Auston Matthews Scores Twice as U.S. Beats Belarus at Worlds

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Auston Matthews scored his first two goals for the United States in a rough-and-tumble 6-3 win over Belarus at the world ice hockey championship on Saturday.

Coming off a 5-1 loss to Canada on Friday, the U.S. showcased its young talent, leading 5-1 at one point.

In addition to the two goals from the 18-year-old Matthews, who is widely predicted to be the No. 1 NHL draft pick, three more U.S. goals were scored by players aged 20 or younger.

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Discipline issues often dictated the flow of the game, with Belarusian defenseman Ilya Shinkevich ejected for a headbutt on Jordan Schroeder.

Switzerland surprisingly lost to Kazakhstan 3-2 in a shootout. Despite a 51-27 shots advantage, the Swiss struggled to beat Kazakh goaltender Vitaly Kolesnik. Canada-born wing Nigel Dawes secured the win for Kazakhstan in the shootout.

Also in the Moscow group for the preliminary round, Denmark began by pasting Norway 3-0 on two Nicklas Jensen goals, while Danish goalkeeper Sebastian Dahm made 44 saves for the shutout.

France began with a win in the St. Petersburg group, beating Germany 3-2 in a shootout in which 40-year-old goaltender Cristobal Huet saved all three German shots.

Earlier, Slovakia won against Hungary 4-1. The Hungarian team is at the worlds for only the second time since 1939, and plays Canada on Sunday.

Hungary coach Rich Chernomaz, a former world championship bronze medalist as a player with Canada, wants his team to cut out mistakes. "If you don't bring or translate the trust and belief in what you have to work with, then you're dead before you get started," he said.

Canada center Mark Scheifele said he followed part of Hungary's game before practice on Saturday.

"They look like they work hard, they're going to be honest, and you can't take any team lightly in this tournament," Scheifele said.

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