Americans, Canadians open world junior hockey championship with victories

·3 min read

RED DEER, Alta. — The United States jumped to a three-goal lead and overcame a third-period comeback to defeat Slovakia 3-2 Sunday in the final game on the first day at the world junior hockey championship.

Matthew Knies, Mackie Samoskevich and Landon Slaggert scored for the defending champion Americans (1-0) in pool B action in Red Deer, Alta.

Goalie Drew Commesso stopped 23 shots in the win.

Martin Chromiak scored twice in the third period for Slovakia (0-1), which failed to find the equalizer late in the game.

Simon Latkoczy made 39 saves in defeat.

The U.S. outshot Slovakia 42-25.

“Our guys stuck together and grinded out a tough game,” U.S. coach Nate Leaman said. “It’s a good first step for our group. We need to keep working hard and improving before we play Switzerland on Tuesday.”

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CANADA 6 CZECH REPUBLIC 3

Owen Power's hat trick lifted Canada (1-0) over the Czechs (0-1). Power of Mississauga, Ont., became the first Canadian defenceman to score three goals in a single game at the world junior men's championship.

The first overall pick in this year's NHL entry draft by the Buffalo Sabres scored a pair of power-play goals for Canada in the second period to break a 3-3 deadlock.

“I think pucks kind of just found me,” Power said. “Guys did a good job of getting me good pucks in good spots to shoot."

Cole Perfetti had three assists, Mason McTavish had a goal and an assist and defencemen Donovan Sebrango and Olen Zellweger also scored for the host country at Edmonton's Rogers Place.

Canada's starting goaltender Dylan Garand, who signed an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers last week, made 14 saves for the win.

Michal Gut had a goal and an assist and Stanislav Svozil and Pavel Novak also scored for what is now Czechia after the Czech hockey federation's adoption of the country's name change from "Czech Republic'.

Jakub Malek, a New Jersey Devils prospect, turned away 30 shots in the loss.

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SWEDEN 6 RUSSIA 3

Simon Edvinsson, Emil Andrae and Alexander Holtz each scored one and assisted another to lead Sweden past Russia.

Oskar Olausson, Theodor Niederbach and Daniel Ljungman also scored for Sweden (1-0). Helge Grans and William Eklund chipped in with two assists apiece.

Jesper Wallstedt turned away 27 shots in the tournament-opening win in Red Deer.

Matvei Michkov replied with two third-period goals for Russia (0-1). Fyodor Svechkov also scored.

Russian goalie Yaroslav Askarov gave up three goals on 16 shots before being pulled after two periods. Yegor Guskov stopped 5-of-7 shots in relief in the third.

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FINLAND 3 GERMANY 1

Samuel Helenius scored twice and Joel Maata had the eventual winner in the second period for Finland (1-0), with Brad Lambert assisting on both of Helenius' goals.

Leevi Merilainen made 23 saves for the win in net.

Luca Munzenberger was the lone scorer for Germany (0-1), which got 19 stops from goaltender Nikita Quapp.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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