Defending champ Finland beats US 2-1 in world championship


RIGA, Latvia — Jussi Olkinuora made 29 saves, Iiro Pakarinen and Atte Ohtamaa scored and defending champion Finland beat the United States 2-1 on Saturday in their opening game in the world hockey championship.

“It’s a good start to the tournament, but we can improve a lot of things,” Pakarinen said.

Jason Robertson scored for the Americans, and Cal Petersen stopped 27 shots.

“This was a great test for us, to see where we match up against the reigning world champs,” Petersen said. “I think it was great for us to start off against one of the best, see where we match up, see the things we need to do better, and then continue to carry positive momentum forward.”

The U.S. will face Canada — a 2-0 loser to host Latvia on Friday — on Sunday.

In the other Group B game Saturday, 19-year-old Lukas Reichel had a goal and an assist and Germany beat Norway 5-1 to improve to 2-0.

In Group A, Nicklas Jensen had a hat trick and Denmark beat Sweden for the first time in the event, winning 4-3.

Timo Meier and Gregory Hofmann each scored twice to help Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 5-2, Anton Burdasov scored twice in Russia’s 7-1 victory over Britain, and Roman Starchenko had the shootout winner in Kazakhstan’s 3-2 victory over Latvia.

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