Canada

Defending champ Canada, US win openers at ice hockey worlds

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice and led defending champion Canada to a 5-3 victory over Germany in their opening game at the world ice hockey championship on Friday.

Cole Sillinger and Dubois scored from the slot in the first period of the Group A game in Helsinki.

Germany reduced the deficit to one then Dubois and Kent Johnson scored power play goals and Noah Gregor added one more to stretch the lead to 5-1 after the middle period.

Moritz Seider had a goal and two assists for Germany.

The United States jumped to a commanding 3-0 lead over Latvia after the opening period and cruised to a 4-1 victory in their Group B opener in Tampere

Captain Seth Jones had a power play goal and added an assist on a shorthanded goal, and Riley Barber, Thomas Bordeleau and Sam Lafferty each scored. Goaltender Strauss Mann stopped 24 shots.

In another Group B game, Toni Rajala had a a goal and two assists as last year’s runner-up, Finland, blanked Norway 5-0.

Also, Slovakia defeated France 4-2 in Group A.

It is the first world championship without any Russian representation since 1962, when the Soviet Union did not play in Colorado because of Cold War tensions over the building of the Berlin Wall.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted tournament host Finland to seek the exclusion of Russia and its ally Belarus. The International Ice Hockey Federation replaced them with France and Austria, and stripped Russia of the hosting rights for the 2023 world championship.

Karlis Cukste, left, of Latvia and Thomas Bordeleau of USA vie for the puck during their group B Hockey World Championship match in Tampere, Finland, Friday May 13, 2022.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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