Men’s World Championships roundup: Canada, Germany, Finland and Latvia win

Canada beat Slovakia 5-1 to stay perfect

A pair of killer saves were talked about Monday in a 5-1 win for Canada to kick off the day’s action.

Adam Huska and Logan Thompson both made diving glove saves within minutes of each other in the second period, doing whatever it took to keep the game close.

Canada, however, was too much for the Slovaks. Adam Lowry was credited with the opening goal at 10:48 when Damon Severson’s shot bounced off some traffic in front of the net, only for Severson to tip into Samuel Takac’s goal at 12:47.

Canadian Pierre-Luc Dubois then took over in second, with the Winnipeg Jets star scoring twice, including one on the belly, to make it 3-1. Goals from young forwards Cole Sillinger and Morgan Geekie made it 5-1 to close out the game.

Latvia edge Norway for first win

After two defeats early in Group B, Latvia eventually became the last side of the squad to earn a point after beating Norway 3-2.

The first period was split one apiece, with Rodrigo Abols opening the scoring at 14:04. Four minutes later, Mats Rosseli Olsen’s wrist shot beat Elvis Merzlikins to level the game, frustrating a Latvian side who clearly had a good work ethic but struggled under constant pressure.

Luckily for the eventual winners, goals from Nikolajs Jelisejevs and Roberts Bukarts – with Jelisejevs’ two-man advantage – propelled Latvia into a lead they would not relinquish.

Norway didn’t back down, however, and Max Krogdahl’s goal at 47:12 on a one-shot knuckle puck brought Norway within one. The difference was ultimately Merzlikins, who made some big late saves to help secure the Latvian victory.

Penalty issue stifles US effort against Finland

A streak of three power-play goals – including two on a five-minute advantage – contributed to an important 4-1 victory for Finland against the United States.

Victory will have big implications in the race for Group B supremacy, with Finland and Sweden off to perfect starts and the United States, Czechia and Latvia vying for the final two playoff spots.

With Adam Gaudette in the box at 16:04, Mikael Granlund – the hero of the match against Latvia – scored on a wrist to make it 1-0.

Austin Watson would then be sent off for an illegal blow to the head early in the second and Valtteri Filppula and Sakari Manninen used the extra space to their advantage to make it 3-0. USA took four more penalties in the second and Mikko Lehtonen scored five seconds in a 4-on-4 to make it 4-0 at 30:50. USA put on the pressure and were eventually rewarded with a late goal from Alex Galchenyuk after going between the legs on a shot, but it was the only thing the team could really celebrate.

Germany beat France and look solid in Group A

The race for the four Group A places is tight this year, and Germany beat France 3-2 to move into third place.

It was a hard-fought affair, with France giving the Germans little to work with. But at 2:04 from the first, Germany’s Daniel Fischbuch opened the scoring when he received the pass from Leonhard Pfoderl in the slot and beat Sebastian Ylonen single-handedly for the 1-0 goal.

At 2:48 p.m., Alexandre Texier – the only French NHL player on the roster – scored on a one-timer from former Montreal Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon to tie the game down to one apiece, only for the Germany restore their advantage thanks to Alex Ehl’s goal at 5:51 p.m.

France needed a rebound to go their way, and at 31:18 they did. Charles Bertrand’s shot was deflected by Hugo Gallet from close range for the only goal in the second stanza, setting up an exciting sprint to the finish.

In the third, Pfoderl got one of his own after Marcel Noebels found him on an odd man rush, with Pfoderl just past a French defender to hit in the feed. The lead would remain, and Germany and the many fans who turned out to watch them in person had a big reason to celebrate.

News and Notes

– American Alex Nedeljkovic has left the team with an injury after not initially being listed. The United States have a roster spot available in the net, with options like Jack Campbell and Jake Oettinger now becoming available over the weekend.

Three stars

1. Sakari Manninen, F (END): A well-deserved honor after registering a goal and two assists. He’s a power play magician.

2. Leonhard Pfoderl, F (GER): With an assist and the winner, Pfoderl put on a big game in an important game for Germany in their quest for a top spot in Group A.

3. Adam Huska, G (SVK): He allowed five goals, but it could have been much worse without his solid 39-save effort.

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