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Hlinka tourney Day 2: Canada wins, U.S. loses

by Adam Kimelman
Canada continued to roll Tuesday, while the United States lost in a shootout on the second day of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Red Deer Rebels center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a hat trick and Sarnia Sting right wing Brett Ritchie scored twice to lead Canada to a 7-3 victory against Switzerland, in Piestany, Slovakia.

The victory against Switzerland came one day after Canada defeated Sweden, 6-3.

Sault Ste. Marie center Daniel Catenacci and Saint John Sea Dogs center Jonathan Huberdeau each had a pair of assists, and Montreal Juniors defenseman Xavier Ouellet had a goal and an assist.

Belleville Bulls goalie Tyson Teichmann, making his second straight start, stopped 21 of 24 shots.

"Our game was better today so I think I can comfortably say that we've gotten better every day since camp," Canada coach George Burnett told Canadian Press. "That's the big challenge -- that you try to be better every day."

Nugent-Hopkins and Niagara IceDogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton helped Canada to a 2-1 lead after one period, but they exploded in the second, outshooting Switzerland 18-3 and scoring four times. Nugent-Hopkins capped his hat trick with a pair of goals 3:50 apart midway through the period, and then Ritchie's goals sandwiched a goal by Switzerland's Marwin Leu.

Ouellet scored in the third for Canada, and Switzerland's Jorden Gahler completed the scoring.

The U.S. had a pair of two-goal leads in its game against Russia in Breclav, Czech Republic. They led 2-0 after one period on a five-on-three goal by John Gaudreau and a shorthanded goal by Seth Ambroz in a span of 1:51 midway through the period. After Russia scored early in the second, Alex Racino re-directed a Lukas Sutter shot into the back of the Russia net for a 3-1 U.S. lead.

Russia scored in the last minute of the second and just 4:23 into the third period to tie it. Sutter and Cason Hohmann scored in the third for the U.S., but each time Russia answered, tying the game, 5-5, when Alexander Kuvaev scored with 4:23 left.

After a scoreless overtime, Ambroz scored on the first attempt for the U.S. in the shootout. Down to its last shooter, Russia's Nikita Kucharov beat U.S. goalie Jay Williams to extend the shootout. Hohmann next missed a chance to win it for the U.S. Ambroz hit the crossbar and then was stopped by Russia goalie Andrey Makarov on the next two U.S. chances. After Ambroz's second miss, Igor Leviskiy won it for Russia in the fifth round.

"I thought the team played with a lot of energy," said U.S. coach Tim Army. "We came up short in the shootout, but still had several things that went well for us."

The loss drops the U.S. to 1-1, following Monday's 3-2 win against the Czech Republic.

In other action Tuesday, Sweden beat Slovakia, 7-3; and the Czech Republic beat Finland, 4-3.

Wednesday, the final day of round-robin play, will see Canada face Slovakia, with the U.S. playing Finland. The top two teams from each group advance to Friday's semifinals, with the gold and bronze medal games set for Saturday. Canada already has advanced from Group B, while the U.S. needs to beat Finland to advance out of Group A.

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