Canada had to come from a goal down to outclass newcomer Slovenia 5-2 for its second victory at the men’s world hockey championship on Sunday in Riga, Latvia.
The United States had to do the same on the way to a 7-1 triumph over Hungary, the other newly promoted team in the top division.
MacKenzie Weegar had a goal and two assists for the Canadians in the second three-point game for the Calgary Flames defenseman while Michael Carcone and Jack McBain had a goal and an assist.
After Jan Drozg’s goal put Slovenia ahead in the opening period, Canada answered with a three-goal second period in Group B in the Latvian capital Riga.
“We keep talking about how we want to get better every day. Obviously, our first period was not good and we need to have a better start, but I thought we had a much better second period,” Canada head coach André Tourigny said. “We were able to accomplish a lot in terms of our structure, which is something we need to continue to improve.
“We had a few important penalty kills where we were strong on the forecheck, so that was good to see. Today was a bit up and down with a strong finish from our group, but this tournament is a long journey and we still have a lot of games left.”
Carcone drew the Canadians even with a wrist shot 1:13 into the frame, Pierre-Olivier Joseph rallied Canada to a 2-1 lead and Milan Lucic doubled the advantage on a power play.
Weegar and McBain had one each in the third before Drozg reduced the deficit to 5-2 with his second.
“All the teams we play are going to be ready right from the drop of the puck, and I think our first period was a good lesson to learn from,” Joseph said. “We can improve our first 10 minutes of the game and get off to better starts, but we improved as the game went on so we can take positives from that.”