United States got revenge for their Olympic defeat at Sochi 2014 by beating Canada in their opening International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women's World Championship match at the Malmö Isstadion.
In the first meeting between the two sides since the gold medal contest in Sochi, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Hannah Brandt, Kendall Coyne and Hilary Knight all found the net for the defending champions as they claimed a 4-2 win.
Brianne Jenner and Jennifer Wakefield got on the scoresheet for the Canadians but it proved to be in vein as they began their Group A campaign with a defeat.
Lamoureux opened the scoring early in the first period before the reigning Olympic champions hit back thanks to Jenner, but the Americans then established a two-goal advantage to leave victory in sight.
Canada's Wakefield halved the deficit 57 seconds into the second period but the United States found another goal shortly after, and the Canadians had no answer.
In the other match in Group A, Finland got the better of a stern Russian side with a 3-2 win, in which Minttu Tuominen bagged the only shootout goal to give her nation victory.
It was a tense yet exciting affair between two sides who will harbour hopes of getting onto the podium and after the match finished 2-2 in regulation time, Tuominen was the heroine, ensuring the Finland got their competition off to a winning start.
Elsewhere on the opening day, host nation Sweden were on the wrong end of a dramatic 4-3 shootout reverse at the hands of Japan in Group B in what was a thrilling contest in front of a packed home crowd.
Erika Grahm put on a superb display as she hit a hat-trick but her performance could quite guide her side to a win as the Japanese outfit earned their first-ever success over the Swedes.
Grahm got the hosts off to the best possible start by breaking the deadlock in the first period with a tidy finish, before Japan hit back not long after thanks to Miho Shishiuchi, who found the net from a tight angle to restore parity.
Sweden went back ahead midway through the contest and Japan pulled themselves level once again early in the third period when Ami Nakamura scored on the rebound.
The topsy-turvy nature of the match continued as Japan took the lead for the first time through captain Chiho Osawa, but Grahm was on hand to ensure the game finished as a draw after regulation time as she found an equaliser during a Swedish powerplay.
Unfortunately for the partisan crowd, it was Japan who showed the better nerve to take victory in the shootout.
In the other match in Group B, Olympic bronze medallists Switzerland proved too strong for a tough German outfit as they clinched a 5-2 win, in which Stefanie Marty netted twice.
Twin sister Julia also managed to find the net for the Swiss along with Phoebe Stanze and Lara Stalder, while Andrea Lanzl and Anna-Maria Fiegert scored what proved to be consolation goals for the Germans.
The tournament is due to continue tomorrow as Switzerland face Sweden and Germany take on Japan in Group B, and in Group A, Canada will be looking to bounce back from their opening loss when they do battle with Russia, and the United States entertain Finland.
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