Sun, May 06, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Russia remain unbeaten at world championship

AP , MOSCOW

Italy goalkeeper Jason Muzzatti makes a save during their Group E match against Russia at the ice hockey World Championship in Moscow on Friday.

PHOTO: EPA

Ilya Kovalchuk scored one goal and set up another and Russia defeated Italy 3-0 at the ice hockey world championship on Friday.

Kovalchuk put Russia on the scoreboard at 14:17 of the second period when he swatted a loose puck past Italy goaltender Jason Muzzati.

"We had a lot of scoring chances but you have to give credit to their goalie, he played a great game," Russia defender Sergei Gonchar said. "We stuck to our system even though the scoring wasn't there."

Earlier, Shane Doan scored three goals in the second period to lead Canada to a 6-3 win over Belarus.

Kovalchuk set up Alexander Frolov for Russia's second goal with about six minutes remaining to give the host a 2-0 lead.

Alexei Morozov later scored a power-play goal with four seconds left in the third.

Russia, which improved to 4-0, had outscored its opponents 25-6 in three previous games. It plays Switzerland today.

Doan first scored for Canada early in the second period, taking a pass from Rick Nash on a 2-on-1 and shooting the puck past Belarus goaltender Stephan Goryachevskikh for a short-handed goal.

Doan gave Canada a 2-1 lead at 5:15 of the second when Jonathan Toews' shot bounced off Goryachevskikh and went to Doan, who scored into an open net on a power play.

Toews scored again three minutes later and Doan completed his hat trick at 9:13 when he took a pass from Matthew Lombardi from behind the net and beat Goryachevskikh through the pads from in close.

"This was a game that we needed to win," Doan said. "I just try to come out here and compete and win and that's what you focus on. All the other stuff is beyond my control."

Doan has been the focus of attention off the ice after his appointment as captain of Canada's team became an issue in the nation's parliament.

Canadian ice hockey officials agreed to appear before a parliamentary committee in Ottawa to explain why Doan was chosen as captain after it was alleged he used an ethnic slur against a French-Canadian referee during a 2005 NHL game.

"As a Canadian you come over here wanting to represent everyone in Canada and when something like this happens it's a little overwhelming," Doan said.

Lombardi, who added a goal in the third for Canada, said Doan inspired the team.

"That first goal set the tone for us," Lombardi said. "Being the leader Shane is he just steps up in a lot of different ways and tonight he did it on the scoreboard."

Canada remained undefeated with a 4-0 record while Belarus dropped to 1-3. The Canadians next face the Czech Republic.

In Mytischi, Morten Ask scored the winning goal 2:22 into overtime to lift Norway over Austria 3-2 in the relegation round. Oleg Sorokins had two goals and an assist to help Latvia blank Ukraine 5-0 in the late relegation round match, and notch its first win in Moscow.

The four teams in the relegation stage play a round robin, with the top two remaining among world hockey's elite next year and the bottom pair dropping down.

After a scoreless opening period, Robert Lukas scored first for Austria at 9:19 in the second period before Jonas Andersen and Anders Bastiansen put Norway ahead within five minutes of each other. Austria's Daniel Welser leveled in the third period, forcing overtime. All but the overtime goal came on the power play.

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