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Jets at the Worlds: Day 1

by Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) / Winnipeg Jets


The Winnipeg Jets have five players participating in the 2016 IIHF World Championship, held in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Check back throughout the tournament for daily updates, highlights and more as Mark Scheifele (Canada), Nikolaj Ehlers (Denmark), Marko Dano (Slovakia), Alexander Burmistrov (Russia) and Kyle Connor (USA) go on the hunt for
the gold.

The two top-ranked players for the upcoming NHL Draft are also taking part, with the consensus No. 1 Auston Matthews donning the red, white and blue, and Liiga playoff MVP Patrik Laine suiting up for Finland.

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CANADA 5 vs. USA 1

The Canadians looked every bit like the defending champs they are, skating to a one-sided 5-1 win over the US in the tournament’s opening game.

Mark Scheifele was held pointless, finishing with three shots in 15:26 of ice time.

Kyle Connor, meanwhile, assisted on the game’s opening goal – a power-play marker at 1:34 of the first period –dishing a beautiful backhand pass over to Patrick Maroon, who stayed with it in the blue paint, digging it free before sweeping it past fellow Oiler Cam Talbot to put the Americans in front, 1-0.

Connor was joined on a line with fellow University of Michigan Wolverines Tyler Motte and JT Compher.

Taylor Hall tied things up just 31 seconds later, as a give-and-go down low between Corey Perry and Derick Brassard helped set up a tough angle shot, beating American goalie Keith Kinkaid under the pad, short side.

Brendan Gallagher put the Canadians on top 2-1 with a wicked shot from the near circle at 8:48.

Canada was all over the US early on, outshooting them 16-8 in the opening 20.

Matt Duchene put red and white up by two with 8:23 to play in the middle frame. Cody Ceci jumped up in the rush, drove the net and took two guys with him, parting the seas and allowing Duchene to step up and fire a shot, bar down, from the top of the circle.

Boone Jenner and Brad Marchand rounded out the scoring with goals five minutes apart in the third period. After Jenner got things rolling with a lucky one at 5:54, Marchand made the most of a shorthanded breakaway chance, plunging a shot five-hole with under 10 to play.

Kinkaid, who badly misplayed the Jenner goal, finished with 28 saves; Talbot, 24.

Photo courtesy Minas Panagiotakis/HHOF-IIHF Images

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Next up (Canada): Sunday, May 8 vs. Hungary
Next up (USA): Saturday, May 7 vs. Belarus



Tomas Kundratek, Roman Cervenka and Michal Birner (empty net) provided the offence, while goaltender Dominik Furch made 25 saves in a 3-0 Czech win.

Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov went 50 percent (4-4) in the faceoff circle and had three shots in just under 10 minutes of ice time.

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Next up (Russia): Sunday, May 8 vs. Kazakhstan



Auston Matthews (USA)
NHL Central Scouting's No.1-ranked prospect

In a 5-1 loss to Canada, Matthews went 5-4 in the faceoff circle and had three shots on goal, but was held pointless in 16:56 of ice time.    

Patrik Laine (Finland)
NHL Central Scouting's No.2-ranked prospect

Laine had two goals (including the beauty GIF'd below) and one assist to lead the Finns to a 6-2 win over Belarus.

That was Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers at the other end of that give and go. With the goal, Laine, having just turned 18, became the youngest Finnish player ever to score a World Championship goal. 

-- Ryan Dittrick,
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