US and Canada make winning starts

United States crushed France 7-2 while Canada squeezed past Slovakia 3-2 as the preliminary round of the world ice hockey championships got underway.

Eurosport

France went into a surprise 1-0 lead midway through the first period but Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders soon levelled.

The superior fitness of the Americans told the longer the game went on and they eventually swept the French aside in the third period of the Group H game.

Canada, in the same eight-team group being staged in Helsinki, made a good start against Slovakia and seemed to be cruising when Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets put them 3-1 ahead with less than half the game to play.

Milan Bartovic pulled a goal back for the Slovaks and netminder Cam Ward made 10 saves in the final period to help Canada hold on for victory.

The co-hosts also made pleasing starts, Sweden coasting to a 3-1 win over Norway in Group S in Stockholm and holders Finland beating Belarus 1-0 in Group H.

The Swedes peppered the goal with 44 shots as they avenged their 5-4 defeat by Norway in last year's opening fixture.

In the day's other Group S games, Germany beat Italy 3-0 and Czech Republic overcame Denmark 2-0.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so that everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Win cash in one day fantasy football contests. Join now!

    Learn how to play

    Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
    CL £1 Learn To Play [No Risk] 16/75 £1 £100 Tomorrow 7:45 PM Enter
    Champions League £150 Tournament 9/170 £1 £150 Tomorrow 7:45 PM Enter
    Champions League £200 Tournament 2/45 £5 £200 Tomorrow 7:45 PM Enter