The North American giants had a hard time, but they did their job.
The World Ice Hockey Championship continues on Monday with four matches. In the afternoon games, Canada defeated Slovakia 2–1 in a penalty shootout, and the United States defeated Germany 3–2.
Big favorites Canada got off to a good start in Riga when Jake Neighbors put the Maple Leafs ahead after less than eight minutes of play. However, the lead did not hold until the end of the first period, when Slovakia took advantage of Milan Lucic’s freeze and Peter Sehlrich tied the game.
Canada dominated the on-field events thereafter, but when no further goals came in sight, a solution was found in the winning goal contest. Slovakia took the lead in the penalty shootout on several occasions, but in the end Canada took home the victory.
Slovakia goalkeeper Samuel Hlavaj made 42 saves in the match.
In the afternoon game in Tampere, Finland’s opening round opponents Germany and the United States met. The fiercely contested third set was resolved when the United States came from behind.
Matt Coronato scored the winning goal five minutes before the end of the match.
In the evening’s clash, Finland will face Sweden in Group A in Tampere, and in Riga the Czech Republic will challenge second host country Latvia. Matches start at 20:20.