The 2017 IIHF World Championship got underway today in both Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France, with five Blackhawks taking part in the action: Nick Schmaltz and Trevor van Riemsdyk with Team USA, Russia's Artemi Panarin, Sweden's Marcus Kruger, and Michal Kempny of the Czech Republic.
Russia and Sweden got the day's action underway in Cologne. Panarin tallied the decider in Russia's 2-1 shootout victory with the only goal of the shootout. In regulation and overtime, Panarin -- playing on Russia's second line -- registered 5 shots on goal in 18:43 of ice time. For Sweden, Marcus Kruger played on the second line and was on the ice for 12:05. Russia will be back in action on Sunday against Italy, while Sweden will take on Germany tomorrow.
The United States' campaign got off to a rocky start, as the red, white and blue were upended 2-1 by the host nation Germany. Schmaltz and van Riemsdyk both saw action -- Schmaltz on the third line and van Riemsdyk as a part of the third defensive pairing. The Americans will return to the ice in search of their first victory of the tournament on Sunday against Denmark.
In Paris, Kempny and the Czech Republic were defeated 4-1 by Canada. Kempny skated 20:18 as a member of the second defensive pairing. The Czechs will return to action tomorrow against Belarus.