United States off the mark, Denmark shutout Norway


United States responded to a heavy loss at the hands of holders Canada by defeating Belarus 6-3 at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships on Saturday.

After being routed 5-1 by Canada on Friday, USA needed a big response and they did just that in St Petersburg.

Miles Wood got USA on the board after supporting well on the left wing before Chris Wideman also scored in the first period.

Dylan Larkin, Noah Hanifin and Auston Matthews weighed in with goals in the second term, before Belarus responded through Geoff Platt and Andrei Stas in that period.

Dmitry Korobov ensured a nervy ending by bringing it back to 5-3, but Matthews - who had two goals and an assist - completed a fine evening with his second in the final minutes to avoid the prospect of an overtime or shootout upset.

"It shows a lot about our character that we were able to come back and respond in such a way, putting up six goals," said goaltender Mike Condon. "We've still got to work on our game defensively, but there's some good stuff going forward."

Tomas Marcinko, Tomas Jurco, Andrej Sekera and Patrik Lusnak scored as Slovakia eased to a 4-1 win over a Hungary side making their first top division world championship appearance in seven years.

Nigel Dawes struck twice in the shootout, his second in sudden death, to help Kazakhstan record a 3-2 victory over Switzerland, who forced overtime when Denis Hollenstein levelled late in the third period.

Nicklas Jensen broke the deadlock in the second period and iced the game in the third either side of Jesper Jensen's goal as Denmark defeated traditional rivals Norway 3-0.

It was goaltender Sebastian Dahm who stole the show, though, managing 15 saves in the first period alone and finishing up with 44 during an inspired performance that was duly rewarded with a shutout. 

The third period and overtime could not separate neighbours Germany and France, the latter winning 3-2 in a shootout, with Damien Fleury the only player of five on either side to score in the decider.