For Denton Mateychuk and Team Canada, it was a far closer game than expected but a win nonetheless as they took a 4-2 victory over Latvia, while Martin Rysavy and the Czech Republic ended up dropping a 6-5 decision to Finland after giving up a pair of late power-play goals.
Matecyhuk -- who suited up for the Warriors for 16 games in the now-concluded East Division Hub before joining the national team in Frisco, Texas -- made his first appearance in the tournament and recorded a single shot on goal.
Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes) scored twice and added an assist to lead Canada’s offence, while Dylan Guenther (Edmonton Oil Kings) and Logan Stankoven (Kamloops Blazers) had their other markers. Regina Pats rookie Connor Bedard chipped in two assists.
The game was scoreless after the first and Canada led 2-1 through two.
Former Warriors prospect Corson Ceulmans did not play.
For Rysavy and the Czech Republic, it was as tough a loss as they come as Finland scored power-play goals with 3:29 and 19 seconds remaining in the game to take their one-goal win.
Rysavy drew an assist on Simon Marha’s goal with 8:14 gone in the second period, recorded three shots on net and finished the game plus-one. He now has a goal and an assist in his team’s first two games.
Canada is back in action on Friday when they take on Switzerland before closing out the round robin on Saturday against Belarus.
For the Czechs, things don’t get any easier: they have the United States tonight and finish their preliminary round against Russia on Saturday.
The top four teams from each round-robin pool advance to the quarter-finals beginning Monday.