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Mon dieu! France stuns Canada at hockey world championships

Photo: Sergei Grits/AP

Cody Hodgson and the Canadians were bushwhacked by an opportunistic bunch of Frenchmen.

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- France stunned Canada in their first game of the ice hockey world championships Friday, winning 3-2 after a shootout.

Russia had no such problems as it kicked off its campaign with a 5-0 victory over last year's runner-up Switzerland.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored the only goal in the shootout for France, beating goalie James Reimer with a high shot.

"It's big," Bellemare said. "I'm proud of all the guys. It's a team effort."

Stephane Da Costa scored his second goal of the Group A game to level it 2-2 in the third period and force an overtime period that ended scoreless.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn and Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson netted for Canada.

"France defended very well in front of their net," Canada coach Dave Tippett said. "We didn't create enough opportunities. It shows how hard this tournament is. It shows how hard teams are going to play against Canada. It's a good lesson for our young players."

In Group B, Russia's high-scoring team got goals from Sergei Plotnikov, Washington Capitals star striker Alex Ovechkin, Vadim Shipachyov, Anton Belov and Danis Zaripov. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovski of the Columbus Blue Jackets recorded the shutout.

"We played very well as a team," Bobrovski said.

Russia needed just 13 seconds to open the scoring through Plotnikov, and Ovechkin doubled the lead six minutes later with a powerful slap shot on a power play. Ovechkin also added an assist.

"We did some good things but when you don't score a goal it's difficult to win any game, obviously," Swiss coach Sean Simpson said.

Later Friday, the United States played host Belarus in their first Group B game, while Slovakia took on the Czech Republic in Group A.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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