Canada and the U.S. both were victorious on the opening day of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Canada, the defending champion, opened its title defense by coming from behind for a 6-3 win against Sweden on Monday in Piestany, Slovakia. Sault Ste. Marie center Daniel Catenacci scored twice as Canada connected three times in the second period to rally from a 3-1 deficit.
Red Deer forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring for Canada with a power-play goal just 2:12 into the game, but Sweden scored the next three, capped by Oscar Klepbom's power-play goal 1:12 into the second period.
However, Lucas Lessio of the Oshawa Generals and Catenacci scored to tie it, and the Sarnia Sting's Brett Ritchie put Canada ahead for good. Peterborough Petes forward Matt Puempel scored 49 seconds into the third, and then Catenacci scored again for the final margin.
Coach George Burnett was happy with his team's effort, but believed the eight penalties his team took were far too many.
"We had a good start, we scored the first goal early, but I think we ran into some lessons to be learned," Burnett said. "We took seven stick penalties, so we've got to tidy that up. Most of them were from being on the wrong side of the puck or trying to use your stick to check, which doesn't work well in events like this, so they got some power-play goals. But we made some adjustments in the second period … and we got some good transition turnovers from some back pressure which was essential against a team that plays with the puck possession that these guys do and we turned some of those into goals."
Goalie Tyson Teichmann of the Belleville Bulls stopped 37 of 40 shots. Canada outshot Sweden, 43-40.
Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist to lead the U.S. to a 3-2 win against the Czech Republic in Breclav, Czech Republic. Alex Broadhurst and Cason Hohmann also had goals for the U.S.
"We had a great tempo, with good speed and energy throughout the game," said U.S. coach Tim Army. "We were more disciplined and our penalty killing was excellent."
Broadhurst opened the scoring 7:30 into the game, finishing off a two-on-one rush with John Gaudreau. After the Czechs tied it at 17:01, Trocheck scored the only goal of the second period, putting in a pass by Tanner Sorenson at 2:02.
Trocheck helped set up Hohmann for what became the winning goal with 9:54 left in the game, when he knocked in the rebound of a Craig Duininck shot.
The Czechs scored to make it a one-goal game when Dmitrij Jaskin scored less than a minute later, but Jay Williams, who made 18 saves was solid the rest of the way.
In two other games yesterday, Switzerland beat Slovakia, 7-2, and Finland beat Russia, 3-2 in a shootout.
Both teams skate again Tuesday, with Canada playing Switzerland and the U.S. facing Russia.
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com