Canada, Russia remain on collision course

Mon May 12, 2008 7:01pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (Reuters) - Russia and Canada remained on a collision course at the ice hockey world championships on Monday, completing qualification round play unbeaten to take top spot in their group standings.

With Prime Minister Stephen Harper looking on, Canada cruised to a 6-3 win over Finland in a rematch of last year's gold medal final to clinch first place in Group F while Russia held on to stop Switzerland 5-3 to finish top of Group E.

The Swiss will not have to wait long for a shot at revenge, the Russian victory setting up a quarter-final rematch on Wednesday in Quebec City.

Defending champions Canada, bidding to become the first host country to win the title since the Soviet Union in 1986, will play either Latvia or Norway. Latvia will clash with Germany in the final qualification game later on Monday in a contest that will complete the final eight.

The other quarter-final pairings have Olympic champions Sweden taking on the Czech Republic while Finland and the United States will renew hostilities, in a rematch of their ill-tempered clash on Sunday that produced 202 minutes in penalties and saw three players handed game suspensions.

Ryan Getzlaf scored on the first shot of the game 33 seconds into the opening period and Canada never trailed and handed the Finns their first loss of the tournament as the hosts rolled to their 15th consecutive world championship win.


Dany Heatley scored a pair giving the Ottawa Senators sniper a tournament best nine goals while captain Shane Doan also tallied twice and Patrick Sharp added a short-handed effort.   Continued...