2016 IIHF World Championship: Canada Defeats USA In Round One

The 2016 IIHF World Championship of hockey is underway in Russia. The much-anticipated hockey tournament features some of the best players in the world, from the National Hockey League as well as other top professional hockey leagues.

Participating in the 2016 IIHF World Championship, you’ll find the likes of Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall, and Corey Perry, just to name a few. Interest was high on the storyline of the number one overall draft pick from 2015, McDavid, playing against the presumptive number one overall draft pick for 2016, Auston Matthews.

Less than five minutes into the first period, Patrick Maroon put USA on the board with a power-play goal. That lead wouldn’t last long, though. Thirty-one seconds later, Canada knotted the game at one when the Edmonton Oilers’ Taylor Hall scored. Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens put Canada ahead by one at 8:48 of the first period.

From there on out it was all Canada on the scoreboard in this first round matchup with USA in the 2016 IIHF World Championship. Matt Duchene and Boone Jenner both scored even-strength goals, and Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins scored a shorthanded goal to close out the game by a score of 5-1 in Canada’s favor.

The hype didn’t come to fruition in this 2016 IIHF World Championship game, as McDavid was held without so much as a shot at the net. The Oilers’ star was on the ice for 17:37, but he did not manage get on the board. On the USA side, Auston Matthews released three shots in his 16:56 of ice-time but was also held off the board. Matthews wound up with a minus-1 on-ice rating for the game.

In last year’s IIHF World Championship tournament, Canada won every game en route to the gold medal. With their win today, Canada now has eleven straight victories in world championship play, according to John Sanful on the IIHF website.

Also playing on the first day of the 2016 IIHF World Championship tournament are the Czech Republic vs. Russia and Finland vs. Belarus. Earlier in the day, Sweden beat Latvia by a score of 2-1. In that contest, Gustav Nyquist of the Detroit Red Wings, and Jimmie Ericsson scored for Sweden, while Kristaps Sotnieks scored for Latvia.

While today kicks off this year’s IIHF World Championship tournament with four contests, games will be played over the next two weeks, culminating on Sunday, May 22. The two venues where games will be played include the Ice Palace in Moscow, which seats 12,000 people, and Yubileiny in St. Petersburg, which seats 6,000.

The IIHF World Championship tournament is comprised of 16 teams divided into two separate groups. There are eight teams in each group, A and B. Group A consists of Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Denmark, and Kazakhstan. Group B is Canada, Finland, USA, Slovakia, Belarus, France, Germany, and Hungary. Group A will be playing in Moscow, and Group B will be in St. Petersburg.

The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarter-final round. That round will be played cross-over. The first-place team from each group will play the fourth-place team from the other group. The 1A team will play the 4B team, while the 1B team will play the 4A team. The 2A team plays 3B, while 2B plays team 3A.

The winner of each of those matchups will advance to the semi-finals of the 2016 IIHF World Championship. Each semi-final game winner will advance to the gold medal game, while the loser of each semi-final game will play for the bronze medal.

Last year’s IIHF World Championship, played in the Czech Republic, saw Canada win gold, with Russia taking silver and USA bringing home bronze.

[Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images]