(Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

The International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships kicked off play on Friday with the New York Rangers well represented throughout the day’s contest.

The IIHF World Championships began its tournament on Friday and there were plenty of New York  Rangers in action as the preliminary rounds began.

Team USA faced off against Canada in what is always a hard fighting contest. Rangers forward Chris Kreider had a great game, assisting on two goals in their 5-4 shootout win.

Kreider showed off the speed he is known for in New York as he also assisted on both of the goals scored by another speedster in Dylan Larkin. New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk was a +2 in the game as Team USA goes to 1-0 in the early round of play.

Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Bluejackets scored the game-winner in the shootout. It was his second shootout goal in the game. (Remember, international play allows the same player to be used in the shootout period.)

Team USA will face Denmark on May 5.

Team Russia battled France in an uneventful game as Russia defeated France 7-0. Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich scored a power-play goal in the first period for Russia. Buchnevich had 9:11 of ice time in the game averaging about 15 seconds per shift.

Russia’s next game will be on May 6 against Austria.

Team Sweden, with Lias Andersson and Mika Zibanejad, beat Belarus 5-0 in their first game of the tournament. Lias Andersson scored the game-winning goal for Sweden with Zibanejad contributing a goal and an assist in the contest.

Belarus was no competition for the quick Swedish team as they were outshot in the game 36-27.

Swedens next contest will put up Ranger vs. Ranger as they will play Filip Chytil on the Czech Republic on May 6. The Czech Republic will see their first game action on May 5 when they take on Slovakia.

IIHF Highlights of Friday’s Games

ESNY’s own Spencer Hazen put together this great highlight reel of our Blueshirts in action. He can be found on Twitter, @Shazen21.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com