The opening game of the 2011 World Championship produced a stunning result, as Germany defeated Russia 2-0 on Friday in Bratislava, Slovakia, for its first victory in 38 games between the nations at the tournament.
Goaltender Dennis Endras
stopped all 31 shots he faced and Thomas Greilinger
scored five minutes into the second period for Germany, squeezing a shot between the pads of Russia's Evgeni Nabokov
. Patrick Reimer added insurance when he scored with two minutes left in the third.
"We were dreaming about a win over Russia from the very beginning; there is hard work behind it. We have deserved this win," Reimer told media after the game.
Germany, a member of Group A, next plays host Slovakia on Sunday. Russia faces Slovenia on Sunday. The top three teams from each group advance to the qualification round.
"They played much better than us," said Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov, whose roster also includes Ilya Kovalchuk
. "We had our chances but couldn't score."
"We gained confidence during the last World Championship, and saw just what is possible," Germany captain Michael Wolf told media after the game, referring to last year's run to the semifinals which was ended by Russia.
Canada opened with a win, beating Belarus 4-1 behind a pair of goals by Jordan Eberle
. The Edmonton Oilers
' rookie put Canada ahead with a backhand 1:52 into the opening period, but Andrei Stepanov tied it with 34 seconds left in the period after a defensive blunder by Luke Schenn
Jeff Skinner restored Canada's lead, beating goalie Andrei Mezin with a wrist shot in the second period off an assist from John Tavares. Skinner then set up Tavares to make it 3-1 before Eberle completed the scoring by tapping in a rebound off the post.
"It's a good start," Eberle said. "We played pretty well and as the game went on we got better."
In Friday's other games, Switzerland defeated France 1-0 in overtime on a goal by Julien Vauclair
, and Slovakia, the host team, defeated Slovenia 3-1.
The United States plays its first game Saturday against Austria.