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2015 World Junior Hockey Championships results:Russians, Swedes, Canadians, and Americans all Win on Opening Day

Day one of the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championships is in the books. Here’s how it went down:

United States vs. Finland

Featuring: Dylan Larkin (0 points, 2 SOG) & Julius Vahatalo (0 points, 0 SOG)

The U.S. beat the defending champs 2-1 in a shootout to end their opening game . Both goals were scored in the first period (Finland scored just 1:22 in, but America tied it at 13:54). Meanwhile, eight of the twelve penalties called happened in a chippy third period, though penalties were even for both teams. The U.S. was the better team overall, holding a 38-29 shot advantage, but couldn’t solve Ville Husso. Larkin skated well, putting two shots on net and winning 50% of his faceoffs while earning his reputation as a two-way player. If Julius Vahatalo even played, it wasn’t made clear by the stat sheets (since the IIHF doesn’t track TOI, I’m honestly not sure he actually saw the ice in this game).

Czech Republic vs. Sweden

Featuring: Axel Holmstrom (1 Assist, 3 SOG, +1) & Christoffer Ehn (0 points, 1 SOG, 2 PIM, -1)

The Swedes took it to the Czechs by a score of 5-2 on opening day of the tourney. Sweden scored the first two, let the Czechs tie it, and then Sweden almost immediately retook the lead before adding two more in the third period to run away with it. Axel Holmstrom’s assist came on Sweden’s fourth goal of the game, a power play marker described as a pretty passing play. Cristoffer Ehn was on for the game-tying goal by Jakub Vrana in the second period, but didn’t play badly from Sweden’s fourth line. He did win 70% of his faceoffs.

Bonus video: Check out the Youtube highlights featuring a guy named Holmstrom creating a screen in front of the goalie.Ah, familiar sights.

Slovakia vs. Canada

Featuring: Joe Hicketts (1 assist, 0 SOG, +2)

Canada beat up on what is probably the weakest second-weakest team in the group, but did so in the kind of 8-0 fashion that you’re supposed to do if you’re a tourney favorite. Eight goals from seven different scorers and this one was never particularly close. Hicketts was smooth skating both with and without the puck, creating several more scoring chances than the one assist he got for the pass that ended up becoming a goal. He’s the only Canadian defenseman below six feet tall, but he looks as composed as anybody.

Russia vs. Denmark

Featuring: Nobody we care about

Denmark fell to Russia in the shootout, losing 3-2, but to read the recaps out there, the story is that Denmark scored the first two goals and very well could have buried Russia in the second, finally succumbing to the team that should have been way better. We didn’t have any prospects in this game, so no big deal here.

Schedule for Saturday December 27

Round Group Date Visitor Home Time
Preliminary B Sat Dec 27 Sweden Denmark 1:00 PM EST
Preliminary A Sat Dec 27 Finland Slovakia 4:00 PM EST
Preliminary B Sat Dec 27 Switzerland Czech Republic 5:00 PM EST
Preliminary A Sat Dec 27 Canada Germany 8:00 PM EST

If you live in the US, then NHL Network is your source for WJC games. They’re going to show all Team USA and Canada games, but not every game. NHL.com has the full broadcast schedule here.

Today’s games on NHL Network

Preliminary Sat Dec 27 Sweden Denmark Air Canada Centre 1:00 PM
Preliminary Sat Dec 27 Switzerland Czech Republic Air Canada Centre 5:00 PM
Preliminary Sat Dec 27 Canada Germany Bell Centre 8:00 PM

No Vahatalo and company, but we’ll get to see Ehn, Holmstrom, and Hicketts in action today.

In Canada, the TSN empire will have every single game. Here’s their network/broadcast schedule.

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