CANADA EDGED IN SHOOTOUT IN WORLDS OPENER
HERNING, Denmark – Jordan Eberle (Regina, Sask./New York Islanders, NHL) scored the lone Canadian shootout goal, but Canada’s National Men’s Team dropped a 5-4 extra-time decision to the United States in the opening game Friday at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
The back-and forth affair saw the two teams trade goals throughout. The U.S. took a 4-3 lead early in the third period on Dylan Larkin’s second goal of the game, but Colton Parayko (St. Albert, Alta/St. Louis, NHL) answered back for Canada less than 10 minutes later, wiring home a cross-ice pass from Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) to even the game at 4-4.
Cam Atkinson’s two goals in the shootout were the difference – only Eberle was able to solve Keith Kinkaid, leaving Canada with a single point to open Group B play.
Canada struck first – Pierre-Luc Dubois (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que./Columbus, NHL) firing home a Bo Horvat (Rodney, Ont./Vancouver, NHL) pass less than a minute into the first period. Just over 10 minutes later, Josh Bailey (Bowmanville, Ont./New York Islanders, NHL) was denied on the doorstep, but Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) was there to bang in the rebound and stretch the Canadian lead to 2-0. Anders Lee got one back for the U.S., and the first ended with Canada up 2-1.
Goals from Larkin and Johnny Gaudreau in the second gave the Americans the lead for the first time, but it was short-lived; Anthony Beauvillier (Sorel-Tracy, Que./New York Islanders, NHL) potted the rebound on an Aaron Ekblad (Windsor, Ont./Florida, NHL) point shot to knot the game again.
The two teams traded goals again in the third period to force overtime. Canada had chances in the extra frame, including on the power play with Blake Coleman in the box for holding, but couldn’t get one past Kinkaid.
The Canadians are back in action Sunday when they take on South Korea in the second of seven preliminary games (6:15 a.m. ET/3:15 a.m. PT).