Stars forward Antoine Roussel scored two goals as France upset Slovakia, 5-3, at the World Championship in Belarus on Monday.
France rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the game. Roussel scored on the power play with 9:04 left in the third period to tie the game at 3-3, tipping in a shot from the point. After Damien Fleury put France up 4-3 with 3:41 left, Roussel sealed the victory with a late empty net goal.
"I feel like our team has a lot of character," Roussel told the IIHF web site. "We created our chances on the power play. We were so aggressive and we didn’t take so many shots. But at the same time, we kept our eyes on the shooting opportunities we had. It’s awesome."
France, which was coming off a disappointing loss to Italy over the weekend, has won two of three games in preliminary play with the victories coming against Canada and Slovakia.
Roussel has three points (two goals, one assist) and a plus-one rating in three games. He is averaging 18:41 of ice time per game.
France has another big test Thursday when it takes on Sweden.
Russia routs Thomas, USA
Stars goaltender Tim Thomas and the USA suffered their first defeat at the World Championship Monday, falling 6-1 to Russia in preliminary play.
Thomas gave up five goals on 15 shots and was pulled 11:07 into the second period after Russia scored to make it a 5-1 game. David Leggio took over in net and stopped seven of eight shots the rest of the way.
This was the third straight start for Thomas at the tournament. He stopped 47 of 50 shots in victories over Belarus (6-1 on Friday) and Switzerland (3-2 on Saturday).
Thomas is 2-1-0 in the tournament with a 3.18 goals against average and .877 save percentage.
The USA plays Latvia on Thursday.