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MacKinnon Keeps Rolling For Canada

MacKinnon, Barrie tied for second in tournament scoring

by Ryan Boulding @rboulding / ColoradoAvalanche.com
CANADA (6) vs. BELARUS (0)

Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon was a dominating force for his country for the second-straight day at the 2017 IIHF World Championship in Paris, France, helping Canada top Belarus 6-0 at AccorHotels Arena on Monday.

MacKinnon, playing wing on a line with Jeff Skinner (Carolina Hurricanes) and Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers), registered two goals in the middle frame and assisted on another in the third period to push his preliminary point total to seven (five goals, two assists).

Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning) started the scoring for the Canadians with a first-period marker just 5:08 into the match and his squad never let up.

MacKinnon tallied his first goal on a power play merely 4:20 into the second after Belarus' Artyom Volkov was whistled for hooking. The 21-year-old native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, sniped the puck into the net from just inside the left faceoff circle. Avs blueliner Tyson Barrie assisted on the play.

Watch: Highlights

"We had a good power play," MacKinnon told the IIHF website. "I managed to find the high glove again, a good pass from [Mitch Marner], pretty much the same play. Obviously, with the linemates I have, the power play we have, and the opportunity I'm getting from the coaching staff, it makes it easy for me."

Colorado's leading point producer put up his second of the game 11:01 later when he buried a loose puck in the crease behind netminder Mikhail Karnaukhov.

He capped off his three-point performance with a primary assist on Skinner's third-period goal, which put the game firmly out of reach for the Belarusians.

Avalanche goalkeeper Calvin Pickard got his second start of the tournament and held up his end of the bargain, turning aside 13 shots en route to his first shutout of the 2017 event. His action was limited to just four shots in the opening frame, three in the middle stanza and six at the end as the Canadians carried the play for the entirety of the match.

MacKinnon finished with three points (two goals, one assist) and four shots in 15:53 of playing time. Barrie ended the match with one assist and four shots in 19:24 of ice time. Avs forward Matt Duchene, playing wing on a line with Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo Sabres) and Mark Sheifele (Winnipeg Jets), had one shot in 11:05 of game action. MacKinnon and Barrie are tied for second in tournament scoring with seven points through three contests.

The win further solidified Canada's (3-0-0-0) lead in Group B ahead of a two-day break for the club. The Canadians return to action Thursday in a matchup with co-host France (1-0-0-1).

Belarus (0-0-0-3) takes the ice again on Wednesday with a game against Switzerland (1-1-0-0).

  

USA (4) vs. SWEDEN (3)

Avs rookie J.T. Compher was the hero the Americans needed on Monday at LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany, helping his country move up to third place in Group A with a 4-3 victory over Sweden.

Compher scored the decisive goal in the final frame, breaking a 3-3 deadlock after consecutive penalty kills saw the momentum turning in favor of the Swedes. The 22-year-old native of Northbrook, Illinois, tipped Connor Murphy's (Arizona Coyotes) shot through Swedish goaltender Viktor Fasth with 9:13 remaining, and Team USA held on for its second consecutive victory at the tournament. 

The marker capped off an effort that saw the United States come back from one-goal deficits three separate times.

Elias Lindholm (Carolina Hurricanes) scored first for Sweden, capitalizing on a power play just 2:14 into the match, but Clayton Keller (Coyotes) followed it up with his fourth goal in four periods to tie it 1-1. Lindholm tallied again just over 10 minutes later, but the Americans responded in kind once more when Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames) found the back of the net to make it 2-2. Victor Hedman (Lightning) made it 3-2 by the first intermission, but the lead was short-lived.

Watch: Highlights

Gaudreau potted his second of the game 2:57 into the middle frame to force the 3-3 stalemate into the final stanza.

Sweden outshot Team USA 42-27, including 14-7 in the second period and 14-9 in the third, but the squad just couldn't find the equalizer before the buzzer.

Compher finished the game with one goal and two shots in 8:42 of ice time while skating with Andrew Copp (Jets) and Jordan Greenway. 

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog led Swedish forwards with 21:30 of playing time and had five shots in the loss. He also screened U.S. goalie Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings) on Lindholm's first marker. Carl Soderberg finished with one shot and one penalty in 14:33 of game action.

USA (2-0-0-1) has Tuesday off before facing Italy (0-0-1-1) on Wednesday. 

Sweden (1-0-1-1) will look to move into the top three in Group A when it takes on Latvia (2-0-0-0) on Thursday.

 

RUSSIA (6) vs. GERMANY (3)

World Championship co-host Germany had its hands full with Russia on Monday and despite a third-period comeback attempt, fell 6-3 in front of 18,734 fans at LANXESS Arena in Cologne.

The Russians jumped out to a commanding lead after Vadim Shipachyov (Vegas Golden Knights) scored back-to-back markers, and Sergei Plotnikov added another to make it 3-0 at the conclusion of the first period.

Russia continued to control the game in the second, putting home goals from Nikita Gusev and Nikita Kucherov (Lightning) to go up 5-0, but Germany wasn't ready to give up.

The German squad found the back of the net three times in the final frame, mounting a comeback that would fall short by the final buzzer. Kucherov scored his second of the game 11:40 into the third to really push the game out of reach.

Watch: Highlights 

Avalanche prospect Andrei Mironov finished with two shots, one penalty and a minus-2 rating in 17:05 of ice time. He was again paired with Ivan Provorov (Flyers).

Russia (2-1-0-0) leads Group A with eight points and has two days off before facing Denmark (0-0-0-2) on Thursday.

Germany (1-0-0-2) returns to action on Wednesday with a match against Slovakia (0-1-0-1).

 

CZECH REPUBLIC (4) vs. FINLAND (3) - SHOOTOUT

The Finns watched a 3-0 lead slip through their fingers on Monday as the Czech Republic completed the comeback in the shootout to take a 4-3 victory at AccorHotels Arena in Paris. 

Valtteri Filppula (Flyers) scored just 58 seconds into the game and Topi Jaakola followed suit 1:43 later to give Finland a 2-0 lead before the five-minute mark of the opening period. Avs rookie Mikko Rantanen assisted on both goals, which gave the Finns a commanding lead.

Watch: Highlights

Ville Lajunen added one more for good measure before the conclusion of the first period, but the lead would only last until the third. 

Goals from Roman Horak, Radko Gudas (Flyers) and Jan Kovar, which came with 1:51 remaining in regulation, tied the contest 3-3 and forced an overtime period and the eventual shootout.

Czech shooter Robin Hanzl was the hero for his country, as he was the only player to find netting in the skills portion of the match. Rantanen had a chance to even things up as the final shooter for the Finns, but he was denied by netminder Petr Mrazek (Red Wings).

Rantanen finished with his two assists in 15:12 of playing time. 

Finland was outshot 34-21 in the loss, including 17-2 in the third period.

The Czechs (1-1-0-1) moved into third place in Group B with the victory. They'll face Norway (1-0-0-1) on Thursday.

Finland (1-0-1-1) is in fourth place in Group B and will take on Slovenia (0-0-1-1) on Wednesday.

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