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Kovalchuk sends game into OT, then lifts Russia past Canada

5/18/2008 - Olympics NHL

QUEBEC CITY -- Ilya Kovalchuk scored his second goal of the game in overtime, giving Russia its first world hockey title since 1993 with a 5-4 win Sunday over Canada.

Canada took a 4-2 lead into the third period, but couldn't hold off the Russians. Alexei Tereshchenko and Kovalchuk scored to tie it, setting the stage for the overtime winner.

Rick Nash was sent to the penalty box after accidentally sending the puck over the glass from his own end. The Russians then put out four forwards for the 4-on-3 advantage and Kovalchuk beat Canadian goalie Cam Ward with a wrist shot at 2:42 of the extra period.

"God was on our side a little more than them," Kovalchuk said. "In overtime, they take that penalty -- that's the new rules. I don't know if it's good or it's bad but it worked for us."

The world championship hasn't been won by the host country since the Soviet Union in 1986. Canada won the title last year in Moscow.

The loss also ended a 17-game winning streak for Canada dating to last year's gold medal win.

"Team Canada's won a ton of these and you're going to lose once and awhile," captain Shane Doan said. "Unfortunately, it was tonight. That's the way it goes.

"We've won I don't know how many in a row. It's tough to keep winning that many in a row."

Alexander Semin scored Russia's two other goals. Brent Burns had two goals and Dany Heatley and Chris Kunitz each added one for Canada.

This tournament often has trouble capturing the attention of Canadian fans but fans wearing Canada jerseys packed Le Colisee Pepsi and the sellout crowd of 13,338 roared as the game began. Among them was Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who sat three rows behind the Canadian bench.

Canada has the consolation of regaining the top spot in the world rankings that will be used for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Next year's world championships are in Kloten, Switzerland.