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MacKinnon, Canada Fall to France on Day 1 of Worlds

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon and Canada opened their 2014 IIHF World Championship on Friday with a 3-2 shootout loss to France at Chizhovka Arena. The win for France marked only the second time in the country's history at the tournament that it had beaten the hockey power, with it last defeating Canada in April 1995 by a 4-1 score.

Canada's Nathan MacKinnon pulls the puck away from France's Yohann Auvitu during preliminary round action at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)

MacKinnon had the assist on Erik Gudbranson's go-ahead goal that gave the Canadians a 2-1 lead at 10:42 of the third period, but Stephane da Costa's second goal of the night tied the game at 2-2 for the French less than two minutes later.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare won the game for France in the shootout as he scored in third round, the only goal of the tiebreaker. MacKinnon did not participate in the shootout for Canada.

France opened the game's scoring with da Costa's first goal of the game with 2:57 left in the first period, but the French lead was short lived as Canada quickly answered to tie the contest with 16 seconds remaining in the stanza.

Elsewhere on Day 1 of the tournament, Avs goalie Reto Berra's Switzerland team lost 5-0 to Russia in its first game. Berra was the backup goalie for the Swiss and did not play in the game.

Switzerland was one of the surprises at last year's world championship as the team made it all the way to the gold medal game before falling to host Sweden.

Both Canada and Switzerland will play their second games of group play on Saturday. Canada faces Slovakia while the Swiss take on the United States, with both games beginning at 11:45 a.m. MT. Switzerland's game will be televised live in the U.S. on NBCSN.

Avalanche prospects Markus Lauridsen and Jonas Holos will begin their tournaments on Saturday. Lauridsen and Denmark will play Sweden at 7:45 a.m. MT, while Holos and Norway will play Italy at 3:45 a.m. MT.

Weekend Schedule

Saturday, May 10
Norway vs. Italy, 3:45 a.m. MT
Denmark vs. Sweden, 7:45 a.m. MT
Switzerland vs. United States, 11:45 a.m. MT, TV: NBCSN
Canada vs. Slovakia, 11:45 a.m. MT, TV: TSN

Sunday, May 11
Denmark vs. Norway, 7:45 a.m. MT

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