Norway, Germany win openers at hockey world championships
MAY 10, 2014 9:16a ET
MINSK, Belarus -- Norway blanked Italy 3-0 and Germany prevailed in a shootout to beat Kazakhstan 2-1 in their first games at the ice hockey world championship on Saturday.
Thomas Oppenheimer scored the decisive goal in the shootout to give Germany the win.
Germany outshot its opponent 47-20 but Kazakhstan went ahead 1-0 after a goal from Andrei Gavrilin. The Germans answered through Matthias Plachta at the end of the first period.
Niklas Roest opened the scoring in the first period for Norway, Morten Ask made it 2-0 midway through the game and captain Anders Bastiansen rounded off the victory on a breakaway in the third.
"I tried to shoot early to surprise the goalie and it went in, so I was really happy," Bastiansen said. "We did a good job. We won and that's the most important thing."
Goaltender Lars Haugen made 15 saves for the shutout, but needed help from his posts on two shots by defenseman Daniel Sullivan in the second.
"We had a little difficulty in the beginning, adjusting to the speed," Italy coach Tom Pokel said. "However, as the game went on we got better and better. So it was a good game for us."
Italy and Kazakhstan are both newcomers to the top division this year.
Later Saturday, Canada hopes to rebound from Friday's 3-2 loss to France with a win against Slovakia, while the United States faces Switzerland a day after it routed host Belarus 6-1. Also, defending champion Sweden opens its campaign against Denmark and Finland plays Latvia.