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U.S. reaches quarter-finals despite loss

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—The United States advanced to the quarter-finals of the hockey world championship today despite a 3-2 overtime loss to Slovakia.

Slovakia would have qualified instead of the Americans with a win in regulation time, but the U.S. earned a point for forcing overtime—enough to secure fourth place in Group ‘B.’

Slovakia took the lead on a first-period wrist shot from Christian Jaros, but N.Y. Islanders’ forward Brock Nelson tied it up off a pass from David Warsofsky.

Nick Foligno gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead early in the third but Pavol Skalicky turned Tomas Marcinko’s shot into the net to make it 2-2.

Slovakia pulled goalie Julius Hudacek in an attempt to win the game in regulation and take the Americans’ quarter-final place, but the U.S. held on.

Marko Dano scored the game-winning goal in overtime as both teams finished the preliminary round with 3-4 records.

Canada, Finland, and Germany also advanced from Group ‘B.’

The Canadians and Finns—the only unbeaten teams left in the tournament at 6-0—played this afternoon in a game that will decide first place in the group.

The winner will face the fourth-place team from Group ‘A’ in the quarter-finals.

Canada also will get its first look at NHL draft prospect Patrik Laine, who is second in tournament scoring going into today’s game.

Laine has six goals and 10 points in six games, and is the youngest player to score for Finland in tournament history.

Canada, meanwhile, has been dominant at the world championship, with a tournament-leading goal differential of +30 after their 4-0 win over France yesterday.

Derick Brassard leads the team in scoring with three goals and nine points.

The United States will face Group ‘A’ winner Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.

The Czechs beat Switzerland 5-4 to knock the Swiss out.

Switzerland fought back from 3-1 down early in the third, needing a win in regulation to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Also advancing from Group ‘A’ are Russia, Sweden, and Denmark.

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