US rallies to beat Slovakia in world junior opener

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — Mikey Anderson and Evan Barratt scored early in the third period and the United States rallied to beat Slovakia 2-1 on Wednesday night to open the World Junior Championship.

Kyle Keyser made 13 saves for the Americans, allowing only Marek Korencik’s goal late in the second period at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Keyser stopped Andrej Kukuca on a penalty shot with 6:45 left to preserve the lead.

Anderson, the U.S. captain, plays for Minnesota-Duluth, Barratt for Penn State, and Keyser for the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals

Slovakia’s Samuel Hlavaj also stopped a penalty shot, thwarting Jason Robertson in the second period, and finished with 32 saves.

The Americans will face Kazakhstan on Friday night, play Sweden on Saturday night and complete round-robin play against Finland on Monday night. Sweden faced Finland later Wednesday in the other Group B opener in Victoria.

In Group A at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, David Kvasnicka scored on a long wrist shot 52 seconds into overtime to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 victory over Switzerland.

Martin Kaut also scored for the Czech Republic, and Lukas Dostal made 26 saves. Mando Eggenberger scored for Switzerland, and Luca Hollenstein stopped 25 shots.

Defending champion Canada faced Denmark in the late game at Rogers Arena.