|Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau skates in Canada's IIHF World Championship preliminary game against Slovakia. (Richard Wolowicz / HHOF-IIHF Images)
Canada and the United States were right back at it on Saturday, playing their second game in as many days to open up the IIHF World Championship in Belarus. Both teams skated away with victories.
The Canadians (1-0-1-0) rebounded from Friday's upset loss to France with a 4-1 victory over Slovakia. The United States (2-0-0-0), on the other hand, had to fight back from two one-goal deficits to down Switzerland 3-2.
UNITED STATES 3 - SWITZERLAND 2
The Americans were in for a much tougher contest after downing Belarus 6-1 on Friday, facing off against a stingy Switzerland team. Their first and only lead didn't come until Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson scored with 6:45 remaining but it was enough as former Panther Tim Thomas (named Best Player) flashed the glove to rob Roman Josi with seconds to play for one of his 27 saves to preserve the win.
The Swiss made the Americans earn their victory, jumping on the board first early in the second and then going ahead 2-1 late in the period. They also had two other goals in the third called back due to offsides calls. For the US, goals by former Panther Peter Mueller and Nashville's Craig Smith were able to tie the game before Johnson's winner.
Vincent Trocheck centered the US’ second line once again finishing with two shots on goal and was a minus-1 on 14:48 of ice time, Jimmy Hayes finished with a shot on goal on 7:12 of ice time and Drew Shore had 6:16 of ice time. Monday will be another tough test for the Americans as they face off against the Russians.
CANADA 4 - SLOVAKIA 1
Trailing 1-0 to Slovakia, Canada's offense awoke as they scored four goals in the final 22:39 of the game to bounce back from Friday's shootout loss to France.
The Canadians were led by Joel Ward’s two goals. The Washington forward tied the game at one with 2:39 left in the second and then put the nail in the coffin with 1:11 remaining in the contest. Cody Hodgson and Kevin Bieksa also scored for the Canadians while former Panther Jason Garrison picked up two assists in the victory.
Erik Gudbranson was assessed a roughing penalty on 12:00 of ice time while Jonathan Huberdeau finished with a shot and was a plus-1 on 12:21 of ice time. Canada next faces off against the Czech Republic on Monday.