Tourney will be played in Latvia


RIGA, Latvia -- The United States was drawn into the same group as Canada on Tuesday for next year's world hockey championship in Latvia.

Canada, which lost to the Czech Republic in the final on Sunday, the U.S., Norway and Denmark are in Group D. The Canadians and Americans also were in the same group for this year's worlds.

The Czechs will face Latvia, Finland and Slovenia in Group A. In Group B, Sweden faces Switzerland, Ukraine and Italy, while Group C has Slovakia, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The top three teams from each group advance to the qualification round.

The world championship, scheduled for May 2006, will be the first major sports tournament that Latvia has hosted since
regaining its independence during the 1991 Soviet collapse.