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United States wraps up qualifying round with 9-1 rout of Norway

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

HALIFAX - The United States wrapped up its qualifying round schedule with a 9-1 pounding of Norway at the IIHF World Hockey Championship on Monday.

New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky had a hat trick as the Americans scored three times in each period to bury an overmatched Norwegian team.

With the win, the U.S. (3-2) locked up third place in Pool F. The Americans had already earned a quarter-final berth prior to the game, and will next play the loser of Monday's matchup between Canada and Finland.

Norway (1-4) must hope Latvia loses to Germany in regulation on Monday night to earn the last quarter-final spot for Group F.

The U.S. dominated the opening 20 minutes against Norway and was rewarded with three goals, including a pair just 63 seconds apart.

Dubinsky, with his first of the tournament, opened the scoring at 11:12 as he took a pass in the slot from Adam Burish and fired the puck underneath Norwegian netminder Pal Grotnes.

Just over a minute later, Brown potted his fourth of the tournament as he skated into the slot and drilled a shot glove-side past Grotnes.

In the final minute, the U.S. found the back of the net again as Patrick Kane tallied his third of the tournament on the power play. Zach Parise set up the Calder Trophy nominee with a perfect pass across the crease.

Six minutes into the second period, Dubinsky scored his second of the game as he made good on a rebound attempt from in close.

Norway finally found the scoresheet midway through the period during a two-man advantage. Defenceman Mats Trygg blasted a bullet shot high over the glove of American goaltender Robert Esche.

The U.S., which struggled to hold leads in its last two games, wasn't fazed by the goal, as Paul Martin responded with his first of the tournament on a nice individual effort three minutes later.

Just 59 seconds later, Patrick O'Sullivan found Parise in front for a power-play marker and a 6-1 lead.

In the third, Brown notched his second of the game as he came out from behind the Norwegian net and went five-hole on Grotnes.

Three minutes later, Kane set up a highlight-reel goal, as the 19-year-old skated out from his own end, deked two Norwegian players then found Phil Kessel in front with a beautiful backhand pass.

Midway through the third, Dubinsky scored his third of the game on a shot from the right faceoff circle that beat backup netminder Ruben Smith during a U.S. power play. Smith replaced Grotnes shortly after the eighth goal for the Americans.

Esche, making his second start in as many games for the Americans, stopped 17 shots. The Americans fired 48 pucks at the Norwegian net.

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