The 2019 IIHF World Championship began Friday morning at Steel Arena in Košice, Slovakia and it was a disappointing start for Troy Stecher and Team Canada.
Alain Vigneault's team dropped a 3-1 game to Team Finland in front of 6,764 fans; Canada tied the game 1-1 midway through the 1st with three Vegas Golden Knights connecting for a goal. The Finns took a 2-1 lead off an Arttu Ilomaki power play goal, which proved to be the game winner. Kaapo Kakko paced Finland with two goals.
Stecher was paired with Shea Theodore on Canada's third D-duo.
Steel Arena welcomed another packed house a few hours later as Team Slovakia took on Team USA, including Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko. Unfortunately for the Americans, they suffered the same fate as the Canadians, losing 4-1 to the host country.
Hughes played alongside Adam Fox as USA's third pairing, while Demko backed up Cory Schneider in net.
Over at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia, Team Sweden was defeated by Team Czech Republic 5-2. The defending champions gave up a goal in the 1st, another in the 2nd and three in the 3rd, and were only able to beat the Czechs twice.
Elias Pettersson picked up his first point of the tournament on an unreal assist to Patric Hornqvist. Petey is a magician.
Loui Eriksson was held off the scoresheet, while Jacob Markstrom watched from the stands and remains off Sweden's roster because of injury.
Sweden, USA and Canada all have Saturday off before returning to action Sunday. Sweden faces Italy, USA plays Finland, while Canada hosts Great Britain.