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WCH Update: Big wins for Europe, North America

Bellemare; Gostisbehere have standout games in Round Robin openers

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The first two games for each country, and hybrid teams, at the World Cup of Hockey are in the books and those hybrid teams are off to a pretty good start with a little help from the Flyers.

Team Europe took on a powerful United States squad and pulled off the upset with a 3-0 shutout win off of 35 saves from Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak, representing Slovakia.

Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, representing France, was a big part of the victory.

The first two games for each country, and hybrid teams, at the World Cup of Hockey are in the books and those hybrid teams are off to a pretty good start with a little help from the Flyers.

Team Europe took on a powerful United States squad and pulled off the upset with a 3-0 shutout win off of 35 saves from Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak, representing Slovakia.

Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, representing France, was a big part of the victory.

Bellemare recored the third goal for Team Europe and finished with a +1 rating and 15:38 of ice time, including plenty of minutes late in game on the penalty kill as the US had two power-plays in the final seven minutes.

"Every team has unbelievable talent," Bellemare said in an interview to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We didn't question ourselves and think, 'We're not as good as Team America.'"


WATCH BELLEMARE'S GOAL BELOW...

Mark Streit, representing Switzerland, had one shot on goal through 12:59 of ice time for Europe.

On Sunday, the US-Canada under-23 team of North America came storming out of the gates in their contest against Finland with a goal from Jack Eichel for a 1-0 lead early in the first.

Shayne Gostisbehere recorded an assist on the third goal for North America, who walked away with a 4-1 win. Gostisbehere logged a total of 18:26, the fourth most on the team, and finished with a +2 rating on the night, giving him a +3 through four games in the tournament.

Sean Couturier finished the game with two shots on net and 15:16 of ice time.

With victory comes defeat, and a pair of Flyers were on the wrong side of a 6-0 win by Canada over the Czech Republic. Jakub Voracek posted four shots on goal, tied for the most on the team, and logged 14:46 of ice time.

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was pelted with 50 shots from Canada throughout the game, but had a few highlight reel saves, including one on a Sidney Crosby breakaway and a spectacular diving stop on Steven Stamkos.

WATCH IT BELOW...

Claude Giroux was a coach's decision to not play in Canada's first game. They'll have a full two days off until their second matchup, a crucial game against USA on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

Monday night could see up to six Flyers in action, including four in one game. The Neuvirth and Voracek are set to face off against Bellemare and Streit as the Czech Republic takes on Team Europe at 3 p.m. on ESPN2.

The North American team will face Team Russia in prime time as both Gostisbehere and Couturier are expected to be in the lineup. Game time is 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

* As a quick reminder, the top two finishers in Group A (Canada, Europe, USA, Czech Republic) and Group B (North America, Sweden, Russia, Finland), following the conclusion of round-robin play, will advance to a single-game semifinal, where the first-place team from each group will face an elimination game against the second-place team from the other group. Winners of the semifinal games then will advance to a best-of-three final series.

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