The U.S. men’s hockey team opened the world championship with an upset, beating Canada for just the fifth time in 45 meetings in tournament history.
The Americans, captained by two-time Olympian Patrick Kane, came back to win 5-4 in a six-round shootout in Herning, Denmark. Columbus Blue Jackets All-Star Cam Atkinson had both U.S. shootout scores, with Canada putting just one shootout attempt past New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid.
Anders Lee, Johnny Gaudreau and Dylan Larkin (twice) notched the regulation goals for the U.S.
It marked the first of seven group-play games for each nation, both expected to finish in the top four of the eight-nation group and advance to the May 17 quarterfinals. The U.S. next plays Denmark on Saturday.
Canada owns the U.S. in world championship history, winning 40 of their 45 games starting with the first meeting in 1931. The U.S.’ win on Friday marked its first in the series since 2012. Canada also has a 12-3-3 edge in all-time Olympic play.
This U.S. team is trying to earn the nation’s first world title since 1960, when the Olympics doubled as worlds, and third medal in six years. Its only title at a standalone worlds came in 1933. Kane, Gaudreau and Larkin are the roster headliners.
Canada earned medals at the last three worlds and last three Olympics, including back-to-back titles at each. Its roster includes 2017 Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid.
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