In the premiere of the 2015 Ice Hockey World Championships we got to see Russia, USA and Canada run over their opponents while Sweden beat home team Czech Republic after penalties. Russia got a 4-0 lead in the first period against Norway and the total score was 6-2. Canada won against Latvia with 6-1 (Sidney Crosby scored one goal on a penalty). A bit more unexpected was USA:s 5-1 victory over Finland.
USA 5-1 Finland
Steve Moses gave USA the lead 20 seconds before the first intermission. In the second period Finland tied the game 1-1 but after that it was all about Team USA. Moses and Matt Hendricks, both having played for Jokerit in Finland, scored two games each this game. Finlands star goalkeeper Pekka Rinne got a rough start of the tournament.
Czech Republic 5-6 (ap) Sweden
Sweden got an excellent start with a 2-0 lead after just 8 minutes in the first period. The goals were scored by brothers of well known players in the national hockey league: New York Rangers goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist brother Joel Lundqvist and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwalls brother Staffan Kronwall. Czech Republic’s big star Jaromir Jagr reduced the lead to 1-2 in the 14th minute. In the second period Sweden’s Elias Lindholm and his teammate Victor Rask from Carolina Hurricanes literally spun around the Czech defenses and increased the lead to 3-1. Early in the third period, each teams scored one goal each and Sweden seemed to have established a comfortable 4-2 lead. However, in the 52:nd minute of play, Czech Republic did two quick goals in less than a minute. The home crowd was extatic, and when Martin Zatovic gave them the 5-4 lead the cheering almost went through the roof of O2 Arena in Prague.
However, with one and a half minute left to go, Sweden got a Powerplay and could play 6 man to 4. In the last minute of the game, Mattias Sjögren could equalize the score to 5-5. After a goalless overtime Elias Lindholm and Oliver Ekman-Larsson could score in the shootout, winning the extra point of the game to team Sweden.
Sweden’s next game is against Austria on Sunday.