Canada wins third straight, hands U.S. first loss
RIGA, Latvia -- Brendan Shanahan scored a power-play goal in the third period to help Canada beat the United States 2-1 on Tuesday and advance to the second round of the World Ice Hockey Championship.
It was the third straight win for Canada and the first loss for the Americans, who beat Norway and Denmark earlier in the preliminary round.
Shanahan knocked a rebound past U.S. goalie Jason Bacashihua 7:44 into the third for the winning goal.
"We hit a lot of posts and had a lot of chances," Shanahan said. "As it turned out, we were playing catch-up hockey and they played very patiently. We just didn't want to get into a game where we opened it up and took chances in order to get chances.
"This was a game that tested our team's patience and it was a good learning lesson for us about sticking with the game plan and getting the win," he said.
The United States had three power plays over the final 12 minutes but couldn't tie it up.
A goal by 18-year-old Phil Kessel gave the Americans a 1-0 lead in the first period. Sidney Crosby tied it for Canada in the second, backhanding the puck between Bacashihua's legs after a breakaway.
Earlier in the period, the United States failed to capitalize on a two-man advantage. The Canadians twice failed on two-man advantages late in the session.
"I'd like to give credit to the five-on-three we killed before Crosby's goal," Shanahan said. "It could have given them a 2-0 lead. Alex Auld was great, our penalty-killers were great. We killed off 1 minute, 35 [seconds] of five-on-three. That gave our bench a lift."
Crosby finished first-round play with four goals in three games.
In Group A, veteran defenseman Petteri Nummelin scored from the point with 1:12 remaining to salvage a 3-3 tie for unbeaten Finland against the Czech Republic. Both teams had secured second-round spots earlier.
Lativa was the third team to advance from the group, beating Slovenia 5-1 while Norway joined the Canadians and Americans in the second round from Group A with a 6-3 win over Denmark.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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