|Senators forward Nick Foligno (left) congratulates United States teammate Lee Stempniak after his first-period goal opened the scoring vs. Russia (Photo by Matthew Manor/HHOF-IIHF Images).
Now the road gets a little tougher for the United States and Finland at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Russia used a trio of power-play goals to dump the U.S. 4-1 in a key qualification round matchup at the PostFinancial Arena in Bern on Saturday. The American squad includes Nick Foligno
and Ryan Shannon of the Ottawa Senators.
It was Foligno who had a major hand in the game-opening goal for the Stars and Stripes. The Senators forward carried the puck into the Russian zone and dished the puck off to Lee Stempniak of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who beat Russia’s Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes just 3:16 into the game to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.
But former Senators forward Oleg Saprykin, Alexander Perezhogin – both on the power play – and Sergei Mozyakin scored before the period ended, allowing Russia to take charge of the proceedings. Alexander Radulov’s goal with the man advantage wrapped up the scoring in the second.
Finland, meanwhile, rolled into its matchup with Belarus on Saturday at the Arena Zurich-Kloten with an unblemished record in the tournament. But all of that ended for Senators forward Jarkko Ruutu and the Finns, who were stunned 2-1 in a shootout by the upstart Belarussians.
Oleg Antonenko scored his second shootout winner of the tournament for Belarus, which will advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2006 if Canada beats Norway on Sunday.
Saturday’s results leave Group E leader Russia (4-0) and Canada, which tops Group F at 3-0, as the only remaining unbeaten teams in the competition. Canada wraps up play in the qualification round with games against Norway on Sunday (10:15 a.m., TSN) and Finland on Monday (2:15 p.m., TSN).
The top four in each groups move on to the quarter-finals Wednesday and Thursday.For a complete 2009 world hockey championship schedule, click here.For more pictures from the tournament, view our photo gallery here.