France shock Finland at IIHF worlds, Russia hit double figures

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Co-hosts France pulled off a shock at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Sunday, defeating Finland 5-1 in Paris to get off the mark in Group B.

France began their campaign with a 3-2 loss at the hands of Norway and had lost their last eight matches to Finland, dating back to 1993.

However, with home goaltender Florian Hardy in inspired form, Finland were condemned to defeat at the AccorHotels Arena - much to the delight of a vocal crowd.

"Our goalie was outstanding today, and that was the difference," said France defenseman Kevin Hecquefeuille.

Reigning champions Canada made it two wins out of two in Group B, firing in 51 shots during a 7-2 thumping of Slovenia, while Cody Almond claimed a goal and two assists as Switzerland beat Norway 3-0.

In Group A, Russia trounced Italy 10-1, while the United States were also comfortable winners, easing past Denmark 7-2.

Latvia were the day's other victors, Elvis Merzlikins again shining in goal as Slovakia were beaten 3-1.