Canada and Russia remain on collision course

Mon May 12, 2008 11:06pm 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 final to clinch first place in Group F while Russia beat 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.

Champions Canada, bidding to become the first host country to win the title since the Soviet Union in 1986, will play Norway, who sneaked into the last eight when Germany shocked Latvia 5-3 to end the qualification round.

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 for Canada, who handed the Finns their first loss of the tournament.


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

<p>Finland's Riku Hahl (C) is hit by Canada's Rick Nash (L) and Dan Hamhuis during the first period of action at the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championships in Halifax, May 12, 2008. REUTERS/Paul Darrow</p>