SASKATOON - Gabriel Bourque of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar had three goals and assisted on four more as Canada romped to a 16-0 victory over Latvia in its opening game of the world junior hockey championship on Saturday.
Nazem Kadri of the London Knights, Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats, Patrice Cormier of the Rimouski Oceanic, Brandon Kozun of the Calgary Hitmen and Luke Adam of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles each scored two while Travis Hamonic of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Adam Henrique of the Windsor Spitfires and Brandon McMillan of the Kelowna Rockets also scored for Canada.
Jake Allen of the Montreal Juniors needed only 10 saves for the shutout while Canada had 66 shots.
In Regina, Sweden opened the tournament with a 10-1 win over the Czech Republic on a goal and four assists from Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson.
There is no mercy at the world juniors, where goal differential in the preliminary round can be a key tie-breaker to reach the single-game elimination stage next week. At last year's tournament in Ottawa, Canada opened with an 8-1 win over the Czechs and then beat Kazakhstan 15-0.
They face Switzerland in round-robin action on Monday.
Canada held off wearing its new Saskatchewan green uniforms and was in traditional red and white before a less-than sellout crowd of 12,469 at the 14,000-seat Credit Union Centre that lapped up the one-sided rout by the home team.
Only 36 seconds into the game, a Ryan Ellis point shot was tipped in by Bourque.
Kadri was at the back door to put in a Taylor Hall pass at 4:22 and Bourque was in front to convert a Greg Nemisz feed at 6:39 as Canada scored two quick power-play goals. That chased Latvia's starting goalie Raimonds Ermics, who allowed three goals on 10 shots, in favour of Janis Kalnins, who gave up 13 goals on 56 shots.
Adam and Cormier made it 5-0 by the end of the period.
The onslaught continued in the second as Eberle finished a two-on-one with McMillan at 4:49, Hamonic scored from the high slot at 9:28 and Kadri completed a two-on-one with Hall at 10:26.
Kozun and Eberle scored power-play goals late in the period and with less than three seconds left, Henrique went in alone to score.
Comrier got his second of the game on a rush 1:33 into the third, McMillan got a power-play goal at 4:35 and Kozun, who had five points, got his second at 9:19.
A Bourque pass went in off a skate at 18:28 for Canada's sixth power-play goal of the game and Adam added one with 28 seconds left to play.
It wasn't an overly physical game, but Kadri was sent off with a minor for checking from behind and a 10-minute misconduct after he knocked down Edgars Ulescenko behind the Latvia net in the first period.