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Canada falls to Czechs but advances to quarters

NHL.com @NHL
Despite a 3-2 loss against the Czech Republic in Qualifying Round action Tuesday, Canada advanced to the Quarterfinals of the IIHF World Championship tournament in Germany.

Canada, which finished fourth in its group, will play the winner of Tuesday afternoon's Russia-Finland contest in the single-elimination quarterfinals Thursday.

Captain Ray Whitney, a winger for the Carolina Hurricanes, put Canada on the board first with a power-play goal at 6:59 of the first period with assists from Calgary's Marc Giordano and St. Louis Blues' goaltender Chris Mason. His backhander beat Florida Panthers' goaltender Tomas Vokoun between his pads. It was Whitney's second goal of the tournament.

The Czech's got the equalizer with 1:40 remaining in the first when Lukas Kaspar beat Mason between the pads on a shorthanded breakaway.

Former NHL scoring champ Jaromir Jagr put the Czech Republic ahead to stay with a goal at 12:19 of the second period, deflecting a point shot by Ondrej Nemec. It was Jagr's third goal in six games. Jakub Klepis scored on the power play with 1:42 left in the period to expand the lead, with the New York Rangers' Michal Rozsival and Vokoun earning assists.

With Mason pulled for an extra attacker, NHL rookie Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche pulled Canada to within one with his third goal of the tournament at 18:49 of the third period, assisted by Mason Raymond of the Vancouver Canucks.

Mason finished with 33 saves, while Vokoun made 28 for the win.

The Czech Republic placed third in Group F and will player the loser of Russia-Finland in the quarterfinals.
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