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Worlds: Day 1 Recap

by Zach Peters / Winnipeg Jets

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It took just 10 minutes for the floodgates to open, and once the Canadian offence took flight, it was difficult to stop.

Three goals in just over four minutes in the first period ignited the Canadians as they went on to beat Latvia 6-1 in the opening game of the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship.

Playing in his second World Championship, Nathan MacKinnon (Halifax, NS/Colorado, NHL) scored the opening goal of game. He set himself up in front of the net and one-timed a tape-to-tape pass from Jason Spezza (Toronto, Ont./Dallas, NHL).

It didn’t take long for Spezza to get a goal of his own. Just three minutes later he pounced on a rebound in front of the Latvian net to make the score 2-0.

Spezza and MacKinnon led the Canadians with three points each in the game.

The Canadians' first five goals came on just 20 shots. After the fifth goal, Latvia made a change in net, pulling Ervins Mustukovs and replacing him with Edgars Masalskis.

Masalskis went on to make 23 saves and only gave up one goal, which came late in the
third period.

The Canadians' lone goal on Masalskis came on a Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, NS/Pittsburgh, NHL) penalty shot with just 23 seconds left in the third period. Crosby made no mistake on the shot, going high over Masalskis' glove to record his second point of the game.

Canadian goalie Mike Smith (Kingston, Ont./Arizona, NHL) had to make only 16 saves for the win.

The other Canadian goal scorers were Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL) and Tyler Toffoli (Scarborough, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL).

The last time Canada and Latvia played each other at the World Championship was back in 2010. The Canadians also won that game 6-1. The two teams also faced off at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. That game was quite a bit closer, as Canada won 2-1.

Next up: Canada vs. Germany - Sunday, May 3 at 9:00am CT.



Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves as the United States opened the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship with a 5-1 win over Finland.

Hellebuyck stopped 14 in the first period before turning away another 15 the rest of the way.

Matt Hendricks netted a pair including an empty-netter with 2:38 to play, while Steve Moses, Dan Sexton and Nick Bonino added the others in the rout.

Jyrki Jokipakka scored the lone goal for Finland, firing a long shot through a screen at 5:40 of the second period.

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Next up: USA vs. Norway – Saturday, May 2 at 1:15pm CT.



Ondrej Pavelec did not get the start in Czech Republic's 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship opener.

His team would score four goals in the third period and erase a 4-2 Sweden lead in the process, but would ultimately come up short 6-5.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the shootout winner, after teammate Mattias Sjogren tied things 5-5 on a 6-on-4 power play in the dying minutes.

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Next up: Czech Republic vs. Canada, Monday, May 4 at 1:15 pm CT.

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