Wed, May 14, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Unbeaten Canada, Russia ease into Worlds quarters

AFP , HALIFAX, CANADA

Russia and Canada closed out the qualification round on Monday with unbeaten records as they clinched the top spots in their groups at the World Ice Hockey Championships.

Russia advanced out of Group E to the quarter-finals by beating Switzerland 5-3 while Canada beat Finland 6-3 and comes out of Group F riding a 15-game win streak at the Worlds. They will play Norway today.

"We have been getting better and better as the tournament goes on," said Canadian forward Patrick Sharp, who had one of two short-handed goals for Canada against Finland. "Finland have a good team and they play a physical game very similar to a National Hockey League team. But we wanted to get that No. 1 seed."

The format heading into the quarter-finals is different this year as there are no crossover games as the first-place team plays the fourth place team and second plays third in their own groups.

Finland finished second in Group F and will face the Americans today. It will be the second game in four days between the countries. There is plenty of bad blood between them following a fight-filled qualification round game on Sunday.

Canada's Shane Doan scored shorthanded in the first period, then added a second goal in the third in front of a crowd of 9,178 at the Metro Centre arena on Monday.

Dany Heatley also scored twice while Sharp and Ryan Getzlaf had a singles for Canada, which is hosting the tournament for the first time in the 100-year history of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Heatley's goals were the tournament leading eighth and ninth for the Ottawa Senators forward, who is also Canada's all-time leading scorer in the World Championships.

Canada is trying to capture their 25th title and become the first country to win the Worlds on home soil in 22 years.

This story has been viewed 1382 times.
TOP top