All four Columbus prospects were in action on Day One, in what was an exciting opening day to the tournament.
Denmark vs. Russia
After killing off two early penalties, the heavy underdog Danes took full advantage of a pair of first period Russian minors, scoring two powerplay goals. CBJ prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand kicked opened the scoring, while Nikolaj Ehlers followed up a few minutes later. Sharks pick Nikolay Goldobin cut the lead in half with a second period goal, and the Russians were able to tie it in the third off the stick of Maxim Mamin. The goal was controversial, as there was a Russian forward in the crease. Under IIHF rules, a player in the crease requires the play to be whistled dead, but the tieing goal stood. The game went to a shootout, with the Russians prevailing. This game should have been a blowout, but the potent Danish duo of Bjorkstrand and Ehlers, along with the strong goaltending of Georg Sorensen showed that the Danes may surprise this year. Final score: 3-2 in a shootout.
Finland vs. USA
Things didn't start well for the Americans, as just 1:22 in, wires were crossed between goalie Thatcher Demko and defenseman Noah Hanifin, leading to the Finns scoring the first goal of the game. Phenom Jack Eichel, who was a force all game, set up the tieing goal later in the period. The stalemate continued through the second and a penalty-filled third, before heading to overtime. The extra period solved nothing, but the Americans earned the extra point in the shootout. Sonny Milano had some dangerous offensive chances, getting lots of powerplay time. He hit a post, and later in the shootout roofed the puck over the net, using his classic backhand move. Final score: 2-1 USA in a shootout.
Sweden vs. Czech Republic
In a game featuring no CBJ prospects, the Swedes got off to an early lead with goals by Adrian Kempe and Jens Looke in the first period. Jakub Vrana potted a pair of goals in the second period to tie the score, but William Nylander regained the Swedish lead, giving his future home fans in Toronto a taste of his offensive talent. The Swedes scored two third period goals, winning the game 5-2.
Canada vs. Slovakia
Dillon Heatherington and Canada smoked the Slovaks 8-0, opening the tournament in a big way. The Slovaks only managed 12 shots on net, while Blues prospect Robby Fabbri scored four points for Canada. Heatherington was thought to be the seventh defenseman for Canada, taking the odd shift, but Heatherington locked himself into a fixed pairing, with Samuel Morin sliding to seventh "D". Connor McDavid looked dangerous, but was unable to find the scoresheet. The top line of Sam Reinhart, Max Domi and Anthony Duclair combined for six points.