Clinch Sunday At World Championships
United States, Canada, Russia and Switzerland all guarantee spots in Quarterfinals with victories.
Getting down to the end of preliminary play and with most teams having one game left following play on Sunday, teams set themselves up with victories.
Six teams guaranteed themselves spots in the knockout stages. In Group H, the United States, Finland and Russia all have guaranteed spots when the quarters open on Thursday. Meanwhile in Group S, Switzerland, Canada and Sweden will all be playing for medals. Four of them (US, Russia, Canada and Switzerland) all punched their tickets with victories on Mother's Day.
UNITED STATES 3 - GERMANY 0
HELSINKI, Finland - Two goals early in the first period was all the United States would need to clinch a berth into the World Championship quarterfinals. 19-year old John Gibson was strong between the pipes in pitching the shutout as the United States downed Germany 3-0 on Sunday.
Making his second start of the tournament, Gibson stopped all 30 shots from Germany including 11 in the first, seven in the second and 12 in the third. The offense gave him help early thanks to an early power play. Bobby Butler scored his third of the tournament 2:39 into the contest.
Less than three minutes later, it would be a 2-0 game. Colorado's Paul Stastny netted his fourth at the 4:53 mark. They held that the two-goal cushion after 20 minutes of play.
The second went scoreless despite an excellent opportunity by Aaron Palushaj who was awarded a penalty shot with 7:20 remaining. The New Jersey forward however missed on the attempt on D Endras.
In the third, New Jersey's Stephen Gionta gave the Americans a 3-0 advantage when he scored with 8:33 remaining for his third of the tournament.
Nick Bjugstad had a good game in the face-off circle winning 5-of-7 (71.43%) while finishing with four shots in 10:08 of time. Marcel Goc won 60% of his draws and finished with two shots, minus-1 on 17:38 of ice time. The United States' last game will be against Slovakia on Tuesday while Germany looks to get into the quarterfinals with a win against France on Tuesday and with help from a US victory over the Slovaks.
CANADA 2 - CZECH REPUBLIC 1
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Sunday was certainly a battle between Canada and the Czech Republic and thanks to Canada's 2-1 victory, they've guaranteed themselves a spot in the quarterfinals with a game to play as they battle it out with Switzerland for the top spot in Group S.
It was certainly a goaltending duel between Phoenix's Mike Smith and Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec with Smith finishing one save better. The two made 30 and 23 saves respectively on the night.
Canada got on the scoreboard first with help from the power play. With Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek in the box for charging. Carolina's Eric Staal set up Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds with 11:01 gone in the opening period. The Czech's would tie it before the period was over however when Petr Koukal beat Smith with 2:57 to play.
The teams combined for 18 shots in the second but it was still a 1-1 game heading into the third. There, Carolina's Jeff Skinner netted the game-winner on a beauty, scoring on a wraparound with 6:55 in as he was set up from Smith.
RUSSIA 3 - SLOVAKIA 1
HELSINKI, FINLAND - A game that both teams needed, saw Russia clinch a quarterfinal berth while leaving Slovakia still scrambling for one of their own as the Russians earned a 3-1 victory.
It was a closely contested game throughout as Russia held a 24-23 advantage in the shot category and it took more than a period to find the game's first goal. Given a power play attempt early in the second, Russia converted as Alexander Radulov scored 5:36 in. They had a 2-0 lead with 8:16 to play when New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk connected on his seventh goal of the tournament.
Slovakia would make it a 2-1 game heading into the final period when Branko Radivojevic scored with his team shorthanded as his goal came with 16 seconds to play but Russia answered 4:48 into the third when Denis Denisov netted the unassisted tally past Jaroslav Janus.
Tomas Kopecky finished with one shot and was plus-1 on 15:04 of ice time.