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Finland Takes Over First Place

by Ryan Boulding / Colorado Avalanche

FINLAND (5) VS. SLOVAKIA (0)

Finland passed the idle Canadians for sole possession of first place in Group A with a 5-0 win over Slovakia on Sunday at the Yubileiny Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

After a scoreless first period that saw both teams combine for a total of just seven shots on net, the Finns converted on a power-play opportunity in the middle of the second to kick off their scoring.

They added another in the middle frame and three more markers in the third period to take home the shutout.

2016 World Junior Championship standout and Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen made his 2016 IIHF World Championship debut in the contest. He finished with one shot on goal and a plus-1 rating through 9:48 of ice time.

Finland (6-0-0-0) faces Canada (5-0-0-0) on Tuesday in a game that could very well decide the top seed from Group A when the preliminary round closes.


SWEDEN (3) VS. SWITZERLAND (2) - SHOOTOUT

It took more than an extra frame to decide a winner between Sweden and Switzerland on Sunday, but it was the Swedes that came out victorious in the tight 3-2 game at the Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia.

Switzerland got on the board late in the first, taking a lead that would last until the 11:12 mark of the second stanza when Sweden responded with a power-play tally to tie it.

The Swiss regained the lead in the third period, but the Swedes responded once more to force overtime and the eventual shootout. Sweden outpaced Switzerland 2-1 in the skills competition to win the match.

Swiss netminder Reto Berra finished the game with 33 saves in the loss.

Swedish rear guard Anton Lindholm made his World Championship debut in the win. He ended the contest with a minus-1 rating and 19:18 of playing time.

Sweden (3-2-0-1) takes on host-nation Russia (4-0-0-1) on Tuesday to conclude preliminary play. Switzerland (1-1-3-1) plays the Czech Republic (4-1-1-0) on Tuesday as well.


GERMANY (3) VS. UNITED STATES (2)

Germany topped the U.S. in regulation for the first time in 23 years on Sunday, taking the victory on the strength of a late, third-period goal.

The Germans came out firing at the Yubileiny Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, scoring a power-play marker merely 2:19 into the contest.

Team USA responded in kind 8:16 later when Avalanche prospect JT Compher fed Jake McCabe a cross-ice pass for the tying tally.

Germany registered its second goal of the period 2:31 after that to regain the lead.

The Americans started the second period with a goal 26 seconds in to even the score, but both teams remained deadlocked when the frame concluded.

With overtime practically upon them, the Germans shocked the United States when they scored with simply 33 seconds left on the clock to win the match.

Compher finished the contest with the assist and a plus-1 rating in 12:43 of ice time.

Team USA (3-0-0-3) takes on Slovakia (2-0-0-4) on Tuesday to close out the first round of play.

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