Release HockeyBird into his natural habitat, the Worlds have started!
‘murricawatch: Because we tote blue passports
In the tournament’s inaugural game, Team USA took on the French squad. Though France actually opened up the scoring, and later added a goal that simply trickled behind Jimmy Howard, everything else was all America–and they notched the 7-2 win as a result.
Goal scorers for America: Kyle Okposo (x2), Jack Johnson, Bobby Ryan, Max Pacioretty, Jim Slater, Jeff Petry
Goal scorers for France: Nicolas Besch, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
More fun facts: Pacioretty was named the player of the game for scoring and helping out twice. Justin Faulk got three separate assists.
Also, an interesting thing I noticed: France’s jerseys have a stylized chicken on them. You might not notice it at first–it just looks like a generic swoosh design or something–but then you notice the comb. And the fact that some French fans in the stands had hats that were red-white-blue stuffed chickens. Alrighty then.
Other games with folks in them that we like
Canada took on Slovakia and earned a 3-2 win. For Canada, Jamie Benn, Jordan Eberle and Andrew Ladd scored. For Slovakia, Tomas Tatar and Milan Bartovic scored. Duncan Keith assisted on Benn’s goal and Patrick Sharp, one of the team alternates, got tied up with Zdeno Chara at one point. (Yes, he is wearing 81 instead of 10–partly for his birth year and partly for Marian Hossa.)
Sweden beat fellow Scandinavians Norway 3-1. The first period of this matchup had 12 penalties, including ones by Joel Lundqvist and Marcus Kruger. In fairness, IIHF games are called tighter than NHL games, I was told, and sometimes things that wouldn’t be penalties in the NHL are penalties internationally. In the middle of all of that, though, Jakob Silfverberg opened the scoring for Sweden. The penalties calmed down thereafter. Mads Hansen added Norway’s goal, Kruger scored (and got the assist from Niklas Hjalmarsson), plus Loui Eriksson added another goal to get the win.
The Czech Republic shut out Denmark 2-0. Ales Hemsky and Petr Tenkrat scored all the goals needed for the win. David Krejci was often seen taking faceoffs, but was held to just one shot on goal and incurred a badly-timed penalty too. Oh Krejface, step your game up! Michael Frolik assisted on Tenkrat’s goal. Also last year Jaromir Jagr was the Czech eldest statesman making headlines at Worlds; this year the honor goes to 40-year-old Petr Nedved.
Next up for our teams
USA: Canada, May 5, 12 p.m. Eastern–to be aired on NBC Sports Network tape-delayed, 7:30 p.m. Eastern
CAN: USA, May 5, 12 p.m. Eastern–to be aired on NBC Sports Network tape-delayed, 7:30 p.m. Eastern
SWE: Czech Republic, May 5, 2:15 p.m. Eastern
SVK: Finland, May 6, 9:15 a.m. Eastern
CZR: Sweden, May 5, 2:15 p.m. Eastern