Recaps of the action from the opening day at the WJC in Malmo, Sweden, where Canada beat Germany 7-2; Sweden squeaked by Switzerland 5-3, the Russians romped over Norway 11-0 and the U.S. topped the Czechs 5-2.
SWEDEN 5, SWITZERLAND 3
From Andrew Podnieks, IIHF.com: Captain Filip Forsberg thrilled local fans with two great plays in the first period as Sweden fought back to defeat Switzerland 5-3.
The game was full of energy on the ice and in the nearly sold-out stands, but Forsberg’s play suggested many great days ahead for Tre Kronor and in the NHL.
Four goals of the five goals in the opening period were scored in a burst early on in under three minutes. The Swiss got on the board first on the power play when Yannick Rathgeb threw a light but quick shot at the net. In the ensuing scramble, Sandro Zangger managed to shovel the puck in at 5:43 to silence the raucous crowd. (Read the full story)
CANADA 7, GERMANY 2
From Lucas Aykroyd, IIHF.com: Canada started its road to redemption on a positive note, beating Germany 7-2 in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship opener at Malmö Isstadion on Thursday.
After finishing fourth at the 2013 tournament, despite a stacked lineup due to the NHL lockout, the always-favoured Canadians are under pressure to win this year. Their last gold medal came on home ice in 2009 in Ottawa. Prior to 2013, the last time they failed to medal was in 1998, when they came eighth.
Anthony Mantha led the way with three goals for Canada, while Sam Reinhart added a goal and an assist. Josh Anderson, Bo Horvat and Nic Petan had singles, and Jonathan Drouin recorded three assists. Derrick Pouliot and Connor McDavid had two helpers apiece. (Read the full story)
RUSSIA 11, NORWAY 0
From Andrew Podnieks, IIHF.com: Russia stormed out to a 5-0 lead after 15 minutes and coasted to a 11-0 win over Norway in the first game for both teams at the 2014 U20 World Championship.
The second line of Vyacheslav Osnovin-Alexander Barabanov-Damir Zhafyarov accounted for three of those goals.
As well, goalie Andrei Vasilevski tied one all-time U20 record in this opening game and could have tied another. Merely by playing in it he tied 14 goalies for most career U20 tournaments with three. And, had he gained sole credit for the shutout, it would have put him in more exclusive company. Only Slovakia’s Jaroslav Halak has four career shutouts. (Read the full story)
UNITED STATES 5, CZECH REPUBLIC 1
From Lucas Aykroyd, IIHF.com: The United States opened its defence of its 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship title with a convincing 5-1 win over the Czech Republic.
Coach Don Lucia’s team grabbed a 2-0 lead with power play goals 41 seconds apart at the start of the first period, and never looked back.
Last year, the Americans dispatched the Czechs 7-0 in the quarter-finals, and even though there are only three returning U.S. players here in Malmö, the current gap between the two countries at the U20 level was still apparent.
Riley Barber, Will Butcher, Hudson Fasching, Jaccob Slavin and Vince Hinostroza scored for the United States, which just had too much well-organized speed, strength, and skill for the Czechs to counter. And it wasn’t if as coach Miroslav Prerost’s squad wasn’t trying. (Read the full story)
Get scores, schedules and more on THN.com’s World Junior Championship Central page.