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Spezza keys Canada to opening win against Latvia

by Staff /


Forward Jason Spezza (Dallas Stars) scored two goals and had an assist as Canada defeated Latvia 6-1 in its opening game at the 2015 IIHF World Championship at O2 Arena in Prague.

Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) scored to give Canada a 1-0 lead at 9:57 of the first period; Spezza assisted on the play.

Spezza scored his first of the game at 13:04 of the first period. Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche) gave Canada a 3-0 lead at 14:11 of the first period.

Tyler Toffoli (Los Angeles Kings) scored in the second period, and Spezza scored his second of the game to give Canada a 5-0 lead.

Canada captain Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) made it 6-0 in the third period; he had a goal and an assist.

"Obviously with Sid and [Spezza], those guys are world-class players," MacKinnon told the IIHF website. "They make it really easy for me to play out there. Obviously they’re both very talented playmakers and they always have their heads up, looking for the open guys. So it's definitely a lot of fun."

Defenseman Dan Hamhuis (Vancouver Canucks) had two assists. MacKinnon had a goal and two assists. Goalie Mike Smith (Arizona Coyotes) made 16 saves.

Canada continues group play on Sunday against Germany.

Sweden 6, Czech Republic 5 (SO): Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the third round of the shootout to lead Sweden past Czech Republic in the opening game for both teams at the 2015 IIHF World Championship at O2 Arena in Prague.

Joakim Lindstrom (Toronto Maple Leafs) Mattias Sjogren each had a goal and an assist, and Victor Rask (Carolina Hurricanes), Staffan Kronwall and Joel Lundqvist also scored.

Dominik Simon had a goal and an assist for Czech Republic. Tomas Hertl (San Jose Sharks), Jaromir Jagr (Florida Panthers), Roman Cervenka and Martin Zatovic scored for Czech Republic. Captain Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers) had two assists.

Sweden took a 4-2 lead in the third period on a goal by Lindstrom, but Czech Republic scored three times in a 6:41 span to take a 5-4 lead on a goal by Zatovic with 3:07 left in the third.

But with 53 seconds remaining and Sweden goalie Jhonas Enroth (Dallas Stars) out for an extra attacker, Sjogren scored to force overtime.

Czech Republic next plays Saturday, against Latvia. Sweden plays Austria on Sunday.

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