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One final tuneup for Spezza, Canada

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
One last warmup and then it begins for real.

Team Canada faces off against Russia tonight at 7 p.m. at Pepsi Colisée in Quebec City in its final pre-tournament game before the IIHF 2008 World Hockey Championship begins. The defending champions take on Slovenia on Friday (3:30 p.m., TSN) in their first of three preliminary-round games.

On Saturday, Canada edged Finland 3-2 at Le Colisée in its first worlds tuneup. Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza had a pair of assists on power-play goals by Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes also earned helpers on both goals.

Senators forward Dany Heatley was expected to arrive today for his fifth appearance in a world hockey championship.

Hockey Canada insiders can watch tonight's game online at

After Friday's opener, Canada takes on Latvia on Sunday and the U.S. on May 6. All of Canada's preliminary-round games will be played at the Halifax Metro Centre.

The semi-finals (May 16), bronze-medal game (May 17) and gold-medal game (May 18) all are slated for the Pepsi Colisée.

This year's event marks the first time the IIHF has ever held its world hockey championship in Canada.

For a full world hockey championship schedule, click here.

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