U.S., Canada win big; Ehlers picks up assist in loss
Mitchell Clinton & Ryan Dittrick
The Winnipeg Jets have seven players participating in the 2017 IIHF World Hockey Championship, held in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. Check back throughout the tournament for daily updates, highlights and more as Mark Scheifele, Josh Morrissey and Eric Comrie of Canada, Nikolaj Ehlers of Denmark, and Jacob Trouba, Andrew Copp and Connor Hellebuyck of the U.S. go for gold.
USA vs. DENMARK
The USA got their first win of the IIHF World Hockey Championship on Sunday with a 7-2 win over Nikolaj Ehlers and Denmark.
Ehlers had an assist in a losing cause, while Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 23 of 25 shots in his first action of the tournament for USA.
Jacob Trouba and Andrew Copp were both held off the score sheet, and had 17:14 and 13:18 of ice time respectively.
Clayton Keller, Arizona's first round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, led the way with a hat trick, while Nick Schmaltz, Johnny Gaudreau, Dylan Larkin, and Anders Lee chipped in with two points each.
The Americans held a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes, but after Denmark's Nichlas Hardt cut the score to 3-2 early in the second, the momentum turned off a big save from Hellebuyck.
A pass from behind the net found its way between the legs of Trouba and was one-timed quickly from just outside of the crease, but Hellebuyck stuck out his blocker and deflected the puck away from danger.
Minutes later, Keller drove wide on Denmark's Matias Lassen, and quickly drew the puck in front of (goaltender) and tucked it inside the far post to put USA up 4-2.
Before the end of the second, the Americans would strike again on the power play. Noah Hanifin's wrist shot from the point was stopped, but Lee was there to pot the rebound to make it 5-2.
Brock Nelson would make it 6-2 USA with less than three minutes to go in the second, before Keller would complete his hat trick with the lone goal in the third period.
The win moves USA to 1-1, who will face Sweden on Monday. Denmark (0-2) will face Slovakia on Tuesday.
Nathan MacKinnon scored a hat trick to help Canada thump Slovenia 7-2 on Sunday in Paris.
With the win, the red and white remain atop Group B with a perfect 2-0 record.
MacKinnon also chipped in an assist, while his offensively gifted Colorado teammate, Tyson Barrie, had a goal and three helpers. Brayden Point, Mitch Marner and Jeff Skinner scored the others for Canada, and Travis Konecny had three apples to round out the scoring.
Canada built up a 5-0 lead before the Slovenians finally got on the board as Jan Mursak and Jan Urbas tallied a goal each late in the second and third periods.
MacKinnon's goals were all scored before the six-minute mark of the middle frame, including two in under a minute to help Canada secure that dominant, five-nil lead. On the hat-trick goal, MacKinnon took a pass from Marner at the near circle, walked in and rifled a wicked shot off the far post and in for the power-play marker.
Flames goalie Chad Johnson made 12 saves to record his first win after backing up Winnipeg native Calvin Pickard in the tournament opener.
Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey were held off the score sheet. Goaltending prospect Eric Comrie did not dress.
Slovenia goaltender Gasper Kroselj faced 51 shots on the night, and was playing in back-to-back days after surrendering four goals on just 15 first-period shots in a 5-4 loss to Switzerland on Saturday.
Next up: The Canadians look for a third straight win on Monday as they face Belarus, who is winless in two games.
LATE HITS: Slovenia was without forward Ziga Jeglic, who was serving the first of a two-game suspension after kicking a Swiss player near the neck/head on Saturday.