Sun, May 08, 2005 - Page 23 News List

Finland gets tie with USA

WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP The Americans got a goal with under a minute remaining in the game as powerhouse Russia was also held to a tie by Switzerland

AP , INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA

Mark Parrisch, center, of Team USA, celebrates after scoring during their World Hockey Championship match against Finland in Vienna, Austria on Friday.

PHOTO: EPA

Mark Parrish scored a fluke goal with just 40 seconds left to salvage a 4-4 tie for the US in their qualification-round opener against Finland at the World Hockey Championship on Friday.

Russia, winner of the recent European Hockey Tour final over Sweden, was held to 3-3 by Switzerland in the other game in Vienna.

The Americans, who blew a 3-1 lead in the third period, got the tying goal when the puck bounced in off Parrish's skate. A video review confirmed the puck was not kicked.

With goalie Ty Conklin replaced by an extra skater, defenseman Andy Roach did a great job in keeping the puck in the offensive zone.

"Roachie wristed one down, kind of a bouncer, and the rebound came out," said Doug Weight. who also was on the ice. "It jumped in the air, Parrish went to the net, and his pad pushed it in.

"We came back and showed some grit, got the tie. We'll take the point. It was a hard-earned point for both teams."

For Parrish, it was his fourth goal in as many games, tops on the American team.

The US and Finland in Group F both have three points, one behind Sweden and Canada, who meet on Saturday.

Brett Hauer's power-play goal and Mike Modano's first tally in the tournament within a span of 1:16 in the third period gave the US a 3-1 lead. But Niklas Hagman cut the score to 3-2 just 16 seconds after Modano's goal.

Olli Jokinen tied it with a power-play goal at 13:10, shooting the puck off a rebound between Conklin's legs. Conklin then gave up a cheap goal at 14:57, Jarkko Ruutu firing a slapshot from just inside the blue line into the net.

Finland took the lead with a power-play goal at 3:38 in the first period when Timo Parssinen's close-in shot hit Conklin's right post and barely crossed the goalline.

Richard Park tied it at 12:30 with another power-play goal, tipping in a pass from Roach.

Finland and the US, both 2-1 in first-round play, see action again on Sunday -- the US against 2003 and 2004 runner-up Sweden, and Finland facing two-time defending champion Canada.

"We're going to get some rest and regroup a little bit," Weight said. "But Sweden is tough. Sweden plays probably the most united game in this tournament. They know where everyone is. they play such a system that everyone on the ice knows where the other guy is."

In Vienna's Stadthalle, Alexei Kovalev saved a point for Russia with a goal late in the second period.

Romano Lemm gave Switzerland the lead just 1:43 in with the Russians short-handed. Pavel Datsyuk tied it less than a minute later, and Ilya Kovalchuk put the Russians one up with a power-play goal at 5:11.

Paul DiPietro deadlocked the score again three minutes later, and Mark Streit gave the Swiss a 3-2 edge with a power-play goal early in the second period.

"Ahead of the game we had the big wish to win it, but following two early mistakes, it seemed our efforts were in vain," Russia coach Vladimir Krikunov said.

"I would explain it as our former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin used to do: We wanted to do it better, but it just did not work out."

In the final period, Russia opened up attempting to score the game winner, but the Swiss remained dangerous on the counterattack. Thanks to some outstanding saves from Sergei Zvyagin in goal the Swiss failed to record their first victory against Russia at the worlds since 2000.

"In the third period we tried to put on more pressure, but as a result we got two, three fast breaks that nearly cost us this one point," Krikunov said, calling the tie a fair result.

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