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Lauridsen, Denmark Lose Key Game to Belarus

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

Belarus scored three second period goals and beat Denmark 5-1 on Tuesday at CEZ Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Denmark (0-0-1-2) held a 1-0 lead after the first period, but Belarus (2-0-1-0) recorded the next five tallies to help it move into second place in Group B with seven points. Belarus has a one-point lead over Russia and Finland in the standings.

Colorado Avalanche prospect Markus Lauridsen of Denmark finished with two shots and a minus-3 rating in 16:48 of ice time. He was given a 20-minute penalty for throwing an object with 5:16 left in the contest.

Denmark next plays Russia on Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. MT.

SWITZERLAND (1) VS. GERMANY (0)

Switzerland scored the only goal in the third period and defeated Germany 1-0 in a matchup of two teams battling for a top-four spot in Group A at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

Dennis Hollenstein's tally at 12:16 of the final period broke the scoreless tie in a game that featured only 36 shots on net.

Avalanche goaltender Reto Berra did not play in the contest for Switzerland.

The victory gave the Swiss an important leg up over the Germans in the standings and a possible berth into the quarterfinals after the clubs entered the contest separated by only one point. Switzerland (2-0-1-0) moved into the third position in Group A with seven points while Germany (1-0-0-2) stays in fifth with three points.

The Swiss' next game is Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. MT against Latvia.

BIG MATCHUP LOOMING

While the winner of Wednesday's Canada-Sweden contest won't officially decide the top seed in Group A, the victor will have an important advantage heading into the second half of preliminary play.

The two nations are on top of the group standings with Canada a perfect 3-0-0-0 (nine points) while Sweden is close behind with a 2-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record (eight points).

Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 in overtime in the counties' meeting in preliminary play at the 2014 tournament in Minsk, Belarus. The Canadians also beat the Swedes nearly three months earlier in the Olympic gold medal game in Sochi, Russia.

Avalanche forward Matt Duchene is tied for the scoring lead on Team Canada and in the tournament with six points (two goals and four assists). Fellow Avs Nathan MacKinnon (one goal, three assists), Ryan O'Reilly (three assists) and Tyson Barrie (two assists) have also played well in Canada's high-octane offense.

Game time is set for 12:15 p.m. MT at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

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