UFA, Russia — Miro Aaltonen scored twice and added an assist before leaving the game with a serious ankle injury Wednesday as Finland defeated Latvia 5-1 at the world junior hockey championship.
Rasmus Ristolainen added a goal and an assist for the Finns (1-0), while Artturi Lehkonen and Markus Granlund also scored. Joel Armia chipped in with two assists.
Joonas Korpisalo made 11 saves to get the win in Pool A.
Aaltonen had to leave the game after a third-period collision with a Latvian player.
"His tournament is over because his ankle is very bad," said Finnish coach Harri Rindell, adding the 19-year-old forward may require surgery. "He was so depressed because he really wanted to play and he is in great shape. That's hockey, unfortunately."
Nikolajs Jelisejevs had the only goal for Latvia (0-1), which got 39 saves from Elvis Merzlikins.
Russia 3, Slovakia 2
Albert Yarullin scored at 4:50 of overtime Wednesday as Russia escaped with a 3-2 victory against Slovakia in the opener at the world junior hockey championship for both teams.
Nikita Kucherov and Alexander Khokhlachyov also scored for Russia, while Andrei Vasilevski made 32 saves.
Matus Matis and Richard Mraz had the goals for Slovakia. Adam Nagy stopped 34 shots.
Slovakia tied the heavily-favoured hosts on the power play with 34 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. But the Slovaks took a penalty in the extra period and Yarullin made them pay off the ensuing faceoff, blasting a one-timer from the point past Nagy.
Pool B action continues for both countries Friday with the Slovaks taking on Canada and Russia meeting the U.S.
Canada leads Pool B with three points after a 9-3 win over Germany, while Russia sits seconds with two points for the overtime victory. Slovakia picked up one point for the OT loss and is followed in the standings by the Americans, who open their tournament on Thursday against Germany.
Sweden 4, Czech Republic 1
Joel Lassinantti made 25 saves Wednesday as defending-champion Sweden opened the world junior hockey championship with a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic.
Sebastian Collberg, Elias Lindholm, Filip Sandberg and Filip Forsberg scored for Sweden (1-0), while Mikael Vikstrand added two assists.
Lukas Sedlak had the only goal for the Czech Republic (0-1) while Matej Machovsky stopped 37 shots.
"I liked the way we competed," Swedish coach Roger Ronnberg said. "I liked our PK, the way we were blocking shots, and the way we played without the puck, how we came back on the backcheck. It was good. Offensively, we can for sure still play better."
Pool A action continues for both teams Friday when the Czechs take on Finland (1-0) and the Swedes meet Switzerland (0-0).