2012 IIHF World Hockey Championships Day 1 Recap

Here’s a recap of what happened on Day 1 of the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Championships in Helsinki and Stockholm.

Game 1: United States vs. France (Helsinki)

Nicolas Besch opened up the scoring for France at the 12:17 mark of the first period. Kyle Okposo responded for the Americans at 16:52. Jack Johnston puts the Americans in front for the first time at 3:56 of the second. Bobby Ryan makes it 3-1 at 9:15. Those last two goals came on powerplays. France cuts the American lead to 3-2 with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scoring at 13:17. The Americans would pull away after that. Max Pacioretty makes it 4-2 with 22 seconds to go in the period. 5:38 into the third, Jim Slater makes it 5-2. Okposo’s second of the game at 11:00. Jeff Petry closes the scoring with 2:19 to go, making it 7-2. And that is your final. Goalies in that game were Jimmy Howard for Team USA and Cristobal Huet for France. Final shots were 35-23 for the Americans.

Game 2: Germany vs. Italy (Stockholm)

Not much to talk about on this one, so I’ll make it short and sweet. Christoph Schubert gives Germany the 1-0 lead at 16:16 of the first. Patrick Reimer makes it 2-0 2:42 into the second. Christopher Fischer closes out the scoring at 5:11 of the third, a powerplay goal for which the Italian penalty had been assessed just four seconds prior. Germany twice killed a too many men bench minor. Final shots were 46-22 in favor of Germany.

Game 3: Canada vs. Slovakia (Helsinki)

Prior to being named head coach of the Canadian team, Brent Sutter had an undefeated record in coaching at the World Juniors.

Jamie Benn gives Canada the 1-0 lead with 5:39 to go in the first. Tomas Tatar ties it up for Slovakia 1:58 into the second. Canada would respond 32 seconds later on Jordan Eberle’s marker, set up by Evander Kane. Andrew Ladd would make it 3-1 at 15:21. Teddy Purcell, who was born in Newfoundland, received his first international point, which was the secondary assist. (Ryan O’Reilly got the primary assist.) 2:59 into the third, Milan Bartovic cut the Canadian lead to 3-2, and with time running out, pulled Peter Hamerlik for an extra attacker, but nothing came of it. Canada wins their opener 3-2, and have not lost an opening game at the World Championships since 1978. Final shots were 30-22 Canada. Cam Ward is a veteran of this tournament, having participated in 2007 (Gold) and 2008 (Silver), putting up good numbers in the process.

Game 4: Czech Republic vs. Denmark (Stockholm)

This was a low-scoring contest. Here’s the quick rundown.

Ales Hemsky makes it 1-0 Czechs with just 5 seconds left in the second period. Petr Tenkrat adds the insurance goal with 2:39 to go in regulation. Final shots were 26-24 in favor of Denmark.

Game 5: Belarus vs. Finland (Helsinki)

This game was Finland’s home opener at the tournament.

Janne Niskala got the game’s only goal with 42 seconds to go in the first. Final shots were 38-21 Finland. Belarus only fired 2 shots in the first.

Game 6: Sweden vs. Norway (Stockholm)

This was Sweden’s home opener in the tournament.

12 minor penalties were assessed in the opening period alone. Each side got 6 of them. Out of all that, only one resulted in a powerplay goal, that by Jakob Silfverberg, who had a brief run with the Ottawa Senators in their first round playoff series with the New York Rangers, and the Senators falling in seven games. That goal came at 16:48 of the first. Things settled down in the second, with each side exchanging goals. Mads Hansen tied it up 20 seconds in, while Marcus Kruger put Sweden ahead 2:29 in. Loui Eriksson gave Sweden the insurance goal 4:18 into the third, a powerplay goal making it 3-1. That would be the final score. Sweden outshot Norway 44-20.

Day 2 of the tournament will feature Switzerland vs. Kazakhstan and Canada vs. United States in Helsinki, and Latvia vs. Russia and Sweden vs. Czech Republic in Stockholm.