God you don’t have too many days like this,” he said.
Later on Saturday, Slovakia beat Slovenia 4-3 in a shootout in a relegation bracket game.
In Quebec City, Alexander Ovechkin scored with six seconds left in the third period to lead Russia to a 3-2 comeback win over Sweden.
Russia trailed 2-1 going into the third period, but Sergei Fedorov scored at 4:57 to tie the game.
With overtime looming, Alexander Semin fed Ovechkin on a break for a shot that goalie Henrik Lundqvist got a piece of, but the puck jumped into the air and landed behind him in the net.
Mattias Weinhandl and Tony Martensson scored for Sweden, while Semin got one in the second period for Russia, which stayed atop its group.
Earlier, the Czech Republic beat Belarus 3-2 in a shootout.
Radim Vrbata and Ales Kotalik scored in the shootout to help the Czech Republic survive a scare from Belarus.
Belarus was eliminated from the medal round, but earned an important point. With a win over Denmark on Monday, Belarus has a shot at 9th place in the tournament and an automatic berth in the 2010 Winter Olympics.