Parrish scores twice in 3-1 win

Updated: May 3, 2005, 7:03 PM ET
Associated Press

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- Mark Parrish had two goals and the United States rallied to beat Latvia 3-1 Tuesday, clinching a second-round berth at the world hockey championship.

Doug Weight also scored for the Americans (2-0), who will play Canada for first place in their group finale Thursday. Earlier, the two-time defending champion Canadians routed winless Slovenia 8-0 for their second straight win, and Switzerland beat Kazakhstan 2-1 in Vienna.

The Czech Republic also secured a berth in the next round with a 2-0 victory over Germany in Vienna, but Jaromir Jagr left the game in the second period after apparently breaking the little finger on his left hand after a slash from German defenseman Stefan Schauer.

Jagr, a five-time NHL scoring champion, was taken to a Vienna hospital for further examination.

"We don't know how serious Jaromir's injury is as of yet. We will have to wait until tomorrow and then see whether he is still able to help us," Czech media officer Pavel Barta said.

The United States fell behind early when Janis Sprukts notched a power-play goal late in the first period after American goalie Ty Conklin was whistled for delay of game.

All alone in front of Conklin, Sprukts shot low and the puck hit the inside of the left post and bounced in.

"We were flat in the first period with no real excuse," Weight said. "They work hard. They've got a lot of heart. We knew we were going to be up for a big game. You got to win the close games and we did. We'll certainly try to be better in the next game."

Conklin, 9-1-1 in his last 11 games for the United States, was lucky when he saved the puck on the goal line after a breakaway by Mikelis Redlihs early in the second period.

Erik Cole created the tying goal at 13:36, skating down the left side, and Weight one-timed a backhander from close range for his first goal in the tournament.

Weight set up the go-ahead goal with a nice pass from behind the net, and Parrish beat Arturs Irbe from close range. Parrish added an empty-netter with two seconds left for the United States, which won world bronze last year.

Thousands of Latvian fans travel to the worlds every year and they're one of the loudest in European hockey, but Parrish didn't mind.

"It's fun to go into a hostile environment like that, and especially come out with the win," the New York Islanders forward said. "The Latvian fans are great. It's one of the games you look forward to play. They stand up, they're singing, they're chanting the whole time. It makes for a great atmosphere."

Joe Thornton and Brendan Morrison scored two goals each to lead Canada in the early game. Kirk Maltby, Simon Gagne, Rick Nash and Ryan Smyth scored the other goals.

"So far, so good," said Thornton, who also had two assists playing on a line with Nash and Gagne. "My linemates can put the puck in the net, so as long as we keep the puck down low and get some shots, I think we can score some goals."

Nash, who scored three times in the opener, now has four goals.

Roberto Luongo started in place of Martin Brodeur in goal for Canada and faced just 12 shots, compared to 56 registered by Canada.

Slovenia, playing in hockey's top annual event for the first time, lost to the Americans 7-0 in its opener and must beat Latvia in its last game to avoid relegation play.

Players got a scare late in the first period when a news agency's still camera, mounted on the metal grid under the ceiling that holds lighting, fell onto the ice and smashed into pieces in front of the Slovenian net.

No one was hit as play was at the other end of the ice at the time, but players voiced their concern to game officials. Some photographers place cameras operated by remote control above the nets.

In Vienna, Pavel Kubina and Petr Sykora scored for the Czechs (2-0). Sandy Jeannin scored a second-period goal to give Switzerland the victory.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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