Slovaks stun Canada to reach semis at Worlds

11:12 AM, May 17, 2012   |    comments
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Helsinki, Finland (Sports Network) - Michal Handzus scored a power-play goal late in the third period to lift Slovakia to a 4-3 victory over Canada in the opening quarterfinal game of the 2012 World Championship.

Ryan Getzlaf took a major kneeing penalty with 2:32 remaining in regulation to leave Canada a man short and it took the Slovaks just four seconds to snap a 3-3 tie.

Slovakia won the offensive-zone draw and Andrej Sekera ripped a shot from the left point. Handzus, directly in front of Canadian goaltender Cam Ward, made a neat deflection over the netminder's right shoulder for the winner.

The Slovaks also received goals from Tomas Kopecky, Miroslav Satan and Milan Bartovic, while Jan Laco stopped 33 shots in the victory. Slovakia will next face the winner between Sweden and the Czech Republic in the semifinals.

Canada was eliminated in the quarterfinals for the third straight year. Evander Kane, Jeff Skinner and Alexandre Burrows scored for the Canadians, who held a 3-2 lead in the third period. Ward finished with 24 saves.

After Kopecky and Satan gave Slovakia a 2-0 lead with goals in the first 9:14 of the contest, Kane scored late in the first and Skinner added a power-play goal 6 1/2 minutes into the second to tie the game. Burrows put Canada ahead with 2:17 left in the middle stanza, but the Slovaks tied it with just 6:35 to play in the third when Bartovic beat Ward with a wrister from the right circle.

In Stockholm, the undefeated Russians used a three-goal third period to subdue the upstart Norwegians, 5-2.

Alexei Yemelin broke a 2-2 tie 55 seconds into the third, taking a feed from Pavel Datsyuk and beating Norway's Lars Haugen over the glove hand. Nikolai Zherdev tipped in a Yevgeni Biryukov point shot to make it 4-2 at 10:43 and captain Ilya Nikulin added a power-play goal with 5:08 to play.

Russian Alex Ovechkin made his tournament debut and opened the scoring 7:26 into the contest. Ovechkin arrived in Sweden after the NHL's Washington Capitals were eliminated by the New York Rangers in the second round of the playoffs.

The Norwegians pulled even on a goal by Per-Age Skroder, but Russia went back in front later in the first period when Alexander Popov fired a shot past Haugen's blocker.

Patrick Thoresen, the leading scorer in the preliminary round with six goals and 16 points, tied it 28 seconds into the middle stanza on a Norway power play.

Semyon Varlamov made 19 saves for the Russians, who will play either the United States or Finland in the semifinals.

Haugen recorded 40 saves in defeat.

The Sports Network

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