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Canada narrowly defeats Norway 3-2

by Jen Sharpe / Edmonton Oilers
Team Canada congratulates Jason Spezza on his first-period goal vs Norway Saturday, May 7, 2011 at the World Championships in Kosice, Slovakia. (Photo by Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images).
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The Qualification Round of the 2011 World Championships continued Saturday with a contest between Canada and Norway at Steel Arena in Kosice, Slovakia.

At last year's tournament, Canada trounced Norway 12-1. This year? Not so much. 


Canada was plagued by penalties early in the game, and, as a result, Norway managed to keep the shot count close.

During a rare stretch of even-strength play near the 15-minute mark, Canada opened the scoring.

Planting himself at the corner of Lars Haugen's net, Jason Spezza patiently waited for the puck, eventually receiving a cross-crease pass from Rick Nash and firing it into the open net.

Norway killed two penalties late in the period to stay within one after 20 minutes.

Canada showcased its offensive dominance in the second period, outshooting their opponents 20-8 and benefiting from a spectacular goal from John Tavares near the game's midway point.

Nine minutes into the third, James Neal snagged a well-executed pass from Rick Nash to give Canada a comfortable 3-0 lead.

But things got uncomfortable really fast: 2:34 after Neal's goal, Ken Andre Olimb battled through the tough Canadian defence and surprised Jonathan Bernier with a quick release to get Norway on the board.

1:13 later, Marius Holtet narrowed the gap even further. Catching a perfect feed by Mads Hansen in the neutral zone, Holtet skated in on Bernier and fired through a screen to set the score 3-2.

A cross-checking minor to Spezza and empty net for the final 90 seconds helped Norway press for the equalizer, but Canada weathered the storm and emerged with a 3-2 win.

The only Oiler playing in the game, Jordan Eberle, finished even with two shots in 9:47 on the ice.


Oilers forward Magnus Paajarvi returns to action with Team Sweden Sunday, May 8 vs Switzerland. (Photo by Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images)
The Qualification Round continues Sunday as Magnus Paajarvi and his Swedish teammates take on Switzerland. The game starts at 8:15am MT and will be streamed live online.

On Monday, May 9, Sweden and Canada will face eachother for the first time this tournament. Last year Sweden defeated Canada 3-1 in the Qualification Round, and Monday's game is expected to be another close one. The game will be broadcast live on TSN starting at 12:15pm MT.

As always, follow the official Oilers Twitter account for updates on Oilers efforts in Slovakia, and visit for a game recap of each Team Canada and Team Sweden game. 

(all times mountain)

Friday, April 29:

Canada 4 - Belarus 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Saturday, April 30:

Norway 5 - Sweden 4 (SO)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Sunday, May 1:

Canada 9 - France 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Monday, May 2:

Sweden 3 - Austria 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Tuesday, May 3:

Canada 4 - Switzerland 3 (OT)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Wednesday, May 4:

Sweden 6 - USA 2
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

(all times mountain)

Friday, May 6:

Canada 4 - USA 3 (SO) 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sweden 4 - France 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Saturday, May 7:

Canada 3 - Norway 2
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sunday, May 8:

Sweden vs. Switzerland - 8:15am MT
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Monday, May 9:

Canada vs. Sweden - 12:15pm MT
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights
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