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World Juniors 2016: Russia, Sweden Win Tournament Openers

Russia won in a shootout and Sweden won despite two players leaving to injuries on Day One of the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championships

Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

Russia 2 Czech Republic 1 (SO)

Maxim Lazarev scored the only goal in the shootout as Russia beat the Czech Republic 2-1 as they opened up the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship the same way they did last year - a shootout win.

The game started with some controversy as there was a boarding call on the Czech's Jakub Zboril who hit Yegor Korshkov in the numbers and sent his neck into the boards. Zboril was called for a five minute major and a game misconduct. Korshkov was slow to get up but returned later in the period.

On first glance, at full speed, it definitely looked like the right call but afterwards, slowed down, it didn't appear as violent But when you have a player go head first into the boards, it's a call you have to make. I don't think it was a major, but it was definitely a penalty.

Russia took a penalty on the power play and couldn't get any offence going otherwise. Russia only had five shots on goal in the first despite the power play.

Later in the first, Alexander Polunin had a wide open net but somehow missed the net in a play I have seen players in white, red and blue do way too often as of late.

The Czechs appeared to score a power play goal midway through the second period, but it was called back for a crease violation as David Kase was in the crease and interfered with Alexander Georgiev, who was the surprise starter over Washington Capitals first round pick Ilya Samsonov, as the puck went in.

Seconds later, Michael Spacek who appeared to score the first goal was awarded a penalty shot as he was slashed on a breakaway and had a nice move on Georgiev to put the Czechs up 1-0 for real.

Russia tied the game midway through the third when a pass in front was finished off by Artur Lauta who beat Vitek Vanecek. Vanecek made some key saves in the final moments of the game, though, to ensure the game went to overtime.

Because the game went to a shootout, Russia gets two points instead of three, and the Czechs also pick up a point.

Sweden 8 Switzerland 3

Sweden won the game but may have lost a couple of key players in a 8-3 win over Switzerland.

William Nylander and Adrian Kempe both left the game after violent hits in the game.

William Nylander pounced on the loose puck to beat Gauthier Descloux to put Sweden up 1-0 only 1:21 into the game.

Tino Kessler missed a breakaway in the game’s first 30 seconds but Linus Soderstrom made the save.

Scary moment over four minutes in as Fabian Heldner went in to check Sweden’s Joel Eriksson Ek and his helmet made contact with Eriksson Ek’s face. There was initially no call on the play but the referees gave the penalty after a lengthy review.

Eriksson Ek would return, but with a new jersey as his old one was full of blood.

The play looked a lot worse than it ended up as the check was accidental head to head contact.

The Swiss did kill off the penalty but seconds after, Sweden made it 2-0 as Oskar Lindblom scored on a loose puck in the crease.

Midway through the period, Chris Egli had a really dangerous hit on William Nylander on the blind side. Egli had a five minute major and a game misconduct meaning the Swiss would lose two players.

Egli would likely face supplemental discipline as well.

During the four on four action as Gabriel Carlsson also took a roughing minor on the play, Tino Kessler scored to make it a 2-1 game as he hit home a rebound after a Denis Malgin shot. Kessler would add a shorthanded goal in the third period.

Sweden would re-open a 3-1 lead on the power play when Dmytro Timashov scored on a wrist shot after a good two minutes of pressure in the offensive zone.

Early in the second, Timashov scored on another long wrist shot on the power play.

Rasmus Apslund made it 5-1. Noah Rod cut the lead to 5-2 as he tipped a Edson Harlacher shot past Soderstrom.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson scored to make it 6-2 and that was it for Descloux and he was replaced by Joren van Pottelberghe.

Jacob Larsson and Adam Ollas Mattsson also scored for Sweden.

Adrian Kempe also left the game for Sweden as he was hit from behind and clearly hit his head on the glass. He did not return. There was no call on the play.