Slovakia faces Canada

Updated: September 5, 2004, 10:53 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Kovalev, Sergei Samsonov, Alexei Yashin and Alexander Ovechkin scored to help Russia beat Slovakia 5-2 on Sunday night in the final preliminary game in the World Cup of Hockey.

Russia finished second in the North American pool of round-robin play and will meet the United States in a quarterfinal game in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday.

Russia dominated the Americans in a 3-1 victory last Thursday in St. Paul.

"I'm not sure if they took us lightly, but I'm pretty sure they are going to ready for us," Samsonov said.

Last-place Slovakia will play first-place Canada in the North American Division's other quarterfinal game in Toronto on Wednesday night.

Marian Hossa and Marian Gaborik scored for Slovakia, 0-3 in the preliminary round. The Slovakians were outscored 13-4.

"We haven't won a game yet so we have to come out against Canada with nothing to lose," defenseman Zdeno Chara said.

The Russians rebounded from a 3-1 loss to Canada on Saturday and finished 2-1 in round-robin play. They beat Slovakia despite being outshot 27-15.

Datsyuk opened the scoring with a one-timer from the circle at 8:40 of the first period, but Hossa tied it just over two minutes later with a wide-open shot from the side of the net.

Kovalev intercepted a pass at the blue line and scored at 12:01 of the second, and Samsonov gave Russia a 3-1 lead three minutes later.

Yashin made it 4-1 just 54 seconds into the third. Gaborik cut it to 4-2 at 5:47 after intercepting a pass by defenseman Andrei Markov.

But Ovechkin, the top pick in the NHL draft, made it 5-2 just under two minutes later. The Washington Capitals' draft choice was a healthy scratch in Russia's first two games.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press