Italy's Dominik Paris won the first downhill of the men's alpine World Cup season on Saturday, his time of 1min 49.90sec giving him the victory over Austrian Klaus Kroell.
Kroell was second at snowy Lake Louise in 1:49.93, and France's Adrien Theaux was third in 1:50.01.
In a season that will be highlighted by the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February, Kroell's podium finish was an important marker for the 33-year-old skier who had a second operation on his left arm in October.
The winner of the 2011-12 World Cup downhill globe broke his humerus (upper arm bone) in a fall during the super-G in last season's final weekend of racing at the Swiss resort of Lenzerheide.
After a first surgery in Switzerland, a second operation was needed to remove scar and bone tissue that was compressing a nerve.
Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, who completed a downhill/super-G double on the same course last year, settled for fourth place, 0.23sec behind the winner.
Svindal will try to regroup for Sunday's super-G -- a discipline in which he has notched four victories on the same piste in the Canadian Rockies.
Paris, 24, notched the third World Cup victory of his career, to go with downhill victories in Bormio and Kitzbuehel last season.