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World Championship Roundup: Canada, USA, Czechs Open With Wins

The opening day of action is done in Calgary, with Canada, USA and the Czech Republic coming away smiling after wins to open up the women's World Championship.
Women's World Championship

Canada Comes From Behind to Beat Finland
Don't mess around with the Pesky Finns.

Once again, Finland proved to be an issue for Canada, leading for the first half of the game before Canada eventually escaped with a 4-3 win.

Defenseman Nelli Laitinen scored the game's first goal at 2:25, beating Ann-Renee Desbiens with a blast to make it 1-0. The Finns kept the pressure alive and at 6:05, Minnamari Tuominen scored on the power play to make it 2-0 – putting Canada in a tough spot early.

The lead would last until there was just 5:20 left in the second. Jamie Lee Rattray would crash the net and push the disk over the line, putting the Canadians on the board. Just 20 seconds later, Marie-Philip Poulin answered back with a hard shot from just around the high slot, beating Finnish netminder Anni Keisala for the 2-2 goal.

The Finns would never lead in the game again. At 42:41, Erin Ambrose scored to give Canada its first advantage of the contest, only to have Elisa Holopainen answer back and tie it up. But under a minute later, Sarah Fillier was in the right spot at the right time after a couple of chances by the Canadians, beating the Finnish goalkeeper for the game-winning goal – Fillier's first in World Championship play. Brianne Jenner scored an empty-netter in the final minute of play to finish the game off, giving Canada a come-from-behind victory.

Americans Shut Out Swiss
USA opened its title defense with a 3-0 shutout victory over Switzerland on Friday evening.

It didn't take long for USA to strike first. Brianna Decker converted on a passing play from Kendall Coyne Schofield and Hilary Knight to make it 1-0 at 4:29, the only goal of the first period. 

Then, at 24:08, Decker helped return the favor by setting up Coyne Schofield for the 2-0 goal, with Grace Zumwinkle scoring at 38:24 to make it 3-0. 

The game was rough at both ends, with teams struggling to find momentum due to a handful of penalties. USA held the momentum, however, in the third period, keeping the game scoreless when it mattered to win the game off the heels of a Alex Cavallini shutout.

Czechs Cruise to Easy Win Over Denmark
Denmark's first foray into the women's World Championship didn't go to plan, with the Czech Republic winning 6-1 thanks to a shutout from Alena Mills.

Mills was easily the star of the evening with her offensive explosion, ending up with four points on the night. 

Dominika Laskova, Vendula Pribylov and Kristyna Patkova all scored additional goals for the Czechs, while the Danes got their first goal of the tournament from Josefine Hoegh Persson.

Three Stars

1. Alena Mills, F (CZE): Three goals and an assist in a big 6-1 victory. Great way to open up the tournament for Mills, who already tops her 2019 goal output of two.

2. Brianna Decker, F (USA): She got things moving early and played a strong defensive game. Just what USA needed.

3. Jamie Lee Rattray, F (CAN): Scored a goal and generally was all over the ice for the Canadians. Not bad for Canada's 13th forward.

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