The first day of the 2016 World Championships begins with at least one Chicago Blackhawks player in each game.
Vincent Hinostroza and Tyler Motte of Team USA face off against Canada in the first game of Group B play. The USA has won bronze at two of the last three world championships, while Canada is the defending champion. Prior to last year's triumph, the Canadians had not reached the podium since 2009.
The other game in the 8:15 a.m. slot features defenseman Erik Gustafsson and Sweden against Lativa. It's Gustafsson's first time playing for Sweden at any level.
Artemi Panarin will help lead Russia against Czech Republic as they look to win the tournament on home ice. Panarin, who was voted one of three finalist for the Calder Trophy on Monday, scored five goals with five assists in last year's tournament as the Russians fell 2-1 to Canada in the gold-medal game.
Ville Pokka will make his first appearance in the tournament. He has represent Finland numerous times before, most recently winning gold at the World Junior Championships. He scored 10 goals with 35 assists for the Rockford IceHogs this past season.
We will have an extended preview and game thread for USA vs. Canada.
|Sweden vs Lativa||A||8:15 a.m.||N/A||Ice Palace|
|USA vs Canada||B||8:15 a.m.||NBCSN||Yubileiny|
|Czech Republic vs. Russia||A||10:15 a.m.||N/A||Ice Palace|
|Finland vs. Belarus||B||10:15 a.m.||N/A||Yubileiny|
*All times are Central
**Bold teams feature Chicago players