Canada, Russia, Slovakia also win

Updated: December 28, 2004, 12:53 AM ET
Associated Press

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The United States matched Switzerland's four-goal outburst in the third period for a 6-4 victory Monday night in the preliminary round of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The United States led 2-0 entering the third after goals by Ryan Callahan and Kevin Porter, but Switzerland tied it with two quick scores.

Drew Stafford's goal put the United States back in the lead. Tim Hensick, Robbie Schremp and Patrick O'Sullivan added scores to secure the win.

"Give them credit, they came out and battled in the third period," said U.S. goalie Al Montoya, who stopped 31 shots. "They broke out, but we were lucky enough to come away with a win."

The United States, the tournament's defending champion, improved to 2-0. Switzerland fell to 1-1.

Sidney Crosby had two goals and Ryan Getzlaf a goal and two assists in Canada's 8-1 victory over Sweden in another preliminary game.

Sweden's Christopher Heino-Lindberg stopped 15-of-16 shots in the first period, but Canada scored four goals in less than 15 minutes of the second.

Canada, a favorite to win the tournament, improved to 2-0 in preliminary games. Sweden dropped to 1-1.

In Thief River Falls, Minn., Andrej Meszaros' empty-net goal with less than a minute remaining sealed Slovakia's 2-0 defeat of Finland. Slovakia moved to 1-1 in the tournament, while Finland fell to 1-1.

Earlier in Thief River, Russia took a 3-0 lead on goals by Alexander Radoulov, Sergei Shirokov and Evgeni Malkin and held on to defeat the Czech Republic 4-1. Both teams are 1-1.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press