USA rallies past Switzerland, Canada clips Slovakia at Worlds

Updated: 5/10 4:32 pm

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Minsk, Belarus (SportsNetwork.com) - The Americans scored a pair of third- period goals to rally past Switzerland Saturday, while Canada bounced back from Friday's setback with a win over Slovakia during preliminary-round action at the 2014 World Hockey Championship.

The United States trailed 2-1 heading into the third period, but received a power-play goal from Craig Smith to even things. Tyler Johnson broke the deadlock later in the frame to help the Americans claim a 3-2 victory and improve to 2-0 in Group B play.

Peter Mueller registered the other marker for the Americans, while goaltender Tim Thomas turned aside 27 shots in the triumph.

Damien Brunner and Denis Hollenstein each scored once for Switzerland, which fell to 0-2 in Group B play. Reto Berra stopped 35 shots in the setback.

After dropping a 3-2 decision to France in a shootout on Friday, Canada had little trouble handling Slovakia, as Joel Ward scored twice to send the Canadians to a 4-1 victory.

Kevin Bieksa and Cody Hodgson also lit the lamp, while Ben Scrivens stopped 23 shots. With a win and an overtime loss, Canada has four points in Group A play.

Karol Sloboda supplied Slovakia's lone goal, while Jan Laco allowed all four goals on 28 shots. Slovakia suffered an overtime loss to the Czech Republic in its first game of the preliminary round.

Earlier in the day, Latvia stunned Finland during preliminary round action at the 2014 World Hockey Championship.

Kristaps Sotnieks and Arturs Kulda scored power-play goals in the third period to give Latvia a 3-2 win over Finland.

Kaspars Daugavins scored Latvia's other goal and goaltender Edgars Masalskis made 22 saves. Miikka Salomaki and Tuukka Mantyla lit the lamp for Finland, which saw Pekka Rinne make 23 saves.

Mikael Backlund scored twice to lead Sweden to a 3-0 win against Denmark. Anders Nilsson stopped 21 shots to earn the shutout, while Patrick Galbraith made 31 saves for Denmark.

Norway and Germany posted wins earlier Saturday.

Lars Haugen made 15 saves in Norway's 3-0 win over Italy. Niklas Roest, Morten Ask and Anders Bastiansen lit the lamp for the victors.

Thomas Oppenheimer scored the deciding goal in the shootout to lift Germany over Kazakhstan, 2-1. The shootout was tied 1-1 on goals by Alexander Barta and Dmitri Upper when Oppenheimer scored on the final shot.

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