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2014 World Juniors: Slovakia, Finland roll in tourney openers

The two teams left to watch on the first day of the World Junior Hockey Championships yesterday, Slovakia and Finland, got underway today and quickly joined the other realistic medal contenders in the win column.

Slovakia took on a Germany team fresh off yesterday's 7-2 beating at the hands of the Canadians and dispatched them in similar fashion, 9-2.

Marko Dano, selected 27th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, had two goals and an assist to lead the way for the Slovaks. Dano entered the tournament as one of the big prospects to watch, and will look to improve on his tournament from 2013, where he had 4-5-9 in six games.

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David Griger and Martin Reway, a fourth-round selection by Montreal in 2013, had four points as well. While Slovakia was hardly tested in their opening game, their mettle will be put to the test tomorrow when they faceoff with the Americans.

Finland finds a way

Despite some stellar goaltending early on from Norway's Joachim Svendsen, Finland was able to push past the Norweigians, 5-1. Svendsen kept Norway in the game as long as he could, surrendering just one goal on 20 shots faced in the first period. He made 43 saves overall.

Teuvo Teravainen, a 2012 first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, had an assist for Finland while Artturi Lehkonen, the Canadiens second-round pick in 2013, had a goal and an assist. 

Up next for Finland, their biggest game of the preliminary round, against their rival Sweden tomorrow. The slate of games provides for what should be a great day of hockey in Malmo.

Stick with Puck Drunk Love all tournament long for coverage on the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships. Be sure to follow @RealMikeSalerno on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates during the games, with a side of snark for the road.

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