Monday December 26, 2016
CZECH REPUBLIC (1-0-0-0) 2 vs. FINLAND (0-0-0-1) 1
Michael Spacek got the game-winning goal with less than two minutes to go in the third period, leading the Czechs to a tournament-opening victory over the defending gold medallists.
Daniel Krenzelok also found the back of the net for the Czechs, who outshot Finland 30-23 and got 22 saves from goaltender Jakub Skarek to beat the Finns for just the second time in their last seven tries, dating back to the 2007 World Juniors.
An unassisted goal from Joona Luoto was the lone offence for Finland, which became the third-consecutive defending champion to drop its first preliminary-round game.
SWEDEN (1-0-0-0) 6 vs. DENMARK (0-0-0-1) 1
Sweden rode both youth and experience to an opening-game win over Denmark at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, scoring the game’s first six goals to cruise to victory.
Alexander Nylander led the way with two goals for the Swedes, while Rasmus Dahlin – just the second 16-year-old ever to play for Sweden at the World Juniors – added a goal and an assist. Joel Eriksson Ek, Jonathan Dahlen and Carl Grundstrom rounded out the scoring for the Tre Kronor.
Nikolaj Krag spoiled the shutout bid of Swedish netminder Felix Sandstrom, scoring the lone goal for Denmark with just over two minutes left.