Canada, U.S. pushed to limit in victories

Tue May 20, 2014 10:09am EDT
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MINSK (Reuters) - Canada sealed top spot in Group A at the world ice hockey Championships in Belarus after two goals and an assist from Joel Ward inspired a 3-2 victory over Norway on Tuesday.

United States captain Justin Abdelkader also netted twice as his side gave up the lead three times against Germany before sealing a 5-4 win that moved them into second spot in Group B.

Canada dominated the opening period, outshooting their opponents 15-5, but Anders Bastiansen gave Norway a surprise lead with an unassisted powerplay goal on 13 minutes.

Having had a goal disallowed late in the first spell Canada tied the match three minutes into the second as Ward scored while Norway were a man down, deflecting a Ryan Ellis slap shot past Steffen Soberg.

The Norwegians were coming under extreme defensive pressure in their own zone, but despite creating little in the way of offense, they reclaimed the lead through Mads Hansen on the breakaway as he fired the puck high to James Reimer’s glove side.

Canada drew level for the second time courtesy of Mark Scheifele and despite the heroics of goaltender Soberg, who stopped 39 shots, Norway went behind for the first time in the match when Ward grabbed the winner on a powerplay 10 minutes into the final period.

"It was a long game. We weren’t down and out or anything," said Ward, who has six goals and three assists in seven matches.

"We felt good about ourselves. We had a lot of chances, a lot of shots. We had some power plays. We just gotta capitalize on special teams."

The U.S. was involved in another high-scoring game as they held on to beat Germany 5-4.   Continued...

Justin Abdelkader (L) of the U.S. celebrates his goal against Germany with team mate Tim Stapleton (C) during the third period of their men's ice hockey World Championship Group B game at Minsk Arena in Minsk May 20, 2014.   REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk