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by Matt Rosen / Arizona Coyotes
The Qualifying Round of the 2007 IIHF World Championship’s began on a positive note for Team USA as they beat Slovakia by a score of 4-2 in Moscow, Russia.

USA received goals from four different players, despite Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard being held off the score sheet. Ballard did finish the contest with a +1 plus/minus rating.

Goaltender John Grahame (Carolina) was spectacular in net again, making 29-saves in the win.

The United States is now 3-1-0 in the tournament and is 1-0-0 in the Qualifying Round.

Niko Kapanen’s Team Finland also improved to 3-1-0 on Thursday as they shutout Switzerland 2-0. Kapanen was held scoreless but did register a shot on for goal to go along with his even plus/minus rating.

The biggest surprise of the day came when the Czech Republic were beaten by Germany, 2-0. Zbynek Michalek’s team lost for the first time in the tournament while the Coyotes’ defenseman managed three shots-on-goal in the game and was a minus one.

In other action, Team Sweden beat Team Denmark 5-2 to improve to 4-0-0, while Denmark drops to 1-3-0.Switzerland will skate against Denmark on Saturday while Team USA will take on Germany. Finland will battle Italy and the Czech Republic will play Slovakia.
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