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Canadian prospect Sean Farrell shines in USA win

Drafted in the fourth round, 124th overall in the 2020 draft, Farrell has three goals and two assists.

The game had however started relatively well for China, which is in its first participation in the Olympic men’s hockey tournament.

Imposing a robust game against the young American team, made up largely of university players, the Chinese managed to limit their rivals to a single goal in the first period, scored by Brendan Brisson on the power play.

The Chinese imposed a robust game in the first period.

Photo: Getty Images / ANTONIN THUILLIER

After a period of looking for their bearings, the Americans quickly found their rhythm from the second period.

Fueled by a nice backhand pass from Farrell, Noah Cates made it 2-0 with a shot that Jieruimi Shimisi couldn’t stop.

After Brian O’Neill gave the United States a three-goal lead, Farrell came back moments later with the first of his three goals of the game thanks to a wrist shot into the top.

A native of Hopkinton, Mass., Farrell then made the Americans lead to 5-0 with another sharp shot early in the third period.

He celebrates a goal by clapping his teammates on the bench.

Sean Farrel

Photo: Getty Images/Elsa

Far from being satisfied, the 20-year-old hockey player then became an accomplice to Ben Meyers’ goal to record his fourth point of the game.

With less than two minutes left in the game and a 7-0 score, Farrell completed his hat trick with a one-timer on the power play.

In total, the forward spent 11:40 on the ice and hit the target on all three shots he fired.

Ben Meyers also stood out with a goal and two assists.

Goaltender Drew Commesso had to signal a few times in his 29 saves to achieve the shutout.

Jieruimi Shimisi making a save.

Jieruimi Shimisi

Photo: Getty Images/Elsa

His vis-à-vis, Jieruimi Shimisi, for his part stopped 47 of the 55 shots aimed at him.

For their next match, the United States have an appointment with Canada, while China will face Germany.

A first victory for Swedish hockey players

The Swedish hockey players began their Olympic tournament with a 3-2 victory over the Latvians on Thursday at the Beijing Games.

Forward Lucas Wallmark opened the scoring midway through the first period, well served by a pass from Pontus Holmberg from behind the net.

Anton Lander added one early in the second, taking advantage of a poor outing by Latvian goalkeeper Ivars Punnenovs.

Wallmark completed his double on the power play to make it 3-0.

BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 10: Anton Lander #58 of Team Sweden reacts after teammate Lucas Wallmark #23 scored a goal in the second period against goaltender Ivars Punnenovs #74 of Team Latvia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group C match on Day 6 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Indoor Stadium on February 10, 2022 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Sweden were hot, but won

Photo: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett

Latvia entered the scoring for the first time at the end of the middle period. On the power play, Renars Krastenbergs counted in the upper part of Lars Johansson’s cage.

The Latvian players felt a sense of urgency in the third. They went 3-2 thanks to another power play goal, that of Nikolajs Jelisejevs. Their efforts to change the outcome of the clash were ultimately in vain.

A puck hits the back of the net.

Sweden goalkeeper Lars Johansson

Photo: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett

Sweden dominated in shots on goal 26 against 17.

Sweden will face Slovakia on Friday, while Latvia will play their next game against Finland.

Finns win

A hat-trick from Sakari Manninen helped Finland beat Slovakia 6-2 in their opening game of the preliminary round.

The young Juraj Slafkovsky shone in the Slovak camp. The 17-year-old forward, tipped as a first-round pick in the next National Hockey League (NHL) draft, scored the first goal of the game.

Finland recovered quickly with three unanswered goals in the first period. Sakari Manninen, Harri Pesonen and Miro Aaltonen took turns beating Branislav Konrad to make it 3-1.

Sakari Manninen, who plays in the Continental League with Salavat Yulayev Ufa, scored his second goal of the match to go wide halfway through the middle period.

A few minutes later, Slafkovsky hit the target again to restore hope to his people.

Early in the third period, Manninen scored his third goal of the game to earn the first hat trick of the Olympic tournament. He threaded the needle thanks to a pass from Valtteri Kemiläinen, in a situation of two against zero, following a Slovak turnover in the defensive zone.

With five minutes left in the duel, Miro Aaltonen nailed the coffin for the Slovaks. It was his third point after his two assists.

In the loss, Slovakia led 33-30 in shots on goal. Goalkeeper Harri Säteri made 31 saves in the win.

Finnish veteran Valtteri Filppula, who played more than 1,000 games on the Bettman circuit, picked up an assist.

Slovakian defenseman Simon Nemec, another NHL prospect who will be eligible for the next draft, posted a -2 rating and clocked just over 19 minutes of playing time.

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