Ostrava, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) - Brock Nelson's redirection goal early in the second period was the difference, as Team USA squeaked by Norway, 2-1, on Saturday in Group B action at the World Championships.
Trevor Lewis notched the other goal for the 2-0 Americans, with Connor Hellebuyck posting 22 saves. Team USA faces its stiffest test of the preliminary round against Russia on Monday.
Morten Ask scored in the first period and Lars Haugen was the hard luck loser despite 33 stops. Norway takes on Finland two days from now.
In other Group B play, Slovakia edged Denmark by a 4-3 count in a shootout, with Marko Dano recording the winner for the former nation after Daniel Nielsen pulled the latter country even on a goal with 2:14 left in regulation.
Belarus claimed a 4-2 decision over Slovenia thanks to a goal and assist each from Andrei Stas and Andrei Kostitsyn and two helpers by Artur Gavrus.
At Prague in Group A competition, Austria stole a 4-3 shootout decision against Switzerland. Michael Raffl ensured the winning side played beyond regulation on his goal with 50 seconds left in the third, and Konstantin Komarek notched the deciding marker in the game's final segment.
Germany clipped France by a 2-1 count after Patrick Reimer netted the go-ahead power-play goal with one minute to go in regulation.
In their capital city, the host Czechs came up with a more consistent effort and doubled up Latvia by a 4-2 score. Jan Kovar fueled the victory on a goal and two assists, with team captain Jakub Voracek adding a score and veteran Jaromir Jagr lighting the lamp as well.