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Canada Tops Finland in OT; Russia Downs Slovakia in Shootout

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Stars captain Jamie Benn played on the top line with Sidney Crosby in Canada’s 2-1 overtime win over Finland in the final game of the preliminary round. Russia defeated Slovakia, 1-0, in a shootout, but failed to secure an automatic berth in the quarterfinals. Those automatic berths went to Sweden, the United States, Canada and Finland, and their opponents will be determined in Tuesday’s qualification round games.

Canada 2, Finland 1 (OT)

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s goal at 2:32 of overtime lifted Canada to a 2-1 victory over Finland in the final preliminary round game of the Men’s Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi.

Doughty beat Finland goaltender Tuukka Rask with a shot from the left circle for his second goal of the game and his fourth in three games at the tournament.

"I don’t know what’s going on," Doughty told "I don’t score like this in L.A. at all. A lot of it’s just my teammates. They’re doing a great job getting me the puck. When you’re playing with these high-skilled forwards, all you need to do is find some room on the ice and they’re going to find you. I’m just trying to get my shots through on net."

Doughty staked Canada to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 13:44 of the first period. Finland’s Tuomo Ruutu tied the game, deflecting a puck past Canadian goaltender Carey Price with two minutes left in the second period.

Both teams earned automatic berths to the quarterfinals, Canada as the winner of Group B and Finland as the second place team in the tournament with the best record. Canada will play the winner of Switzerland and Latvia in the quarterfinals. Finland will get the winner of Russia and Norway in the quarters.

Stars captain Jamie Benn played on Canada’s top line with Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron. He had no points, no shots on goal and an even rating. He played 16:20, the most ice time he’s logged in the tournament.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen did not dress for Finland. Antti Niemi served as the backup to Rask.

Russia 1, Slovakia 0 (SO)

Russia’s hopes to earn an automatic berth in the semifinals were dashed when it was forced to overtime by Slovakia. The Russians did prevail in the shootout, getting goals from Alexander Radulov and Ilya Kovalchuk and two saves from Semyon Varlamov.

Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin played 6:57 in the game and had no shots. Nichushkin played on a line with Alexei Tereshenko and Alexander Popov for the third straight game. He missed the last few minutes of the second period after taking a puck off his ankle, but he returned for the third period.

“He’s okay,” Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov said of Nichushkin after the game.

Russia will play Norway in the qualification round. Slovakia plays Czech Republic in the qualification round.

USA 5, Slovenia 1

Team USA secured an automatic berth in the quarterfinals with a 5-1 win over Slovenia. Phil Kessel scored three goals and Ryan McDonagh and David Backes also scored. Ryan Miller got the start in goal and stopped 17 of 18 shots. The USA will play the winner of the Czech Republic-Slovakia game in the quarterfinals. Slovenia plays Austria in the qualification round.

Austria 3, Norway 1

Michael Grabner scored two goals and assisted on another as Austria defeated Norway, 3-1, to secure third Group B. It was Austria’s first win at the Olympics since 2002. Austria will play Slovenia in the qualification round on Tuesday. Norway plays Russia in the qualification round.

Qualification round net

Sweden, Team USA, Canada and Finland all secured automatic berths in the quarterfinals, which will be held Wednesday. The other eight teams will now go through a qualification round to get into the quarters.

(8) Slovenia will play (9) Austria with the winner taking on (1) Sweden in the quarters.

(5) Russia will play (12) Norway with the winner taking on (4) Finland.

(7) Czech Republic will play (10) Slovakia with the winner taking on (2) USA.

(6) Switzerland will play (11) Latvia with the winner taking on (3) Canada.

Stars Notes

*Through three games, Stars captain Jamie Benn has one goal, seven shots, a plus-one rating and four penalty minutes. He is averaging 12:14 of ice time per game.

*Through three games, Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin has one goal, four shots and an even rating. He is averaging 9:25 of ice time per game.

*Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and a .952 save percentage at the tournament through preliminary round play.

Sunday’s results

Austria 3, Norway 1
USA 5, Slovenia 1
Russia 1, Slovakia 0 (SO)
Canada 2, Finland 1 (OT)

Monday’s games


Tuesday’s Qualification games*

Slovenia vs. Austria
Russia vs. Norway
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia
Switzerland vs. Latvia

*Times for Tuesday’s games will be announced on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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