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Hellebuyck, Nelson lead United States past Norway

by Staff /


Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets) made 22 saves and Brock Nelson (New York Islanders) had the game-winning goal in the second period as the United States won for the second time in as many days at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, defeating Norway 2-1 at CEZ Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Trevor Lewis (Los Angeles Kings) had the other U.S. goal, answering the opening goal of the game by Norway's Morten Ask.

"They jumped on us early," U.S. forward Jack Eichel, expected to be one of the top-two picks in the 2015 NHL Draft, told the IIHF website. "We knew it would be a tight checking game. It was a little more physical and chippy. They had some guys with some big open ice hits. It was a defensive battle."

Nelson's goal came on a deflection of a shot by defenseman Torey Krug (Boston Bruins) at 5:58 of the second period.

Ask put Norway on the board at 11:21 of the first when he scored off the rebound of Ole-Kristian Tollefsen's shot. Lewis responded 53 seconds later, scoring off a Jimmy Vesey feed.

Lars Haugen made 29 saves for Norway, which faces Finland on Monday. The United States faces Russia on Monday.

Austria 4, Switzerland 3: Konstantin Komarek scored the only goal of the shootout as Austria opened the tournament by rallying past Switzerland at O2 Arena in Prague.

Austria erased three one-goal deficits to stun the Swiss, forcing overtime when Michael Raffl (Philadelphia Flyers) deflected in a shot by brother Thomas Raffl with 50 seconds left in regulation.

"We were just calm," Komarek said. "We knew that if we played well defensively, we'd get the chances offensively. We played a good game offensively. In the end, we could score with a pulled goalie. It was really nice for us to go into overtime and then in the shootout, everything can happen. Fortunately, it ended in our favor."

Bernhard Starkbaum made 34 saves for Austria, which also received goals from Thomas Raffl and Brian Lebler.

Felicien du Bois, Andres Ambuhl and Matthias Bieber scored for Switzerland. Goalie Reto Berra (Colorado Avalanche) made 21 saves.

"We worked hard," Lebler said. "We checked and skated with them the whole game. [Starkbaum] stood on his head. It's just exciting to start the tournament this way, that's for sure."

Czech Republic 4, Latvia 2: Jaromir Jagr (Florida Panthers) scored one of three power-play goals as the Czech Republic came back to win at O2 Arena.

Jagr's goal at 12:44 of the second period gave the Czechs their first lead of the game at 3-2. Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers) scored an insurance goal in the third.

Latvia took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 as Kaspars Daugavins and Mikelis Redlihs scored. Those goals were answered by Michal Jordan (Carolina Hurricanes) and Jan Kovar for the Czech Republic.

Kovar finished with a goal and two assists for the host nation.

Slovakia 4, Denmark 3: Marko Dano (Columbus Blue Jackets) had the winning goal in the shootout as Slovakia avoided an upset at the hands of Denmark in its opener at CEZ Arena.

The Danes led 1-0 entering the third period and after falling behind 2-1 and 3-2 forced overtime when Daniel Nielsen scored unassisted with 2:14 left.

Patrick Bjorkstrand's power-play goal in the second opened the scoring and Nichlas Hardt also scored for Denmark.

Michal Sersen, Marek Viedensky and Dominik Granak scored third-period goals for Slovakia.

"After their goal in the second period we started to play better," Slovakia coach Vladimir Vujtek said. "I think we played some very good hockey from then until the end of the game. We had a lot of chances."

Germany 2, France 1: Patrick Reimer scored a power-play goal with 59 seconds remaining to lift Germany at O2 Arena.

Reimer's one-timer off a feed from Patrick Hager beat France goalie Cristobal Huet, who is playing in his 11th World Championship.

Damien Fleury scored midway through the third for France to tie the game, capitalizing on the rebound of a Stephane da Costa shot following a Germany turnover.

Michael Wolf opened the scoring for Germany at 12:10 of the first. Goalie Dennis Endras made 24 saves in the win.

Belarus 4, Slovenia 2: Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and an assist to lead Belarus at CEZ Arena.

Andrei Stas, Alexei Kalyuzhny and Alexander Kitarov had the other goals for Belarus.

Ziga Jeglic and Ziga Pance scored for Slovenia.

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