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IIHF World Championships: US wins group at world hockey, Canada reaches quarterfinals

Associated Press

June 1: US wins group at world hockey, Canada reaches quarterfinals

Kevin Labanc and Conor Garland scored two goals apiece and the United States won its sixth straight game with a 4-2 victory over Italy in its final preliminary game at the world hockey championship on Tuesday.

With the victory, the U.S. clinched first in Group B and will play Slovakia in the single-elimination quarterfinals, which start Thursday.

Conor Garland of the US scores his side's fourth goal during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between Italy and United States at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

“Seventeen days ago, we came together some of us not knowing each other, and to now be sitting here in first place, we’re a proud group,” coach Jack Capuano said.

Jake Oettinger made nine saves in winning for the third time in the tournament. Brian Boyle took over as captain with Justin Abdelkader sidelined with an injury.

Italy lost all seven games in the tournament. Italian goaltender Davide Fadani made 39 saves.

Finland, Germany and Canada also advanced in Group B. Russia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia advanced to the quarterfinals in Group A.

The Canadians had to sweat out the final hours of the preliminary round after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to Finland earlier Tuesday. They moved on after Germany edged host Latvia 2-1.

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Canada, which had never missed the playoffs at the world championship or Olympics, will face Group A winner Russia in the quarterfinals. The other quarterfinals on Thursday will have Finland face the Czechs and Switzerland taking on Germany.

The semifinals will be played on Saturday and gold and bronze medal games on Sunday.

Canada was within four minutes of advancing outright to the quarterfinals, but Arttu Ruotsalainen scored his second goal of the game to force extra time.

Ruotsalainen also had the winner in the shootout. Finnish goaltender Jussi Olkinuora had 32 saves in regulation and two more in the shootout, stopping Connor Brown on the final attempt.

Brandon Pirri and Maxime Comtois scored for Canada. Darcy Kuemper had 29 saves.

All Canada needed to reach the quarterfinals after that was to have either Germany or Latvia win in regulation.

The Germans got goals from John Peterka and Marcel Noebels in the opening 6:40 and 23 saves from Mathias Niederberger in prevailing. Rodrigo Abols scored for Latvia.

Russia captured Group A with a 6-0 win over Belarus. Nikita Nesterov ignited and capped a five-goal first period with tallies.

Christoph Bertschy scored twice in a four-goal second-period outburst that carried Switzerland to a 6-3 win over Great Britain. Tristan Scherwey had three assists for the Swiss.

Filip Zadina, Michael Spacek, Libor Sulak, Matej Stransky, and Libor Hajek each had a goal and an assist as the Czech beat Slovakia 7-3 to secure third place.

May 31: US beats Moritz Seider's Germany 2-0 for 5th straight win at worlds

Cal Petersen had 33 saves for his second consecutive shutout and the United States won its fifth straight game at world hockey championship with a 2-0 victory over Germany on Monday.

Jason Robertson and Colin Blackwell scored for the U.S., which will close out its preliminary round games on Tuesday against winless Italy.

“That’s a really good hockey team, full credit to them,” U.S. coach Jack Capuano said of Germany. “Our guys made sacrifices, stuck to the structure and found a way to win. I’m really impressed with how we’ve come together so far and now we’ve got one more game here to finish our group play on a positive before getting ready for the quarterfinal.”

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The win was the third in the tournament for Petersen, who plays for the Los Angeles Kings. Germany outshot the U.S. 33-15.

Germany's Moritz Seider, right, challenges for the puck with Sasha Chmelevski of the US during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between United States and Germany at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Monday, May 31, 2021.

Russia edged Sweden 3-2 in a shootout, eliminating the Swedes after the preliminary round for the first time since the current round-robin play was adopted in 2012.

Russia took over the lead in Group A with 13 points after St. Louis' Vladimir Tarasenko, playing in his first game in the tournament, scored the winner on the final shot of the shootout.

Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic also will advance from Group A to the quarterfinals, starting Wednesday.

Sweden's Victor Olofsson scored with 4:43 left in regulation to tie the game.

Anton Slepyshev and Alexander Barabanov scored in a 12-second span with less than eight minutes to play to give Russia a 2-1 lead. Jesper Froden had given the Swedes the lead in the first period.

Also in Group A, Filip Chytil scored the shootout winner as the Czechs beat Denmark 2-1. The Czechs have four straight wins after losing their first two games. The loss eliminated Denmark quarterfinal contention.

Dominik Kubalik scored for the Czechs and Nicklas Jensen had his fifth goal of the tournament for Denmark to force overtime.

In the other Group B game, Stefan Espeland broke a tie early in the third period and Norway posted a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan, preventing the Kazakhs from securing their first berth in the quarterfinals.

Finland and the U.S. both have 15 points and have advanced to the quarterfinals. Germany, Canada and Latvia have nine points with a game to play in the round.

May 30: Canada beats Italy to move into 4th-place tie

Andrew Mangiapane had two goals and two assists and Canada beat winless Italy 7-1 on Sunday in the world hockey championship to move into a fourth-place tie in Group B.

Italy's Angelo Miceli, centre, challenges for the puck with Canada's goaltender Adin Hill, left, and Canada's Owen Power during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between Italy and Canada at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Sunday, May 30, 2021.

The Canadians have won three straight after dropping their first three. They will finish the preliminary round Tuesday against Finland, with the top four in each group advancing to the quarterfinals.

Andre Henrique added a goal and two assists, Maxime Comtois, Troy Stecher, Brandon Pirri and Cole Perfetti also scored and Connor Brown had four assists. Adin Hill made 13 saves, allowing only Angelo Miceli's goal.

In the other Group B game, Anton Lundell scored with four second left in overtime to give Finland a 3-2 victory over Latvia. Finland leads the group with 15 points, three more than the United States. Kazakhstan is third with 10, and Canada, Germany and Latvia each have nine.

The United States will return to play Monday against Germany and finish group play Tuesday against Italy.

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In Group A, Victor Olofsson broke a tie on a power play with 8:22 left to help Sweden beat Slovakia 3-1, and Joel Vermin had two goals and an assist in Switzerland's 6-0 victory over Belarus.

Slovakia, Russia and Switzerland top the group with 12 points. Sweden is fourth with nine.

May 29: US wins 4th straight, beating Norway 2-1

Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist and the United States won its fourth straight game in the world hockey championship, beating Norway 2-1 on Saturday.

Jake Oettinger made 22 saves and Conor Garland also scored. The Americans are second in Group B, a point behind Finland — which beat the U.S. in the opener — with two games left. The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals.

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“We got down to the wire in the end, and good push by Norway,” Thompson said. “Our expectation is gold, you don’t expect anything less. That’s what we came here for.”

Ken Andre Olimb scored for Norway.

Finland beat fourth-place Germany 2-1, with Arttu Ruotsalainen breaking a tie midway through the third period.

Also in Group B, Roman Starchenko had two goals and three assists in Kazakhstan's 11-3 victory over Italy.

Norway's goaltender Henrik Haukeland fails to stop a goal by Conor Garland of the US during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between Norway and United States at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Saturday, May 29, 2021.

Russia and Slovakia each won to remain tied for the Group A lead.

Sergei Tolchinski had a goal and an assist in a third-period burst in Russia's 4-1 victory over Switzerland, and Julius Hudacek made 24 saves in Slovakia's 2-0 victory over Denmark.

Also, Libor Sulak scored twice in the Czech Republic's 2-1 victory over Britain.

May 28: Canada beats Kazakhstan 4-2 

Adam Henrique had a goal and two assists and Canada beat Kazakhstan 4-2 on Friday in world hockey championship to move into sixth place in Group B.

Cole Perfetti scored the winner, Andrew Mangiapane and Connor Brown each had a goal and an assist, and Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves. Canada is 2-3-0.

The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. Canada has two games left, against winless Italy on Sunday and 2019 champion Finland on Tuesday.

“We have to focus on Italy first. We need to continue to play our game,” Mangiapane said. “Early on in the tournament we were a little nervous or anxious, but now we have started to find our rhythm and we are playing the right way. We are really starting to jell as a team, but we have to keep going and playing a full 60-minute game if we want to be successful.”

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Nikita Mikhailis scored twice for Kazakhstan, and Andrei Shutov stopped 32 shots.

In the other Group B game Friday, Latvia beat Norway 4-3 in a shootout. Michael Haga scored the winner that left Latvia fourth and Norway seventh.

In Group A, Mario Kempe scored twice in Sweden's 4-1 victory over Britain, and Mathias From broke a third-period tie to help fourth-place Denmark beat Belarus 5-2. Sweden is fifth at 2-3-0.

May 27: US beats Latvia 4-2 

Trevor Moore and 18-year-old Matty Beniers scored in a 1:47 span midway through the second period to help the United States beat Latvia 4-2 on Thursday in the world hockey championship.

Brian Boyle and Matt Tennyson scored in the first period and Cal Petersen made 17 saves in the Americans' third straight victory after an opening loss to Finland. They are second in Group B, a point behind Finland.

US players celebrate after Matty Beniers of the US scored his side's fourth goal during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between United States and Latvia at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Thursday, May 27, 2021.

“The message that we’ve had, we’ve executed,” said Boyle, at 36 the Americans' oldest player. “We’ve tried to get better each game. With 13 forwards and 7 defensemen, you have different guys playing with different people, but we’re a hard-working team and play above the puck. We’ve tried to earn our offense, and it’s paid off for us.”

Miks Indrasis and Renard Krastenbergs had first-period goals for Latvia.

The U.S. will face Norway on Saturday, Germany on Monday and complete group play Tuesday against Italy.

Finland beat Italy 3-0 in the other Group B game Thursday. Tony Sund scored twice, Arttu Ruotsalainen added a goal, and Harri Sateri made 11 saves.

In Group A, Switzerland routed Slovakia 8-1, and the Czech Republic beat Sweden 4-2.

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Gregory Hofmann had a goal and an assist to help Switzerland join Slovakia and Russia atop the group standings. Slovakia had won three in a row in regulation.

The Czech Republic overcame a 2-0 deficit, with Jakub Vrana, Jan Kovar, Lukas Klok and Jakub Flek scoring third-period goals.

May 26: Canada wins; Britain has 1st regulation victory since 1962

Adam Henrique had two goals and an assist and Canada beat Norway 4-2 on Wednesday night in the world hockey championship for its first victory in four games.

Connor Brown added a goal and two assists, Andrew Mangiapane also scored and Darcy Kuemper made 13 saves.

“We capitalized on our chances,” Brown said. “We’ve created a lot of chances but had a little bit of poison in the scoring areas, but we got a couple of good bounces today.”

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Canada moved into a tie with Norway for sixth place in Group B. Canada has never failed to advance from group play in the event. It will face Kazakhstan on Thursday.

“Obviously, the tournament didn’t start the way we wanted it to, but we’ve been building every period and keep getting better, which is what you want to do in a tournament like this,” Kuemper said. “We had a little bit of adversity today, but this was a huge win and now we have to focus on the next game.”

Thomas Valkae Olsen and Mats Rosseli Olsen scored for Norway.

In the other Group B game Wednesday, Kazakhstan ended first-place Germany's three-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory. Pavel Akolzin broke a tie on a breakaway with 4:18 left.

“Our goal was to play in the quarterfinals, and the way we are playing, we’re happy with how things are going,” Akolzin said. “We were expecting to win some games, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Nikita Boyarkin made 28 saves and Alexander Shin and Roman Starchenko also scored. Tom Kuhnhackl and Markus Eisenschmid scored for Germany.

The United States (2-1-0) will resume Group B play Thursday against Latvia.

In Group A, Britain beat Belarus 4-3 for its first regulation victory in the event since 1962, and Russia topped Denmark 3-0.

Liam Kirk scored twice for Britain. Ben Davies and Mark Hammond also scored and Ben Bowns stopped 33 shots.

“It feels fantastic!” Davies said. “We are all buying in, we were doing what we needed to get the win here.

Alexander Samonov made 18 saves for Russia, and Ivan Morozov, Alexander Barabanov and Dmitri Voronkov scored.

May 25: Petersen makes 18 saves, U.S. beats Kazakhstan 3-0 

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Cal Petersen made 18 saves and the United States beat Kazakhstan 3-0 Tuesday to improve to 2-1 at the IIHF world championship.

Goaltenders Cal Petersen of the US makes a save during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between United States and Kazakhstan at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Kings teammate Trevor Moore, defenseman Adam Clendening and forward Jack Drury scored for the U.S., which set a team world championship record for shots in a period with 25 in the first and finished with 52.

“We knew Kazakhstan would be a tight defensive team, and I’m proud of the way our guys were able to adjust our structure and come out with the win,” coach Jack Capuano said. “This is a fun group to be around. A lot of them are playing their first time internationally and their pride and work ethic shows.”

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Kazakhstan lost for the first time in the tournament after winning its first two group-play games in overtime. Goaltender Nikita Boyarkin finished with 49 saves.

Denmark needed an overtime goal from Markus Lauridsen to beat Great Britain 3-2 in overtime. Julian Jakobsen and Nicklas Jensen also scored for the Danes.

Kings forward Adrian Kempe and Buffalo Sabres forward Victor Olofsson were among Sweden's goal scorers in a 7-0 blowout of Switzerland and Finland beat Norway 5-2.

May 24: Canada loses to Germany, falls to 0-3

Germany beat Canada 3-1 on Monday at the hockey world championship to remain undefeated through three games.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill allowed two goals on 24 shots as Canada fell to 0-3-0. Ottawa Senators forward Nick Paul's goal was just Canada's second of the tournament.

“We’re beating everyone but the goalie,” said Canada’s Connor Brown, who plays for Ottawa. “We just need a little bit of poise in the scoring areas. We’re a little jolty to get it off, we just have to take that extra second in the scoring area, pick the corner and put it home.”

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Stefan Loibl and Matthias Plachta scored and ex-NHL defenseman Korbinian Holzer added an empty-net goal for Germany, which is atop the Group B standings with Canada tied for last. Canada outshot Germany 40-25.

“That’s three straight losses from Canada — you don’t expect that,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’ve played good hockey so far. We just haven’t gotten the results.”

Host Latvia beat Italy 3-0 to improve to 2-1-0. Martins Karsmus, who played 24 NHL games more than a decade ago, scored twice for Latvia, which got the tournament after the IIHF moved it from nearby Belarus.

Canada's Cole Perfetti, left, challenges for the puck with Germany's goaltender Mathias Niederberger, centre, and Germany's Moritz Seider during the Ice Hockey World Championship group B match between Germany and Canada at the Arena in Riga, Latvia, Monday, May 24, 2021.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik scored the overtime winner for the Czech Republic, which beat Belarus 3-2. Detroit's Filip Zadina also scored for the Czech Republic, and New Jersey's Yegor Sharangovich had a goal for Belarus.

Russia lost 3-1 to Slovakia but will be getting reinforcements from the NHL. Following quarantine and virus testing, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko and Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goaltender Ilya Samsonov are joining the Russia after being eliminated in the first round.

The Russian Ice Hockey Federation said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin wouldn't be playing at the world championship because of injuries stemming from the regular season and playoffs. Ovechkin missed seven of eight games late in the season with what the team called a lower-body injury.

May 23: Moore scores twice, US beats Canada 5-1 

Trevor Moore scored twice in the second period to help the United States beat Canada 5-1 on Sunday in the world hockey championship.

Jason Robertson, Adam Clendening and Matt Tennyson also scored and Jake Oettinger stopped 26 of 27 shots in relief of injured starter Anthony Stolarz.

“As a backup goalie, you never know when you’re going to get your opportunity,” Oettinger said. “I felt terrible for Anthony, and I hope he’s doing OK, but once I was out there I just had to get ready and do whatever I could to get into the game.

Stolarz injured his right ankle five minutes into the game.

“The guys did a good job in front of me. They made it easier and really helped me get into the game. I can’t say enough good things about how they played today. They helped me settle in and it was a really good win for our team.”

The U.S. rebounded from an opening 2-1 loss to defending champion Finland on Saturday. The Americans will play Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

“It’s a huge win,” Moore said. “Any time that you play a U.S.-Canada game you want to be on the right side of it, especially for a USA player.”

Maxime Comtois scored for Canada. It dropped to 0-2 — the first time it has opened group play with two losses in any world championship or Olympics — in Group B play after a 2-0 loss to host Latvia on Friday. The Canadians will play Germany on Monday.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Comtois said. “We have to show up tomorrow and hopefully we can get some more goals.”

Also in Group B, Nikita Mikhailis scored the deciding goal in a shootout in Kazakhstan's 2-1 victory over Finland. Outshot 15-1 in the first period and 51-20 overall, Kazakhstan beat Sweden for the first time in the event.

Mathias Trettenes had a hat trick in Norway’s 4-1 victory over Italy.

A, Russia, Slovakia and Switzerland top the Group A standings at 2-0.

Belarus beat Sweden for the first time in the event, winning 1-0 on German Nesterov’s third period goal and 32 saves from Danny Taylor.

Timo Meier scored and Reto Berra made four saves in Switzerland's 1-0 victory over Denmark. Marek Hrivik and Robert Lantosi scored in Slovakia’s 2-1 victory over Britain.

May 22: Defending champ Finland beats US 2-1

Jussi Olkinuora made 29 saves, Iiro Pakarinen and Atte Ohtamaa scored and defending champion Finland beat the United States 2-1 on Saturday in their opening game in the world hockey championship.

“It’s a good start to the tournament, but we can improve a lot of things,” Pakarinen said.

Jason Robertson scored for the Americans, and Cal Petersen stopped 27 shots.

“This was a great test for us, to see where we match up against the reigning world champs,” Petersen said. “I think it was great for us to start off against one of the best, see where we match up, see the things we need to do better, and then continue to carry positive momentum forward.”

The U.S. will face Canada — a 2-0 loser to host Latvia on Friday — on Sunday.

In the other Group B game Saturday, 19-year-old Lukas Reichel had a goal and an assist and Germany beat Norway 5-1 to improve to 2-0.

In Group A, Nicklas Jensen had a hat trick and Denmark beat Sweden for the first time in the event, winning 4-3.

Timo Meier and Gregory Hofmann each scored twice to help Switzerland beat the Czech Republic 5-2, Anton Burdasov scored twice in Russia's 7-1 victory over Britain, and Roman Starchenko had the shootout winner in Kazakhstan's 3-2 victory over Latvia.

May 21: Host Latvia beats Canada 2-0 in world hockey opener

Matiss Kivlenieks made 38 saves and host Latvia beat Canada 2-0 on Friday in their world hockey opener.

Miks Indrasis opened the scoring with 1.5 seconds left in the first period, beating goaltender Darcy Kuemper between the pads. Oskars Batna made it 2-0 on a tip-in midway through the second period.

“We knew that Canada didn’t play a lot together so we wanted to take advantage,” Indrasis said. “I think we played well, scored a couple of goals, and it was enough to win the game.”

Latvia beat Canada for the first time in 12 meetings in the tournament, handing the Canadian their third straight opening games in the event.

Yevgeni Timkin of Russia, right, and Jakub Vrana, David Musil of Czech Republic battle for the puck during the Ice Hockey World Championship group A match between the Russia and Czech Republic at the Olympic Sports Center in Riga, Latvia, Friday, May 21, 2021.

“It was frustrating,” Canadian forward Connor Brown said. “We had a lot of chances to score but didn’t get enough bodies to the net. We’ve been here for a couple of days and are still getting together, lines are still sorting each other out. It will be OK. Let’s put it behind us, learn from it, and get better. There’s a lot of learning curves. In the third period, we played much better and started to understand how to create offence a little more.”

Kivlenieks plays for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Kuemper made 15 saves for Canada.

Canada will face the United States on Sunday. The United States will open Group B play Saturday against Finland.

In the other Group B game Friday, Marcel Noebels scored twice to help Germany rout Italy 9-4.

In Group A, Mikhail Grigorenko scored with 19 seconds left to give Russia a 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic, and Kristian Pospisil scored twice in Slovakia's 5-2 victory over Belarus.