Sunday, May 12, 2013
US, Canada, Russia, Swiss into quarters at worlds
HELSINKI -- The United States, Canada, Russia and Switzerland clinched quarterfinal berths at the hockey world championships Sunday.
The Americans beat Germany 3-0.
Bobby Butler and Paul Stastny scored within the first five minutes for the U.S., and Stephen Gionta put the game away midway through the third period. John Gibson finished with 30 saves.
Jeff Skinner scored the game-winner in the third period in Canada's 2-1 win over the Czech Republic.
Skinner went around the net for a wraparound goal against the Czechs. Wayne Simmonds gave Canada the lead in the first period before Petr Koukal tied it six minutes later.
Reigning champion Russia came back after two losses to beat Slovakia 3-1, and unbeaten Switzerland defeated Norway also by 3-1 to win its sixth game.
Gibson has allowed one goal in two games.
"The competition and the players here are great, so it's a big challenge," Gibson said. "But my teammates are making my job a lot easier. With the defense that we have, whenever there is a rebound they are always there to help me out."
U.S. coach Joe Sacco is pleased with the performance of his 19-year-old goalie.
"For two games now Gibson has played extremely well," Sacco said. "It's a credit to him and to the guys in front of him, too. Your penalty killing is only as good as your goaltender, and Gibson came up with two or three great saves.
"Our team seems to come together pretty nicely now. We control our own destiny. We have the opportunity, the possibility, of finishing first in our group."
If the Americans take the top spot they will avoid Finland and Russia.
Russia let Slovakia back into the game after taking a 2-0 lead. A mistake by defenseman and captain Ilya Nikulin allowed Branko Radivojevic to score a short-handed goal to end the second period.
But a mistake by goalkeeper Jaroslav Janus restored the Russians' two-goal advantage, with Denis Denisov's weak shot trickling in. Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov found the net in the first period for Russia.
Swiss goalie Martin Gerber had only 16 saves against Norway, with Simon Moser, Roman Josi and Patrick von Gunten scoring in the victory.