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USA Picks Up First Win At World Championship

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

UNITED STATES (6) VS. BELARUS (3)

The United States capitalized on three of its six power-play opportunities and defeated Belarus 6-3 on Saturday at the Yubileiny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, for its first victory at Worlds.

Auston Matthews led the Americans with two goals and an assist. Matthews is NHL Central Scouting's No. 1-rated international skater going into this summer's draft after the Scottsdale, Arizona, native played professionally in Switzerland last season.

Colorado prospect JT Compher centered USA's third line with former Michigan teammate Tyler Motte and team captain Matt Hendricks. Compher went 8-for-12 on faceoffs in 10:24 of ice time and finished with a minus-1 rating. He was also called for a hooking penalty during the third period.

The United States will get Sunday off before facing Finland in a tough matchup on Monday.

KAZAKHSTAN (3) VS. SWITZERLAND (2) – SHOOTOUT

Kazakhstan pulled off the first upset of the World Championship as the No. 17-world ranked team defeated No. 7-ranked Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday at the Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia.

Switzerland trailed 2-1 in the third period after Kazakhstan's Roman Starchenko scored at 10:30, but the Swiss quickly responded as Denis Hollenstein notched the tying tally 1:31 later to help force extra time. The Kazakhs were outshot 51-26 overall, with goalie Vitali Kolesnik making 49 saves.

Netminder Reto Berra stopped 24 pucks through overtime for Switzerland and denied Nigel Dawes' penalty shot at 9:35 of the first stanza to keep the game scoreless at the time.

However, Dawes would get his revenge, scoring the winning goal in the shootout before Switzerland's Lino Martschini failed to capitalize on his chance to extend the outing. Kazakhstan won the shootout 3-2.

The Swiss look to bounce back on Sunday as they take on Norway.

DENMARK (3) VS. NORWAY (0)

Norway was no match for Sebastian Dahm as the goaltender pitched a shutout to lead Denmark to a 3-0 victory in both teams' first contest of the 2016 World Championship on Saturday at the Ice Palace in Moscow.

Despite outshooting Denmark 44-28, the Norwegians couldn't beat Dahm, who got support from two goals in the second period and an empty-net tally in the third.

Norway forward Andreas Martinsen played 22:34 and finished with three shots on goal, which included a close-in chance in the first period that could have turned the tide of the game. He finished with a minus-1 rating.

Next up for the Norwegians is a contest against Switzerland on Sunday.

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