US upsets defending champ Finland at hockey worlds, Czechs top Slovakia

TAMPERE, Finland — The United States overcame defending champion Finland 4-1 to open the ice hockey world championship on Friday.

Alex Tuch scored two goals and Drew O’Çonnor had a goal and two assists to lead the U.S. Cutter Ganthier also scored and goaltender Casey DeSmith stopped 23 shots in Tampere.

Teemu Hartikainen gave the hosts a 1-0 lead late in the opening period on a power play before Ganthier tied it from the left circle in the second.

O’Çonnor and Tuch completed the rally midway through the final period. Tuch scored his second into an empty net.

In Riga, MacKenzie Weeger scored a goal and added two assists to lead Canada as it routed host Latvia 6-0 in their opener.

Lawson Crouse, Scott Laughton, Samuel Blais, Joe Veleno and Jack McBain had a goal apiece to get the 2022 runner-up warmed up. Samuel Montembeault made 23 saves for the shutout.

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The Czech Republic beat Slovakia 3-2, also in Riga.

Oscar Lindberg scored the lone goal on a power play for Sweden to beat Germany 1-0 in Tampere.

Finland and Latvia are staging the tournament after the hosting rights were stripped from Russia because of the war in Ukraine. Tampere was one of the host cities last year, and Riga was a host in 2021.

Russia and its ally Belarus are excluded from the tournament for the second straight year.

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