Hockey Roundup

Slovakia routs Latvia; Swiss survive in OT

Associated Press / February 21, 2010

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Marian Hossa scored early in the second period last night and Slovakia followed its big victory over Russia by routing winless Latvia, 6-0.

Jaroslav Halak made just 21 saves for the shutout. He was sent to a big first-period lead with goals by Lubomir Visnovsky, Richard Zednik, and Jozef Stumpel.

Michal Handzus had a goal one minute after Hossa’s score in the second. Ivan Baranka made it 6-0 late in the game.

Slovakia finished the preliminary round with five points thanks to a win in regulation and the shootout victory over Russia. The Russians play the Czech Republic today for first place in Group B. The Slovaks will have to win Tuesday to earn a quarterfinal spot.

Slovakia will have to keep winning to stay here, needing a victory against an undetermined opponent to advance to the quarterfinals. But the Slovaks will have some confidence after beating the Russians Thursday.

Latvia lost its first three games. It will play at least another game, probably against a team that just missed earning a bye.

Switzerland 5, Norway 4 - Maybe the Swiss looked past Norway. Or maybe their gutsy effort in pushing Canada to the brink took a bit out of them.

Whatever it was, Switzerland couldn’t pull away from a Norwegian team that forced three ties before finally winning in overtime.

Switzerland nearly pulled off an Olympic shocker Thursday in a 3-2 shootout loss that had all of Canada fretting about the gold-medal favorite. Getting up to play Norway, which had been outscored, 14-1, in losses to Canada and the United States, seemed to present a new challenge.

“Against the Canadians we played simple, we played our game,’’ Switzerland goalie Jonas Hiller said. “We tried to create some offensive zone time when we cycled the puck. We didn’t do that today. We were just throwing pucks at the net but there was nobody in front of the net and we barely got any second chances.’’

Tore Vikingstad’s third goal of the game sent Norway into overtime, but Romano Lemm pulled out the win for Switzerland 2:28 into the extra session.

Switzerland 6, China 0 - Stefanie Marty scored four goals, Florence Schelling made 21 saves, and Switzerland routed China in a classification game.

Captain Kathrin Lehmann and Lucrece Nussbaum also scored for the Swiss, who have rebounded from consecutive losses to Sweden and Canada with two high-scoring victories.

Russia 4, Slovakia 2 - Iya Gavrilova scored her second goal with 9:34 to play, and Russia won its second straight after an 0-2 start.