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Alzner, Downie lead offence as Canada beats Finland 5-2 in junior exhibition
Canadian Press
Dec 20, 2006, 3:34 PM EST


HELSINKI, Finland (CP) - Karl Alzner and Steve Downie each had a goal and two assists to lead Canada's world junior hockey team to a 5-2 win over Finland in an exhibition game Wednesday.

Brad Marchand, Jonathan Toews and Andrew Cogliano each added a goal and an assist for the Canadians, who played a solid all-around game in their exhibition opener.

"Our team play was pretty good," said Canadian head coach Craig Hartsburg. "When we stuck with the things that we do best, and worked and skated, we were pretty good. The only problem was when we got sloppy with it. That's where their scoring chances came from.

"For the most part it was a good, solid effort."

Canada's second and final exhibition game goes Friday against Sweden. The Canadians will open defence of their world junior title Dec. 26 against the host Swedes.

Alzner, a stay-at-home defenceman with the Calgary Hitmen, opened the scoring midway through the first period. Marchand of the Moncton Wildcats extended the lead at 15:36.

Nashville Predators prospect Teemu Laakso replied for the host Finns, scoring with 19 seconds left in the second period to cut the lead in half.

Downie, a winger with the Peterborough Petes, restored the two-goal lead on the power-play at 1:36 of the third, one of three man-advantage goals for the Canadians.

"(Downie's goal) was important," said Hartsburg. "At 2-1, we had to get the momentum back."

Cogliano and Toews, who play in the U.S. college system, added third-period goals for Canada, while Vili Sopanen closed out the scoring for Finland.

Cogliano, who was named player of the game, said his team still has plenty to work on.

"I think we took a couple of penalties that were unnecessary," said Cogliano. "We might just have to get used to the rules. Discipline is obviously important in the tournament."

Tri-City Americans goaltender Carey Price earned the win with a 25-save performance.

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