TORONTO — Brad Marchand and Steven Stamkos scored in the first period and Canada cruised to a 3-1 win over Team Europe in Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey final on Tuesday night.
Game 2 in the best-of-three series is Thursday night.
Patrice Bergeron's goal midway through the third period created a two-goal cushion. Carey Price had 32 saves for the Canadians, who have won two straight Olympic gold medals and 15 consecutive best-on-best games.
Slovakia's Tomas Tatar scored his third goal in two games 7 minutes into the second period to get Europe within one. Jaroslav Halak, also from Slovakia, stopped 35 shots.
Shortly after Canada killed off a penalty, Patrice Bergeron passed across the crease to set up Marchand's fourth goal of the tournament 2:33 into the game. The Bruins teammates have been playing on a line with Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
Later in the first, Ryan Getzlaf snatched the puck from Europe defenseman Zdeno Chara and faked a shot at the top of the left circle, leading to a tap-in goal for Stamkos.
"I knew it was a matter of time before one goes in," Stamkos said. "I want to say I was saving them for the end."
Crosby's second assist of the night and his World Cup-high ninth point helped Canada to a 3-1 lead. He shot the puck, got to the carom and circled back to set up Bergeron in front of the net.
U.S. 1960 captain dies: John "Jack" Kirrane Jr., the captain of the U.S. team that won gold at the 1960 Winter Olympics, died Sunday, according to the Bell-O'Dea Funeral Home in Brookline, Mass. He was 88. His son told the Boston Herald his father had Alzheimer's disease. At the Squaw Valley Games, he led a squad of mostly college players to upsets of Canada and the Soviet Union before beating Czechoslovakia for the gold.