Team North American Hockey League opened the Sirius Junior Club World Cup with a 5-1 loss to Finland’s Oulun Karpat on Saturday in Sochi, Russia.
The loss overshadowed a 39-save performance from Fairbanks Ice Dogs goaltender Mattias Sholl. Oulun Karpat’s Joel Blomquist made 14 saves.
Nate Horn, of the Minnesota Wilderness, scored for the game’s first goal for Team NAHL with a wrist shot at just 20 seconds into the pool-B contest in the Shayba Arena.
Petteri Puhakka tied for the game for Oulun Karpat near the 3-minute mark after he finished a 2-on-1 break with a slap shot.
Aatu Ryatu provided the game-winner during a 5-on-3 power play near the end of the first period.
Zdenek Sadlak added a power-play goal in the third period, where Ryatu also got his second power-play goal and Oulun Karpat’s third of the night.
The Finnish team had eight power-play chances while the NAHL squad finished 0 for 4.
Elias Hyuvarinen sealed the win late in the third period for Oulun Karpat with a shot from a point.
Team NAHL is representing the United States in the eight-team tournament which runs through Aug. 31 at the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Team NAHL plays Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg at 8 a.m. AKDT Monday and it ends pool play against the Czech Republic’s HC Ocelari Trinec.
Pool A is comprised of Canada’s Team Alberta Junior Hockey League, Russia’s Lokomotiv, Sweden’s Modo Hockey and Switzerland’s HC Davos.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.