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Finland clinches home ice in quarters

COLOGNE, Germany -- Miikka Kiprusoff earned his second
straight shutout as Finland blanked Germany 3-0 Thursday night in
the World Cup of Hockey, clinching home-ice advantage in the
quarterfinals next week.

Kimmo Timonen of the Nashville Predators, Teemu Selanne of the
Colorado Avalanche and Jere Lehtinen of the Dallas Stars scored for
Finland, which shut out the Czech Republic 4-0 Monday night in
Helsinki.

The Finns now return to their capital to meet archrival Sweden
on Saturday. Sweden also is 2-0 in the European pool and gained
home-ice advantage in the quarters after back-to-back wins over
Germany (5-2) and the Czechs (4-3) in Stockholm.

Germany travels to Prague to meet the Czechs on Friday in a game
between two winless teams. In the quarterfinals, the group winner
meets the No. 4 team, and the runner-up plays the No. 3 team.

Timonen scored the opening goal midway in the first period with
Finland on the power play before a crowd of 12,975. Selanne, who
got an assist on the goal, put in his first midway in the second
period when the Finns had a two-man advantage for 28 seconds.
Selanne one-timed a slap shot from the left circle.

Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals, starting his second game
in goal, had no chance. Timonen set up Selanne's first goal in the
tournament with a perfect pass.

The Germans, who played much better in the second period, had an
excellent chance to get back into the game with a two-man advantage
for two minutes later in the period. But Kiprusoff, who backstopped
Calgary to the Stanley Cup finals last season, was never seriously
challenged.

Instead, Mikko Eloranta -- one of only two players from the
Finnish League -- wasted a golden chance to make it 3-0 after the
Finns killed the penalties. Leaving the penalty box, he took a
mid-ice pass and skated in on a breakaway. But Kolzig made a
brilliant pad save.

Lehtinen made it 3-0 with 4:22 remaining, roofing a backhander
from the slot past a screened Kolzig.