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Canada’s national men’s summer under-18 team dropped a 9-6 decision to Finland on Monday at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

Canada led 3-1 after 11 minutes but Finland rebounded with three goals in the second period and pulled away with four goals in the third.

Cole Beaudoin, Maxim Masse, Justin Poirier, Berkly Catton, Henry Mews and Roger McQueen scored for Canada in the preliminary round opener for both teams.

Tuomas Suoniemi had a hat trick for Finland and added two assists.

“We knew (Finland) has a good team and we came out pretty hard but had stints of not playing together (as a team) that cost us the game,” Catton said.

Daniel Nieminen, Arttu Valila, Emil Hemming, Joona Saarelainen, Akseli Pulkkanen and Julius Miettinen had the other Finland goals.

Canada goaltender Gabriel D’Aigle was replaced by Carter George midway through the third period.

Sweden whipped Germany 11-1 in the other early game. Co-host Czechia dumped the United States 7-2 later Monday, while Switzerland beat Slovakia 6-3.

The defending champion Canadians will next play co-host Slovakia on Tuesday.

“We have to play a full 60 minutes and I think we will be fine,” Catton said. “I believe in our team. We just have to make sure we are playing together and playing hard the whole game.”

Play at the eight-team tournament continues through Saturday.

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