Canada rallies for tie vs. Finland

Updated: May 9, 2005, 10:41 AM ET
Associated Press

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- U.S. captain Mike Modano had a goal and an assist to help the Americans snap Sweden's four-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory Sunday night at the hockey world championship.

Mike Knuble added a goal and an assist and Yan Stastny, Erik Cole and Brian Gionta also found the net for the United States, which tied Canada in the Group F standings at five points apiece.

In a matchup of undefeated teams, Russia edged the Czech Republic 2-1 in Vienna to take the lead in Group E.

Also, two-time defending champion Canada tied Finland 3-3 and Slovakia beat Switzerland 3-1.

U.S. goalie Rick DiPietro made the play of the game at Innsbruck's Olympiahalle, setting up Stastny with a cross-ice pass for a short-handed goal that made it 2-0 at 6:21 in the second period. Stastny skated in all alone and beat Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

"I took a quick peak. Originally I was going to throw it out and ice it to kill some time," DiPietro said. "But then I saw Yan out there. He made a great job on the breakaway. It was a big game for us. To put on a performance like this was a big confidence boost for our guys."

It was the second goal of the tournament for Stastny, a world championship rookie and the son of former NHL All-Star Peter Stastny of Slovakia.

"The way [DiPietro] handles the puck, it's like having a third defenseman out there, making a cross-ice pass like that and hit a guy in the stride like he did," Stastny said.

Johan Franzen scored a late goal for Sweden, roofing an angled shot past DiPietro to spoil the American goalie's shutout bid.

In Vienna, Ilya Kovalchuk and Andrei Semin scored for Russia, which had not defeated the Czechs since 2002 in the worlds.

"It was our big wish to win this game. We expected it to be tough and asked our players to concentrate on defense mainly," Russia coach Vladimir Krikunov said.

David Vyborny scored for the Czechs, converting a pass from Jaromir Jagr for a 1-0 lead at 16:32 in the opening period.

The win moved the undefeated Russians into the top spot in Group E, tying the Czechs at six points apiece.

In the early Group F game, Rick Nash and Patrick Marleau scored 51 seconds apart midway through the third period, helping Canada earn a point against Finland.

Finland took a 2-0 lead on goals by Niklas Hagman and Jukka Hentunen before Wade Redden cut the lead in half with 50 seconds to go in the second period. Finland restored its two-goal advantage when Tomi Kallio beat goalie Roberto Luongo with a wrister 6:19 into the third period.

Slovakia simply overwhelmed the Swiss, overcoming an early power-play goal by Ivo Ruthemann by outshooting their foes 41-18. Miroslav Satan, Marian Hossa and Zigmund Palffy scored for Slovakia.

Earlier, Denmark rallied from two goals down in the opening period to edge Austria 4-3 in a relegation-round game in Innsbruck.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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