Islanders forward Michael Grabner recorded a hat trick for his native Austria Thursday morning, though it wasn't enough against the Finnish team, who won 8-4 in the preliminary game in Sochi, Russia.
His Islanders teammate and fellow countryman Thomas Vanek made more headlines after the game than during with his critical words about Austrian goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum for his sub-par play.
"I thought he was good but not great," Vanek said after the team's tournament-opening loss. "That is not a knock on him. That's just reality."
In other New York local hockey news, Rangers Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh were part of an impressive effort in their first game of the tourney. The U.S. completed a 7-1 rout against a Slovakian squad that, while not amongst the favorites, was still considered by some a dark horse team that could surprise some people.
Canada (Rick Nash- NYR, John Tavares- NYI) did not have as convincing of a win, but they still edged a plucky Norwegian club 3-1. Team Norway boasts just one NHL player, the Rangers' own Mats Zuccarello.