CALGARY, ALTA (AP) — Brianna Decker and Kendall Coyne Schofield scored a goal and an assist each as the nine-time United States champions beat Switzerland 3-0 to open the Women’s Hockey World Championship on Friday night.
The tournament began with the Beijing Olympics in less than six months. The World Championship was last held in Finland in 2019, with the United States winning its fifth consecutive title. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the event in Nova Scotia twice.
Grace Zumwinkel also scored for the United States and Alex Cavallini made 10 saves. Andrea Brandly blocked 55 shots for Switzerland.
Decker opened the scoring at 4:29 in the first half, Coyne Scofield opened the scoring at 4:08 in the second, and Grace Zumwinkel topped the score with a 1:36 in the second. Decker helped Coen Schofield aim for a record 38 assists at the US World Championships hosted by Chrissy Wendell and Jenny Potter.
At the start of the Group A opener, Sarah Fillier broke the tie in the middle of the third period and Canada defeated Finland 5–3. In the only Group B game of the day, Elena Mills scored three goals and helped Czech Republic win 6–1 over Denmark.
The top five teams from Group A and the top three teams from Group B will advance to the quarter-finals.
Filire scored 25 seconds after Elyssa Holopainen’s equalizer for Finland. Fillier scored with a rebound after Annie Keesala blocked Natalie Spooner’s attempt to swallow.
Ten-time champions Canada overcame a two-goal deficit when Jamie Rattray and Marie-Philippe Paulin scored within 20 seconds of the second period. Nellie Latinen and Minnamari Tuuminen scored for Finland in 3:40 on the first start, and Tuminen joined the two Canadians in the penalty area.
Erin Ambrose gave Canada a 3-2 lead in the third, and Brian Jenner scored a blank in the last minute.
Ann-Renée Desbiennes made eight saves for Canada. Kesala stopped 39 shots.
Vendula Pribilova, Dominika Laskova and Kristina Patkova also scored for the Czech Republic, with eight saves by Klara Pelarova.
Josefine Persson scored for Denmark. The Danes are competing in the First Division for the first time since 1992.
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