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Belpedio's Goal Leads United States Past Canada

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Defenseman Louis Belpedio scored with 3:18 left in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and help lift the United States past Canada at each team's opening game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships on Saturday.

Belpedio, a third-round selection by the Minnesota Wild in the 2014 draft, is serving as an alternate captain for the United States in his first year participating in the international tournament.

The game, which saw five lead-changes, had the United States get its second and final lead of the day when Belpedio's point shot was deflected by a Canadian defenseman and scored to make it 3-2 United States. 

Auston Matthews (2016 NHL Draft eligible) would score 31 seconds later, and the United States would go on to win 4-2, its first victory against Canada at the tournament in group play since 1998.

The United States next plays on Monday against Sweden at 8 a.m. Central time.

Sweden 8, Switzerland 3

Forward Joel Eriksson Ek (2015 Draft, first round) had five shots and was a plus-one, and Sweden defeated Switzerland 8-3 to open up its World Junior schedule.

Seven different players scored for Sweden, who got two goals and an assist from Dmytro Timashov (Toronto Maple Leafs).

Sweden will play the United States on Monday with the teams tied atop Group A with three points.

Russia 2, Czech Republic 1 (SO)

Forward Kirill Kaprizov (2015 Draft, fifth round) had a shot on goal in Russia's 2-1, shootout victory against the Czech Republic.

Russia is back in action on Monday against Finland at 12 p.m. Central time.

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