France stuns Canada at worlds

Updated: May 9, 2014, 2:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MINSK, Belarus -- France stunned Canada in the teams' world championship opener Friday, winning 3-2 in a shootout.

The Ottawa Citizen reports that it was just Canada's second lost to France, with the first having come in 1995.

Russia had no such problems as it kicked off its campaign with a 5-0 victory over Switzerland, last year's runner-up.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored the only goal in the shootout for France, beating James Reimer with a high shot.

"It's big," Bellemare said. "I'm proud of all the guys. It's a team effort."

Stephane Da Costa scored his second goal of the Group A game to level it 2-2 in the third period and force overtime.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn and Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson scored for Canada.

"France defended very well in front of their net," Canada coach Dave Tippett said. "We didn't create enough opportunities. It shows how hard this tournament is. It shows how hard teams are going to play against Canada. It's a good lesson for our young players."

Canada entered the tournament 8-1 all time against France. The teams' two previous meetings, in 2012 and 2011, ended in 7-2 and 9-1 victories for Canada.

In Group B, Russia's high-scoring team got goals from Sergei Plotnikov, Washington Capitals star striker Alex Ovechkin, Vadim Shipachyov, Anton Belov and Danis Zaripov. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets recorded the shutout.

"We played very well as a team," Bobrovsky said.

Russia needed just 13 seconds to open the scoring through Plotnikov, and Ovechkin doubled the lead six minutes later with a slap shot on a power play. Ovechkin also added an assist.

"We did some good things but when you don't score a goal it's difficult to win any game, obviously," Swiss coach Sean Simpson said.

Later Friday, the United States played host Belarus in its first Group B game, and Slovakia took on the Czech Republic in Group A.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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