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Men's World Championship Roundup: Canada, Germany, Finland, Latvia Prevail

The new week action began with Canada and Finland remaining perfect, while Germany and Latvia came out ahead in their matchups in the fourth day of the World Championship.
2022 IIHF World Championship

Canada Beats Slovakia 5-1 to Stay Perfect

A pair of highlight-reel stops were the talk of the town on Monday in a 5-1 win for Canada to kick off the day's action.

Both Adam Huska and Logan Thompson made diving glove saves a few minutes apart in the second period, doing whatever it took to keep the game close.

Canada, though, was too much for the Slovaks. Adam Lowry was given credit for the first goal at 10:48 when Damon Severson's shot bounced off some traffic in front of the net, only for Severson to tip in Samuel Takac's goal at 12:47. 

Canada's Pierre-Luc Dubois then took over in the second, with the Winnipeg Jets star scoring a pair of goals -- including one on his stomach -- to make it 3-1. Goals from young forwards Cole Sillinger and Morgan Geekie made it 5-1 to close out the contest.

Latvia Edges Norway for First Win

After two losses to kick off Group B play, Latvia finally became the last team in the side to get a point after beating Norway 3-2. 

The first period was split at one apiece, with Rodrigo Abols opening the scoring at 14:04. Four minutes later, Mats Rosseli Olsen's wrist shot beat Elvis Merzlikins to tie the game, frustrating a Latvian team that clearly had good work ethic, but struggled for consistent pressure.

Fortunately for the eventual winners, goals from Nikolajs Jelisejevs and Roberts Bukarts – with Jelisejevs' coming on the two-man advantage – pushed Latvia ahead to a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Norway wouldn't back down, though, and Max Krogdahl's goal at 47:12 on a knuckle puck of a shot put Norway back within one. The difference ultimately was Merzlikins, who made a couple big stops late to help secure the Latvian win.

Penalty Trouble Stifles USA Effort Against Finland

A three-goal power-play run – including two on a five-minute advantage – helped contribute to a sizeable 4-1 win for Finland against the United States.

The win will have big implications in the race for Group B supremacy, with Finland and Sweden off to perfect starts and USA, Czechia and Latvia all vying for the final two playoff spots.

With Adam Gaudette in the box at 16:04, Mikael Granlund – the hero in the game against Latvia – scored on a wrister to make it 1-0. 

Austin Watson would then get ejected for an illegal hit to the head early in the second and both Valtteri Filppula and Sakari Manninen used the extra space to their advantage to make it 3-0. USA took four more penalties in the second, and Mikko Lehtonen scored five seconds into a 4-on-4 to make it 4-0 at 30:50. USA put on the pressure, and eventually was rewarded with a late goal by Alex Galchenyuk after he went between the legs on a shot, but it was the only thing the team could really celebrate.

Germany Beats France, Looking Strong in Group A

The race for the four Group A spots is tight this year, and Germany came up big with a 3-2 win over France to move into third.

It was a hard-fought affair, with France not giving the Germans much to work with. But at 2:04 in the first, Germany's Daniel Fischbuch opened the scoring when he received Leonhard Pfoderl's pass in the slot and beat Sebastian Ylonen all alone for the 1-0 goal. 

At 14:48, Alexandre Texier – the lone French NHLer on the roster – scored on a one-timer from former Montreal Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon to knot the game at one apiece, only for Germany to restore its advantage thanks to Alex Ehl's goal at 17:51. 

France needed a bounce to go their way, and at 31:18, it did. Charles Bertrand's shot was deflected in by Hugo Gallet from in close for the lone goal of the second stanza, setting up an exciting sprint to the finish. 

In the third, Pfoderl got one of his own after Marcel Noebels found him on an odd-man rush, with Pfoderl just breaking past a French defender to knock in the feed. The lead would stand, and Germany and the many fans that traveled to watch them in person had a big reason to celebrate.


News & Notes

- USA's Alex Nedeljkovic left the team with an injury after not being initially registered. USA has one roster spot available in net, with options like Jack Campbell and Jake Oettinger now becoming available over the weekend.

Three Stars

1. Sakari Manninen, F (FIN): A well-deserved honor after recording a goal and two assists. He's a power-play wizard.

2. Leonhard Pfoderl, F (GER): With an assist and the game-winner, Pfoderl had a big game in an important match for Germany in its quest for a top spot in Group A.

3. Adam Huska, G (SVK): He allowed five goals, but it could have been much worse if it wasn't for his solid 39-save effort.


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