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U.S. ends prelims with loss to Slovakia

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Slovakia needed the game more and it showed.

Branko Radivojevic scored 15 seconds after the opening faceoff, Martin Bartek doubled the lead less than four minutes in and Slovakia went on to a 4-1 victory against the United States on Tuesday at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, clinching a quarterfinal berth in the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Rene Vydareny added a goal in the second period and Rastislav Stana stopped 20 shots for Slovakia.

"We played good defense and we took everything they had in the neutral zone, so they had to dump the puck and then we battled it out," Slovakia defenseman Andrej Sekera told the IIHF website.

Danny Kristo scored in the final minute of the second for the U.S., but their comeback stalled in the third and Marko Dano put the puck into an empty net with 1:24 remaining.

Ben Bishop made 22 saves for the U.S., which already had wrapped up its quarterfinal berth.

"They played more desperate than we did, and that's something we have to take care of. We can't come out the way we did, especially with the quarterfinal coming up," U.S. forward Stephen Gionta said.

Czech Republic 7, Norway 0: Tomas Plekanec set up a pair of first-period goals by Tomas Fleischmann and another by Jiri Tlusty to spark the Czech Republic's rout at Globe Arena.

Martin Hanzal, Zbynek Michalek, Radim Vrbata and Zbynek Irgl also scored and Ondrej Pavelec (11 saves) combined on the shutout with Pavel Francouz (six saves) for the Czechs, who will face Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

Marek Zidlicky made his first appearance in this year's tourney, posting one shot and a plus-1 in 21:12 of ice time.

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