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Split Decisions For Slovakia, Germany At Worlds

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Slovakia 1, Switzerland 0

Tomas Tatar scored the game's lone goal late in the first period and Jan Lacco made 21 saves to earn a 1-0 shutout win over the disappointing Swiss, who will not qualify for the quarterfinals at the World Hockey Championship after playing in the playoff round of the worlds in three of the last five years.

Ironically, it was during a slow-paced first period in which the teams combined for 11 shots that the game's only goal was scored. It occurred with 1:47 left in the opening frame, when Juraj Mikus picked up a loose puck before finding Tatar in the slot. The Red Wings prospect beat Swiss goaltender Reto Berra to give the Slovakians the only lead they would need. The win put Slovakia on the verge of qualifying for the tournament quarterfinals but came at a cost, as Marcel Hossa was hurt in the second period and did not return.

Slovakia closes out the preliminary round Tuesday against France while Switzerland's tournament will end that same day against Latvia.

Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky had three shots on net on 16:06 of ice time.


Norway 12, Germany 4

Patrick Thoresen scored a hat trick and contributed three assists and Morten Ask assisted on four consecutive goals as Norway scored the first nine goals of the game to easily defeat Germany 12-4.

From the drop of the puck, Thoresen paced the Norwegian effort, scoring twice in the game's first 1:28. Shortly after Martin Roymark put Norway up 3-0 just 5:07 into the game, German coach Jakob Kolliker replaced starting goaltender Dennis Endras in favor of Dimitri Kotschnew. The goaltending change momentarily halted the Norwegian offensive surge, but things would only get worse from there.

Norway scored six more goals in the second, including Thoresen's third of the game, before Patrick Reimer finally got Germany on the board with just 95 seconds remaining in the period. Kolliker would put Endras back in the crease to start the third, only to pull him again for Kotschnew when Mats Trygg put Norway up 12-3. The 12 goals in a game are the most by any team in the tournament, which has seen 13 of 45 games end in a shutout.

After winning their group in last year's World Championship and finishing ahead of hockey powers Russia and Slovakia, Germany's disappointing performance at the 2012 tournament may be remembered most for this dismantling at the hands of the Norwegians. The win improved Norway's record to 3-2-1, giving them a strong chance of qualifying for the tournament quarterfinal for the second straight year.

Panthers forward Marcel Goc finished with a shot on goal, a minor (slashing in the first period) and won 69% of his draws (11-of-16) on 18:35 of ice time.


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