Denmark advances despite loss

Updated: May 17, 2010, 6:22 PM ET
Associated Press

COLOGNE, Germany -- Denmark reached the quarterfinals of the hockey world championship for the first time Monday, joining Canada and Finland in the final eight.

Denmark advanced despite a 2-1 loss to Belarus, and Finland earned its spot with a 5-2 win over Slovakia. Canada moved on even though it didn't play. Other results determined that the Olympic gold medal champion is guaranteed to finish ahead of Norway and Latvia in Group F.

Russia, Sweden and Switzerland are already in the playoff rounds. The last two spots will be determined Tuesday.

Denmark, which beat the United States in overtime in the first group stage for the biggest upset of the tournament, knew it had advanced after Slovakia's loss in the first game of the day.

The Danes went ahead 38 seconds in when Lars Eller sent a wrist shot past Belarus goalie Vitali Koval, but Denmark struggled to create scoring chances after that.

Belarus had already been eliminated, but showed no sign of caving in. Andrei Stas responded late in the second period, and Mikhail Stefanovich scored the winner with a one-timer on a power play with 2:11 left in the third.

Earlier, Finland scored three goals in a four-minute span midway through the second period to grab a 3-0 lead.

Jussi Jokinen scored twice and Pekka Rinne made 27 saves for Finland, which improved to nine points after three wins and a loss in Group E.

"It was another must-win game for us. We've had four of those now," said Jokinen of the Carolina Hurricanes. "This is good for our self confidence."

Norway beat Switzerland 3-2 and the Czech Republic defeated Latvia 3-1.

Slovakia can still reach the quarterfinals with a win over host Germany on Tuesday. The Czechs will need at least one point against Canada to secure a playoff berth over Norway.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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