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 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.For all your World Championship news, stats & more, stay locked on to WinnipegJets.com/Worlds.USA 6 vs. BELARUS 3
Kyle Connor and the United States bounced back after a tough, opening-day loss to Canada with a 6-3 win over Belarus.
The consensus No. 1 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, Auston Matthews, led the way with two goals and one assist, while Mike Condon made 20 saves in his first action of the tournament.
Connor finished with one assist – a gorgeous
, no-look feed through traffic over to Matthews, who ripped it bar down (see below) – and two shots in over 10 minutes of ice
After spending just one game with his former University of Michigan linemates Tyler Motte and JT Compher, Connor, who was one of USA’s better players in their opening game, was promoted to
the top line alongside Nick Foligno and Dylan Larkin.
For the second time in two games, the US got the game’s opening goal. Jumping in off the bench, Miles Wood took a beautiful feed at the near dot, firing a shot five-hole on goalie Kevin Lalande. Frank Vatrano, who scored a goal per game in 36 American Hockey League tilts this season,
picked up the assist.
Chris Wideman put the Americans up by two with a power-play marker at 13:38. Matthews picked up the assist with a nice feed across the box.
After the teams traded goals in the front half of the middle frame, back-to-back goals (Matthews and Noah Hanifin) put the US up by a commanding margin.
A couple quick ones got Belarus back within two late in the third period, but the rally fell short. Matthews put the Americans up 6-3 with a dazzling shot off the rush at 14:39, sealing the
The goal came on the US' first shot of the period.
Here's the first of Matthews' two goals, which Connor assisted on:
--SLOVAKIA 4 vs. HUNGARY 1
Tomas Jurco and Andrej Sekera each had a goal and an assist to lead Slovakia to a 4-1 win over Hungary on Day 2 of the World Championship Saturday.
Goaltender Branislav Konrad stopped 20 of 21 shots for his first-ever win at this tournament.
Jets forward Marko Dano had two shots and played a team-high 18:13, but did not
record any points.
With the game tied 1-1 late in the first period, Jurco scored the eventual game winner, redirecting a Sekera slap shot past Miklos Rajna. The Oilers defenceman then converted a give-and-go with Jurco just 5:09 into the middle frame, putting the Slovaks up by two.
It would stay that way until Patrik Lusnak found the empty net with 2:17 to play in the third period, icing a 4-1 final.
This is only the second time since 1939 that Hungary has appeared at this tournament. After opening with a loss, they will now face Canada as Group B action continues on Sunday.
Photo courtesy Minas Panagiotakis/HHOF-IIHF Images
--DENMARK 3 vs. NORWAY 0
Sebastian Dahm pitched a 44-save shutout, leading Denmark to a 3-0 win over Norway.
Niklas Jensen scored twice, while Jesper B. Jensen (unrelated) added the other offensively.
After a scoreless opening period, Niklas put the Danes in front at 11:06, rifling a shot stick side after taking a pass from Frederick Storm down by the far post.
It was the only goal they would need.
“Any team can make the quarterfinals, and any team could get sucked into the relegation battle,” Damn told IIHF.com. “This is a good start for us but we have to build on it. We can't treat it
as a pillow and go to sleep."
Denmark was outshot 44-28.
Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers had one shot and was a +2 in 15:58 of ice time. He played alongside Jannick Hansen of the Vancouver Canucks and Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens.
Photo courtesy Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images
-- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com