Belpedio’s third-period goal sends U.S. past Canada in World Juniors opener

Louie Belpedio was one of three collegiate players to score in the U.S. win over Canada (photo: Dan and Margaret Hickling).

Miami defenseman Louie Belpedio broke a third-period tie Saturday in Helsinki, and the United States beat Canada 4-2 in the World Junior Championship opener for both teams.

2016 World Junior Championship

Dec. 26, 2015-Jan. 5, 2016, Helsinki

United States schedule (all times Eastern and all games on NHL Network):

Saturday, Dec. 26: U.S. 4, Canada 2

Monday, Dec. 28: Sweden 1, U.S. 0

Wednesday, Dec. 30: U.S. 10, Switzerland 1

Thursday, Dec. 31: U.S. 4, Denmark 1

Saturday, Jan. 2: Quarterfinals: U.S. 7, Czech Republic 0

Monday, Jan. 4: Semifinals: Russia 2, U.S. 1

Tuesday, Jan. 5: Bronze-medal game: U.S. 8, Sweden 3

It was only the Americans’ second regulation win in their last 14 World Juniors meetings with Canada. The other was a semifinal win en route to the 2013 gold medal.

Belpedio got some help on his goal with 3:18 left — his shot from the top of the zone was redirected by Canada’s Joe Hicketts past goaltender Mason McDonald.

Auston Matthews scored 41 seconds later to double the U.S. advantage.

Boston College’s Colin White and Michigan’s Zach Werenski scored in the second and third periods, respectively, to give the Americans a 2-1 lead.

Matt Barzal and Dylan Strome scored for Canada. Boston University’s Brandon Hickey was minus-1 for the Canadians.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 25 saves for the U.S.

Here’s the video of Belpedio’s goal:

In another Pool A game Saturday, Boston University’s Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson scored in Sweden’s 8-3 win over Switzerland. Massachusetts’ William Lagesson had an assist on that goal, which gave Sweden a 6-2 lead in the second period.