U.S. beats Slovakia at hockey junior worlds

Updated: December 30, 2006, 4:24 PM ET
Associated Press

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.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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