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Worlds: U.S. advances to quarterfinal round

Americans will play Czech Republic on Thursday after overtime loss to Slovakia

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

The United States advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 IIHF World Championship despite a 3-2 overtime loss to Slovakia in a Group B preliminary-round game at Yubileiny Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday.

Marko Dano (Winnipeg Jets) scored 59 seconds into overtime to give Slovakia the victory.

The U.S. (3-0-1-3) completed its preliminary-round schedule with two straight losses; they were defeated 3-2 by Germany on Sunday. But by getting the game against Slovakia to overtime they were able to finish fourth in Group B with 10 points and will play the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round of the tournament at Ice Palace in Moscow on Thursday. The top four countries from each group qualify for the quarterfinals.

Slovakia (2-1-0-4) finished fifth in the group with eight points. Had they beaten the U.S. in regulation they would have finished fourth in the group.

"We were trying to take the game to [Slovakia]," U.S. left wing Frank Vatrano (Boston Bruins) told the IIHF website. "They needed that regulation win to get in. We came in and tried to play good defense and get some goals when we needed them. We are looking forward to heading into the next round."

The United States took a 2-1 lead 2:53 into the third period when Nick Foligno (Columbus Blue Jackets) scored his third goal of the tournament. Pavol Skalicky scored for Slovakia to tie the game 2-2 with 7:46 remaining in the third.

Brock Nelson (New York Islanders) scored and Keith Kinkaid (New Jersey Devils) made 27 saves for the United States. Auston Matthews, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters for the 2016 NHL Draft, had three shots on goal in 16:17 of ice time.

"We both knew something was on the line, and the game was competitive," U.S. coach John Hynes (New Jersey Devils) said. "We are glad to have the opportunity to move on."

Christian Jaros (Ottawa Senators) scored and Julius Hudacek made 23 saves for Slovakia.

OTHER RESULTS:

Russia 4, Sweden 1: Artemi Panarin (Chicago Blackhawks) had a goal and an assist in the first period for Russia in a Group A preliminary-round game at Ice Palace in Moscow.

Russia's Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings) had a goal and an assist, and Evgeni Dadonov and Roman Lyubimov scored. Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) had 36 saves.

Mattias Ekholm (Nashville Predators) scored for Sweden. Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver Canucks) had 36 saves.

Russia won six of its seven preliminary-round games (6-0-0-1) and finished second in Group A with 18 points. It will play Germany, the third-place team in Group B, in the quarterfinals Thursday at Ice Palace.

Sweden finished third in Group A with 13 points (3-2-0-2) and will play Canada, the second-place finisher in Group B, in the quarterfinals at Yubileiny Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.

Czech Republic 5, Switzerland 4: Michal Jordan (Carolina Hurricanes) scored a shorthanded, empty-net goal with 5:45 remaining in the third to give the Czech Republic a 5-2 lead in the preliminary-round of Group A at Ice Palace in Moscow.

The Czech Republic (5-1-1-0) finished first in Group A and will play the United States in the quarterfinal round at Ice Palace on Thursday.

Michal Birner, Lukas Kaspar, Martin Zatovic and Tomas Zohorna scored for Czech Republic. Noah Schneeberger, Denis Hollenstein, Simon Moser and Sven Andrighetto (Montreal Canadiens) scored for Switzerland.

Nino Niederreiter (Minnesota Wild) had three goals and six points in seven games and was selected the best player of the tournament for Switzerland, which finished sixth in Group A with eight points (1-1-3-2).  

"We weren't sharp enough in the details," Niederreiter told the IIHF website. "[Against Czech Republic], we just didn't handle the situation well. It's disappointing."

Norway 3, Latvia 1: Defenseman Johannes Johannesen, No. 68 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters for the 2016 draft, and defenseman Jonas Holos each scored in the third period to break a 1-1 tie in a Group A preliminary-round game A at Ice Palace.

Ken Andre Olimb scored and Steffen Soberg made 23 saves for Norway, which finished fifth in Group A with eight points (2-1-0-4). Miks Indrasis scored for Latvia, which finished seventh with six points (1-0-3-3).

Belarus 3, France 0: Andrei Stas scored two goals and Vitali Koval made 21 saves in preliminary-round play in Group B at Yubileiny Arena.

Geoff Platt had a goal and an assist for Belarus, which finished sixth in Group B with six points (2-0-0-5). France finished seventh with five points (1-1-0-5).

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