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Michalek, Czechs gaining early steam at worlds

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
The Czech Republic is beginning to build some early momentum at the 2011 IIHF World Hockey Championship.

With Ottawa Senators forward Milan Michalek supplying a pair of goals, the defending champs rolled past Denmark 6-0 earlier today in their second preliminary-round match at the Orange Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Czechs are off to a 2-0-0 start in the world tournament as they try to retain the title they won a year ago in Germany with a 2-1 triumph over old rival Russia.

The Czechs broke the game open against the Danes with a four-goal second period. Michalek got the ball rolling with a pair of goals 1:43 apart, the second coming on the power play. Michael Frolik of the Chicago Blackhawks also scored twice in the Czech win.

Meanwhile, the United States nearly became Norway's second upset victim of the 2011 worlds, but a four-goal spree in the third period allowed the stars and stripes to pull out a 4-2 win at the Steel Arena in Kosice. Senators forward Ryan Shannon assisted on a pair of goals by Nick Palmieri of the New Jersey Devils, including the game-winner with 6:16 to play.

Norway had stunned Sweden 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday. But the Tre Kronor bounced back today, blanking Austria 3-0 in Kosice. The Swedish roster includes Senators forward prospect Jakob Silfverberg.

Canada returns to action Tuesday, facing Switzerland in Kosice (10:15 a.m., TSN).

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