Team Canada, following their stunning defensive victory to win Olympic Gold in Sochi in February, was looking to roll into Minsk as IHLC champions and continue their dominance. Their tune-up game in Zürich led to a definitive 4-0 win over a very talented Swiss squad, and the plan was to open the tournament against France with a clear message.
Message received = Canada is no longer invincible on the world stage, and no longer International Hockey Lineal Champions.
Team Canada opened the 2014 IIHF World Champions with a shocking loss to Les Bleus, losing for only the second time at a world championship to the French, with the first loss being in 1995. After Ottawa Senator Stéphane Da Costa tied the game on his second goal with less than 10 minutes in regulation, France capitalized on a listless Team Canada, and a shaky performance from Toronto Maple Leafs netminder James Reimer, to win the game on a Pierre-Edouard Bellemare shootout winner. Canada peppered ex-NHL netminder Cristobal Huet with 39 shots throughout the game, but the Lausanne HC goalie stood on his head for much of the game, stopping all three penalty shots from NHL snipers Kyle Turris, Sean Monahan and Matt Read, respectively.
With the win, France now holds the IHLC title for the eighth time – Les Bleus last held the IHLC in 1994, and first won the title from the inaugural champions, Belgium, in 1906. This was the first meeting between Canada and France for the IHLC since France’s last reign in October 1994, where the IHLC changed hands three times on an exhibition tour of Saskatchewan, Canada. Team Canada, who entered the tournament as incumbent champs after winning the IHLC from Finland in Sochi, gets off to a disappointing start to their time in Minsk following their Olympic Gold. France begins its title defence against Italy on May 11.
01:19 – PEN – Myers, holding
04:36 – PEN – Meunier, tripping
15:52 – PEN – Burrows, tripping
17:03 – PP GOAL – S. Da Costa (Auvitu, Bellemare)
19:25 – PEN – Meunier, hooking
19:44 – PP GOAL – Schenn (Hodgson, Garrison)
26:22 – PEN – S. Da Costa, elbowing
30:00 – PEN – Guttig, inteference
38:27 – PEN – Brouwer, slashing
39:21 – PEN – Bieksa, tripping
40:39 – PEN – Brouwer, slashing
50:42 – GOAL – Gudbrandson (MacKinnon)
52:15 – PEN – Garrison, slashing
52:35 – PP GOAL – S. Da Costa (Roussel, Fleury)
S. Da Costa lost the puck
W: Huet (34-36)
L: Reimer (26-29)
SHOTS ON GOAL
10+6+10+2+1 = 29
11+13+9+3+0 = 36
Goaltenders: Florian Hardy, Cristobal Huet. Defence: Baptiste Amar (A), Yohann Auvitu, Nicolas Besch, Florian Chakiachvili, Benjamin Dieudé-Fauvel, Jonathan Janil, Antonin Manavian. Forwards: Pierre-Édouard Bellemare (A), Stéphane Da Costa, Teddy Da Costa, Julien Desrosiers, Damien Fleury, Anthony Guttig, Brian Henderson, Laurent Meunier (C), Damien Raux, Nicolas Ritz, Antoine Roussel, Luc Tardif, Yorick Treille.
Goaltenders: James Reimer, Ben Scrivens. Defence: Kevin Bieksa (C), Braydon Coburn, Ryan Ellis, Jason Garrison, Erik Gudbrandson, Tyler Myers, Morgan Rielly. Forwards: Troy Brouwer, Alex Burrows, Jason Chimera (A), Cody Hodgson, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, Nathan MacKinnon, Sean Monahan, Matt Read, Mark Scheifele, Brayden Schenn, Kyle Turris (A), Joel Ward.