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Duchene Leads Canada Past USA In Worlds Opener

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

CANADA (5) VS. UNITED STATES (1)

Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist and Canada defeated the United States 5-1 on the opening day of the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Team USA opened the scoring in the first period, but after that it was all Canada, which tallied five straight in the victory on Friday at Yubileiny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Duchene's score was a thing of beauty, as he took the puck from the right wall and cut into the slot before firing a shot high, far side on American goaltender Keith Kincaid to make it a 3-1 game.

He then helped set up Brad Marchand's short-handed goal—Canada's final marker of the contest—by knocking down the puck in midair to create a rush the other way.

"I think on my goal, we were able to take away some of their ice with a good rush, and everyone was working hard," Duchene said during a television interview during the second intermission. "I thought our line with Connor McDavid and Marchand pushed the pace pretty well on the cycle."

Duchene, who also had three shots and a plus-2 rating in 18:46 of action, earned player of the game honors for Canada.

On the United States side, Avalanche prospect JT Compher finished with one shot, a minus-1 rating and won 53.33 percent of his faceoffs (8-of-15) in 15:04 of ice time. He was on USA's fourth line with his former University of Michigan linemates, Kyle Connor and Tyler Motte.

Avs goalie Calvin Pickard did not play in the contest for Canada. He served as the backup for starting netminder Cam Talbot.

Team Canada will have Saturday off before returning to action on Sunday against Hungary. The United States plays Belarus on Saturday.

SWEDEN (2) VS. LATVIA (1) – OVERTIME

Gustav Nyquist scored with 54 seconds left in overtime to help Sweden avoid the upset and win 2-1 versus Latvia at the Ice Palace in Moscow. The Swedes held a one-goal lead for much of the contest, but Latvia's Kristaps Sotnieks scored the tying marker with 7:31 remaining in the third period to force the extra stanza.

Colorado prospect and Swedish defenseman Anton Lindholm did not play.

Team Sweden's next contest is Sunday against Denmark.

FINLAND (6) VS. BELARUS (2)

Team Finland used four second-period goals en route to a 6-2 victory over Belarus on Friday at the Yubileiny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Patrik Laine, who is rated as the No. 2 international prospect by NHL Central Scouting for this summer's draft, led the Finns with two goals and an assist.

Finnish forward Mikko Rantanen did not dress for the game.

Finland returns to action on Sunday versus Germany.

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