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Russia falls to United States 5-3 in final group play game

Brayden Point scores for Team Canada in 5-2 win over Finland

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

In a contest to determine the Group A champion at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the United States rallied from deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 to defeat Russia 5-3 in Cologne.

Team U.S.A. finished preliminary play with six-straight victories after opening the tournament with an upset loss to Germany. The United States accumulated 18 points through the group stage, one ahead of Russia, which finished second in Group A and suffered its first loss of the tournament at the hands of the Americans.

Team USA outshot Russia 16-3 in the opening period and 35-19 for the game. The Americans took their first lead of the game at 12:57 of the third on Anders Lee redirect on the power play. Brock Nelson added an empty-net goal for the 5-3 final. Kevin Hayes contributed a pair of goals for Team USA.

Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy suffered his first loss of the tournament after giving up four goals on 35 shots.

Bolts teammates Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov were held without a point in the defeat. Kucherov, who skated 13:04 on Tuesday, finishes group play tied for third in the tournament for scoring with five goals and six assists.

Namestnikov was plus-six through seven group-stage games, tied for 14th among all tournament players.

Both the United States and Russia will move on to the quarterfinals, which begin on Thursday. As the top team in Group A, the United States will play the fourth-place finisher from Group B.

Canada 5, Finland 2

Lightning center Brayden Point scored his fourth tournament goal and added an assist in Team Canada's 5-2 victory over Finland in Paris to conclude preliminary play.

Canada, led by Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper, had already wrapped up the Group B championship prior to Tuesday's game. Canada finishes the preliminary stage with six wins and one overtime loss and will play the fourth-place team from Group A in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.

Point accumulated five points (4 goals, 1 assist) and finished tied for second on Canada for goals in the preliminary round.

Alex Killorn registered three shots and was plus-one in 15:35 of ice time Tuesday.

Sweden 4, Slovakia 2

Sweden secured third place in Group A following a 4-2 victory over Slovakia in its preliminary round finale.

Sweden outshot Slovakia 38-15.

William Karlsson led Sweden with an empty-net goal with 32 seconds remaining and added two assists for a three-point night.

Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman paced Sweden for shots with five (all in the third period) but was held without a point during his team-leading 23:01 time on ice.

Fellow Bolts defenseman Victor Hedman was second on Sweden for time on ice (22:56) and also finished without a point on Tuesday.

Sweden advances to Thursday's quarterfinal stage.

Slovakia completes its tournament with just one win, that coming in overtime/shootout.

Germany 4, Latvia 3 (S/O)

Host Germany persevered in a thrilling, back-and-forth preliminary play finale for the fourth and final quarterfinal spot out of Group A by beating Latvia 4-3 in a shootout.

Germany's Frederik Tiffels was the lone skater to make his attempt in the decisive shootout.

Latvia led 3-2 late in regulation thanks to Andris Dzerins' power-play goal with 3:52 to play.

Germany pulled its goalie in search of the game-tying goal and got it when Felix Schutz scored with 33 seconds to go in regulation.

Germany advances to Thursday's quarterfinal round.

Latvia just missed out on the quarterfinals and finishes with three wins, three losses and one shootout loss. 

Belarus 4, Norway 3

Belarus won its second-straight game to close out its 2017 World Championship experience after beating Norway 4-3 Tuesday in Paris.

Yevgeni Lisovets scored two goals to lead Belarus to victory. Belarus finishes in seventh place out of eight teams in Group B with seven points.

Norway ends the tournament with two wins, three losses and two overtime/shootout losses and placed sixth in Group B with eight points.

Switzerland 3, Czech Republic 1

In a game for second place in Group B, Switzerland scored a goal in each period to outlast the Czech Republic 3-1 in Paris.

Switzerland ended preliminary play with 15 points behind three wins, two overtime/shootout wins and two losses and finishes as the Group B runner-up behind only Canada.

The Czech Republic took third in Group B with 11 points.

Both Switzerland and the Czech Republic advance to the quarterfinals. 

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