Oil Kings in action on Day 1
CANADA 9 - GERMANY 3
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a statement early Wednesday morning, potting a goal and four assists in a 9-3 rout over Team Germany in Canada's opener to the 2013 World Junior Championship.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Mark Scheifele, Ryan Strome and Brett Ritchie all had multipoint nights.
Canada took an early 2-0 lead as goals by Nugent-Hopkins and Xavier Ouelett put the Germans in a deep hole 9:36 in. Edmonton Oilers prospect Tobias Rieder tallied with 31 seconds to play, keeping the score close in an evenly-played opening period. But it was as close as they would get, as the red and white hit for the cycle in the second, scoring once shorthanded, once on the power-play and another three at even-strength to make it a 7-3 game.
Jonathan Drouin and Calgary Flames prospect Tyler Wotherspoon each scored in the third.
Oil Kings captain Griffin Reinhart was held off the scoresheet, registering a shot on goal and an even rating in the win. Canada's next game comes on Friday vs. Slovakia at 2:30am MT.
FINLAND 5 - LATVIA 1
Up against the likes of Markus Granlund, Joel Armia, Aleksander Barkov, Teuvo Teravainen and others, Oil Kings winger Edgars Kulda and Team Latvia dropped a 5-1 score to the Finns Wednesday morning.
Kulda did not record a point and was on the wrong end of the plus-minus scale, slotting in at -2.
Finland's Artturi Lehkonen got the ball rolling early, scoring 1:54 into the game. Latvia responded less than seven minutes later to make it a 1-1 game, but Miro Aaltonen got it right back with a pair in a three-minute span. Granlund and Rasmus Ristolainen rounded out the scoring with goals in the second period.
Kulda's Latvians get back at it tomorrow at 5:00am MT vs. Switzerland.
SWEDEN 4 - CZECH REPUBLIC 1
Team Sweden's World Junior title defence got off on the right foot Wednesday morning as Tre Kronor knocked off Oil Kings defenceman David Musil and the Czech Republic by a 4-1 score.
Musil led Team Czech Republic with a +5 rating last year but struggled to get his sea legs in Wednsday's game, picking up eight penalty minutes -- high-sticking, roughing (coincidental), slashing and slashing minors, respectively. Sebastien Collberg and Elias Lindholm each scored while Musil was in the box early, putting the game out of the Czechs' hands less than four minutes into the game.
On a key power-play midway through the second, the Czechs couldn't get anything and, as a result, gave up a shorthanded goal to Filip Sandberg. Filip Forsberg added another 12:07 into the third to make it 4-0.
Lukas Sedlak netted the Czechs' lone tally with six seconds to play, snapping Joel Lassinatti's shutout bid. Lassinatti made 25 saves overall.
Musil and Team Czech Republic gets back in action on Friday at 12:30am MT.
-- Ryan Dittrick, Edmonton Oil Kings | Follow me on Twitter @ryandittrick