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Neal Eliminated from Worlds

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins forward James Neal and Team Canada were eliminated from the 2011 IIHF World Championships with a 2-1 loss to Russia in the quarterfinals on Thursday in Bratislava, Slovakia.


After Canada took a 1-0 lead just over five minutes into the second period off a Jason Spezza tally, the Russians staged a late comeback to earn the victory and a berth in the semifinals. Alexei Kaigorodov scored a shorthanded goal to even the score at 1-1 before Ilya Kovalchuk netted the game-winner with 7:41 left in the contest.

Neal finished the tournament with five points (2G-3A) in six games, two of those contests being multiple-point efforts and one of those tallies being the game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Norway on May 7.

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This was Neal's second-career appearance in the tournament for Team Canada, as he also suited up for his native country in 2009, scoring a goal and two assists in three games.

While Neal's run at the World Championships has ended, Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek and the Czech Republic still have a chance to defend their title after their 4-0 quarterfinal win over the United States on Wednesday.

The Czech Republic will face Sweden on Friday to kick off semifinal action.

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