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U.S. Skates to a 2-2 Tie; Will Play Canada Today

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

KELOWNA, B.C. (CP) - Goaltender Radek Fiala turned aside 26 shots and David Krejci scored three times as the Czech Republic beat Slovakia, 5-3 in 2006 world junior hockey championship round-robin play Friday night.

Petr Pohl and Tomas Kudelka also scored for the Czech Republic (2-1-0), which plays Russia on Saturday in Kelowna.

Marek Zagrapan, with his second of the tournament, Juraj Gracik and Ladislav Scurko replied for Slovakia (1-2-0), which plays Sweden on Saturday in Kamloops.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, British Columbia, The U.S. saw a 2-0 lead evaporate as Switzerland scored a pair of third-period, power-play goals for a 2-2 draw.

The Americans (2-0-1) now must beat Canada (3-0-0) Saturday night if they hope to finish first in Pool A at the 10-team tournament and advance directly to the semifinal.

Eric Blum and Matthias Joggi scored for the Swiss, who have never beaten the U.S. at the world juniors and have managed just two ties since 1977.

The U.S. took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by Geoff Paukovich and Bobby Ryan. After a scoreless second period the U.S. ran into penalty trouble in the third.

Blum made it 2-1 at 7:53 of the third, when his shot from a sharp angle hit American goaltender Cory Schneider on the arm and went into the net.

Joggi scored on a two-man advantage about seven minutes later with Jack Johnson and Blake Wheeler watching from the penalty box.

He got a rebound at the right side of the net and roofed a shot over a fallen Schneider.

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