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U.S. beats Slovakia at hockey junior worlds

12/30/2006

MORA, Sweden -- Pat Kane scored two power-play goals and
added an assist to lead the United States past winless Slovakia 6-1
Saturday at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Jack Johnson, Erik Johnson, Peter Mueller and James van Riemsdyk
also scored for the Americans in their first victory in Group A.

The United States, which won the title in 2004, has four points
heading into its last game against Sweden on Sunday. Sweden beat
Germany 3-1 behind goals by Robin Lindqvist, Magnus Isaksson and
Alexander Sundstrom to clinch a playoff berth with six points in
Group A.

Finland shut out Switzerland 4-0 after Oskar Osala and Perttu
Lindgren combined for four power-play goals. Finland will play a
Group B final against unbeaten Russia on New Year's Eve.

At Leksand, the Czech Republic beat Belarus 2-1 for its first
win, but it can still make the quarterfinals. Switzerland must beat
the Czech Republic on Sunday to reach the playoff round.

Slovakia can't advance even if it defeats two-time defending
champion Canada, which clinched a semifinal spot Friday.