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World Championship: Spezza Leads Canada Past Latvia, Klingberg Assists as Sweden Wins

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars forward Jason Spezza scored two goals and assisted on one other as Canada opened the World Championship in Czech Republic with a 6-1 win over Latvia Friday.

Spezza, who played on a line with Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon, set up MacKinnon midway through the first period to give Canada a 1-0 lead. He scored off the rebound of a Dan Hamhuis shot a little more than three minutes later to make it 2-0. Spezza made it a 5-0 game in the second, taking a backhand pass from MacKinnon and scoring from close range.

“When you get a chance to represent your country, it’s a pretty big honor,” Spezza, who played 17:19 in the game, told “You just try to make the most of the opportunity.”

Stars forward Tyler Seguin played on a line with Claude Giroux and Tyler Ennis, registering no points and three shots on goal in 16:59 of ice time. Stars center Cody Eakin played on Canada’s fourth line and had no points and one shot on goal in 8:18 of ice time.

Klingberg, Enroth help Sweden top Czech Republic

Stars defenseman John Klingberg assisted on the game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation and Jhonas Enroth stopped two of three shots in the shootout as Sweden defeated Czech Republic 6-5 on Friday.

The Czechs trailed 4-2 in the third period, but scored three straight goals to take a 5-4 lead. Sweden scored on the power play with 53 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime. Klingberg picked up a secondary assist on the game-tying goal.

Elias Lindholm and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the shootout for Sweden.

Klingberg played 19:04 in the game, registering the one assist and one shot on goal. Enroth stopped 23 of 28 shots in regulation and overtime.

Jokipakka scores in Finland’s loss to USA

Stars defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka scored the lone goal for Finland in its 5-1 loss to the United States. Jokipakka scored off a point shot to tie the game 1-1 early in the second period, but the USA scored four straight goals to secure the victory.

Jokipakka logged 9:19 of ice time in the game and had two shots on goal. Dallas defense prospect Esa Lindell played 18:05 for Finland, registering no points and two shots.

Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell was the backup goaltender for the USA. Winnipeg prospect Connor Hellebuyck got the start in goal and stopped 29 of 30 shots for the United States. Matt Hendricks had two goals and one assist for the Americans.

Friday’s results

Canada 6, Latvia 1

USA 5, Finland 1

Sweden 6, Czech Republic 5 (SO)

Russia 6, Norway 2

Saturday’s games

Austria vs. Switzerland, 5:15 a.m.

Denmark vs. Slovakia, 5:15 a.m.

Germany vs. France, 9:15 a.m.

Slovenia vs. Belarus, 9:15 a.m.

Czech Republic vs. Latvia, 1:15 p.m.

United States vs. Norway, 1:15 p.m.

Sunday’s games

Sweden vs. Austria, 5:15 a.m.

Slovenia vs. Russia, 5:15 a.m.

Germany vs. Canada, 9:15 a.m.

Slovakia vs. Canada, 9:15 a.m.

Switzerland vs. France, 1:15 p.m.

Finland vs. Denmark, 1:15 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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