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Closing Out The Qualifying Rounds

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

It was the last day of the qualifying rounds as three teams with Panthers players looked to boost their seedings for the quarterfinals.

Canada and Finland were looking to win Group F while the US was trying to remain the third seed and not fall to the fourth seed with a loss to Norway.

After the day’s games, Canada (1st seed) will be taking on Norway (4th seed) and Finland (2nd seed) will battle the United States (3rd seed). That’s all thanks to the Americans 9-1 victory over the Norwegians and the Canadians 6-3 win over the Finns.

David Booth (Getty Images)
(Halifax) Giving up three-goals after up 2-0 through two periods of play, the US did not want to make sure they relinquished a lead at any point in their game against Norway. With a loss, the US would have been the fourth seed in the quarterfinals and therefore would have most likely played Canada.

So instead of worrying about what other teams did, they focused on themselves and had three balanced periods, scoring three goals in each, to defeat Norway 9-1.

New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky scored the game’s first goal 11:12 into the contest while Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown netted the game-winner 1:03 later. Chicago’s Patrick Kane scored on the power play with 57 seconds remaining in the period.

Dubinsky scored his second of the game to open up the second period, with a goal 5:48 into the second. M Trygg would tally Norway’s lone goal 2:20 later as he beat US goaltender Robert Esche on the power play. Up 4-1 the US potted two more goals in the second with tallies from New Jersey’s Paul Martin (11:19) and Zach Parise (59 seconds later on the power play).

The US made it a 9-1 final with third period goals from Brown (2:33 in), Boston’s Phil Kessel (5:44 in) and Dubinsky who finished off the hat trick with 9:25 left in the game.

David Booth was in the lineup but did not have see any ice time while Craig Anderson was Esche’s backup.

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Ville Peltonen (Getty Images)
(Halifax) It was a huge game for both team’s as the winner would be the top seed in Group F and play Norway. The loser would play the U.S. in the quarterfinals.

It was also a huge game in the fact that Canada was aiming to go perfect through the first two rounds of the World Championships. They remained perfect (6-0) as they defeated the Finns 6-3 on Monday.

Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf gave the Canadians the first lead of the game an astonishing 33 seconds into the game. And then two short handed goals, one by each team gave Canada a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission. Antti Pihlstrom tied the game at one with his goal 5:39 in while Phoenix’s Shane Doan broke the deadlock 3:50 later.

Canada scored both goals in the middle period as Ottawa’s Dany Heatley scored his eighth of the tournament with 9:43 remaining in the period and Chicago’s Patrick Sharp scored the eventual game-winner on another shorthanded goal as he broke in alone on Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, beating the Finn netminder five-hole with 1:48 remaining.

The first three goals in the third period all came from repeat scorers as Doan (1:07 in) Pihlstrom (8:34 in) and Heatley (1:58 left) gave the Canadians a 6-2 lead. Finland’s Tuomu Ruutu (Carolina) brought a close to the scoring with 23 seconds remaining with his third of the tournament.

Jay Bouwmeester finished with 15:01 of ice time on 20 shifts.

Ville Peltonen had one shot and was a -3 on 17:08 of ice time. Olli Jokinen missed the game due to his check from behind against the US the day before.

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