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USA beats Austria 5-1 in debut at World Championships

Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 5:38 PM / News

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USA beats Austria 5-1 in debut at World Championships
USA beats Austria 5-1 in debut at World Championships
Team USA got goals from five players and beat Austria 5-1 on Saturday in its first game at the World Hockey Championships in Slovakia.

Chris Kreider of Boston College and Blake Wheeler of the Atlanta Thrashers scored in the first period for the Americans, ranked sixth in the world. Marco Pewal beat Team USA goaltender Al Montoya of the New York Islanders from the slot with six minutes left in the second period to make it 2-1, and Phillipp Lukas of Austria had a chance to tie it 40 seconds later when he found himself wide open from the right circle in but fired wide.

The Americans then got the break they needed with 1:24 remaining in the period when the puck came off the boards and out to the left of goaltender Jurgen Penker to an open Yan Stastny. He pulled the puck to his forehand and stuffed it in the open net for a 3-1 lead.

Kevin Shattenkirk and Craig Smith added third-period goals for the Americans.

In the other opening-round game in Group C, Norway beat Sweden for the first time in 61 years of international competition, winning 5-4 in a shootout on goals by Per-Åge Skrøder and Mathis Olimb.

Sweden had been 21-0-1 in all international competitions against its Scandinavian rival since they first played in 1950 -- the tie game in the 1994 World Championships. Norway trailed 3-1 after one period and 4-3 in the third before Anders Bastiansen scored to force overtime.

Both teams had chances but didn't score in the extra period. Skrøder and Olimb then beat former Los Angeles Kings goaltender Erik Ersberg in the tiebreaker.

Norway plays the United States and Sweden meets Austria on Monday.

In the other opening-round games, Finland got a goal and an assist by Juhamatti Aaltonen to beat Denmark 4-1, avenging an upset loss to the Danes last year, and the Czech Republic knocked off Latvia 4-2 as Patrik Elias and Martin Havlat each had a goal and an assist.

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— New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis after scoring his 1000th NHL point on Friday
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