Josh Anderson scored the eventual game-winning goal and added an assist as Canada beat Italy 6-1 on Sunday at the men’s hockey world championship in Helsinki.
Noah Gregor scored a shorthanded goal for Canada (2-0), while Travis Sanheim, Nicolas Roy, Kent Johnson and Dysin Mayo also scored.
“We’re all doing what we do best on the ice and helping the team create scoring chances,” Anderson said. “We also pride ourselves on being reliable in the defensive zone, and we’re a pretty confident line right now and we’re only going to get better.”
Chris Driedger made 11 saves in the Canada net for the win.
Phil Pietroniro opened the scoring for Italy (0-2) after 12:57 of play.
“We are progressing well, even though we have only been together for a week,” said Canada head coach Claude Julien. “I think today was a good game. We had a bit of a slow start, but in the second and third periods we managed to find our rhythm.”
Goalkeeper Justin Fazio stopped 24 shots for the Italians.
Anderson scored 8:15 into the second period to break a 1-1 tie as Canada went five unanswered goals for the win.
Neither team scored on the power play, with Canada 0-for-1 and Italy 0-for-4.
The Canadians will face Slovakia on Monday at 9:20 a.m. ET.
“[Slovakia] is a team we’ve seen at the Olympics, and they won bronze there, so it’s a team we have to respect,” Julien said. “They also just suffered a defeat [on Friday], so no doubt they will come out and play their best game against us. We have to be ready for this challenge.”
Canadian defender Thomas Chabot remembers his team scoring late to claim victory the last time they faced the Slovaks.
“It was a tight game all the way,” he recalls. “[Slovakia] is a team that works very hard and has a lot of talent, so we have to take that into account. We want to improve, both individually and as a team.”
WATCH | Canada leads a balanced attack to another win in Finland:
American Hughes crowns comeback victory
Luke Hughes scored with 1:57 left in overtime to complete a United States comeback from two fewer goals to beat Austria 3-2.
Benjamin Nissner scored in the first half and Paul Huber added another early in the second to give Austria a 2-0 lead in the Group B match at Tampere. Kieffer Bellows started the comeback later in the second before Adam Gaudette tied the game with a power play goal in the final period to force overtime.
“I liked our mental toughness tonight,” USA head coach David Quinn said in a press release. “We lost 2-0 and Kieffer scored a big goal right after his second goal. We had some big blocks on the penalty kill in overtime and I was really proud that we stuck together and finally won a important victory.”
The United States edged Austria 39-16 en route to their second win in two games.
In another Group A game, France beat Kazakhstan 2-1 with Denmark against Switzerland later on Sunday.
Norway prevailed in a penalty shootout to beat Great Britain 4-3 in Group B.
Captain Mathis Olimb scored twice in the second period to give Norway a 3-0 lead. Great Britain responded with three goals 3:18 into the final period to force overtime.
Later on Sunday, Sweden will face the Czech Republic in the same group.