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Austria and Norway seek first win in Group B

by Mike Battaglino


When: Sunday, 3 a.m. ET (USA, TSN2)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: Each team is looking for its first win in their final Group B game. The winner will improve its position heading into the qualification playoff, in which the fifth through 12th teams compete for a berth in the quarterfinals.

Austria: The Austrians allowed a tournament-high 14 goals in their first two games and were shut out once.

After losing 8-4 to Finland, Austria was blanked by Canada 6-0.

"[Canada is] definitely one of the favorites, if not the favorite, so I think we can be proud of our effort," forward Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders said. "Obviously, we would have liked to score a goal or two, but they're a great team. It was a tough game."

Bernhard Starkbaum gave up six goals in the first two periods Friday before he was replaced by Mathias Lange.

Norway: The Norwegians allowed nine goals in their first two games, second-worst in the tournament, and scored one goal in each. A solid effort in a 3-1 opening loss to Canada was diminished somewhat by a 6-1 loss to Finland on Friday.

"The Finns are better at moving the puck," forward Per-Age Skroder said. "Canada is stronger and heavier on the puck."

Goalie Lars Haugen was pulled Friday after giving up three goals on 13 shots in the first period. Lars Volden came in to make 23 saves.

"It was a tough game," Norway coach Roy Johansen said. "We didn't have a possibility to win."

What's next: The qualification playoff pairings will be decided Sunday, and the four games will be played Tuesday. Those winners advance to the quarterfinals.

Information from wire services was used in this report

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