Men’s Hockey World Championship roundup: Canada, Finland, Slovakia and USA win on day one

Canada overtakes Germany

Canada will avoid another terrible start to the World Men’s Hockey Championship after beating Germany 5-3 on Friday.

Canada are always expected to do well, but they started the tournament 0-3 last year – including a loss to the Germans – before turning the tide and winning gold .

The fun started for the Canadians at 8:06 when Cole Sillinger got the bouncing puck from Josh Anderson and made it 1-0. Nine minutes later, Pierre-Luc Dubois doubled the lead to 2-0 with his first of the game.

Germany’s Marc Michaelis scored at 27:24 after Moritz Seider landed a perfectly placed shot on Logan Thompson’s pad and Michaelis in front to cut the lead in half.

But from there, it was all of Canada. Dubois had his second of the night after the puck bounced off his foot to make it 3-1. Kent Johnson scored his first World Championship goal two minutes later on the power play to make it 4-1, while San Jose Sharks defenseman Noah Gregor scored his first national team goal to give Canada a four-goal lead.

A pair of power-play goals from Germany scared Canada in the third. Mattias Plachta’s wrist shot at 41:13 from Tim Stutzle made it 5-2, while Seider scored one of his own on the power play – also on a pass from Seider – to make it 5 -3 with 7:25 to go. Germany retired their keeper with just under three minutes to go, but Thompson saved all the shots and held on for the win.

Slovakia avoids the return of France

Slovakia’s attempt to build on a bronze medal at the 2022 Olympics nearly ended in disaster, but they eventually beat France 4-2 in a close affair.

At one point, it didn’t look like a close game. Pavol Regenda scored the lone goal in the first and Toma Tatar scored at 21:54 to make it 2-0. But a pair of goals from Anthony Rech and Jordann Perrett about six minutes apart put Slovakia in a tough spot.

Perrett, in particular, scored a game-winning goal after Yohann Auvitu put the puck on the ice near the French net to Valentin Claireaux, who gave Perrett a nice pass for the breakaway goal.

France had momentum and beat Patrik Rybar again, but Samuel Takac’s goal two minutes from the end of the second put Slovakia back in front. Regenda’s empty net helped seal the deal for Slovakia, who had a similar roster to that which won a medal in Beijing.

Latvia no game for USA

A three-goal first period set the tone as the United States eventually secured a 4-1 win over Latvia to open the game.

It will be a quick turnaround for Latvia, who face hosts Finland in the evening game tomorrow. The United States will have the day off before facing Austria on Sunday.

Latvia needed their goalkeeper but got the exact opposite after a difficult first half for Elvis Merzlikins.

Riley Barber scored on a shot from Andrew Peeke at 7:11, only for Seth Jones to score a power play goal on a shot Merzlikins moved too slowly on.

Then, at 11:36, San Jose Sharks prospect Thomas Bordeleau scored a shorthanded marker when he passed the puck one-handed into the five-hole Merzlikins on a play where he attempted to pass the puck. to Seth Jones on an odd run. .

Latvia opted to keep Merzlikins in the net for the second, and Sam Lafferty scored to make it 4-0 just 33 seconds into the middle stanza for the big advantage. Latvia got a power-play goal at 1:47 of the third period from Andris Dzerins, but it was the only scorer they put on the board and it ultimately didn’t make a difference.

Finland rules out Norway at home

A fierce showdown between two rival teams resulted in a 5-0 victory for the Finnish hosts over Norway.

The game was marked by a rare brawl, as Finland’s Saku Maenalanen and Norway’s Magnus Brekke dropped the gloves late in the third period. Both were ejected from the game.

On the scoring side, Harri Pesonen scored the only goal of the first half after catching Joel Armia’s pass near the edge of the net and trumping Henrik Haukeland.

At 31:37, Toni Rajala doubled the lead, Hanne Bjorninen adding one himself at 36:06. Armia added a goal at 41:36 to seal the score in a one-sided game on the scoresheet. Jere Sallinen scored a late goal to make it 5-0 and give the home fans yet another reason to celebrate.

News and Notes:

– Caleb Jones was injured in USA’s pre-tournament game against Canada and will return to his hometown of Chicago. The Blackhawks have 23 players in Finland, 20 of them registered, and can have a 25-man roster, so the team will likely deal with that in the coming days with more NHL teams eliminated.

1. Seth Jones, D (USA): Jones scored a goal and an assist and almost scored another early in the first too. A good start for the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman.

2. Moritz Seider, D (GER): With three points in Game 1, Seider is already tied for the tournament scoring lead. Not bad for the Calder Trophy favourite.

3. Juraj Slafkovsky, F (SVK): With two assists, Slafkovsky shined after leading the Olympics in goals earlier this year. Prospect watchers, keep an eye on Slovakia.

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