Latvia beats Czechs to reach WJC quarterfinals
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Harvard forward Matthew Coronato scored twice and the defending champion United States held off Sweden 3-2 on Sunday night to finish 4-0 in Group B play in the world junior hockey championship.
Brett Berard also scored for the Americans and Kaidan Mbereko made 28 saves. The U.S. will face the Czech Republic — the fourth-place team in Group A— in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
“We were moving our feet best in the third period and were really playing to our identity in that final period,” U.S. coach Nate Leaman said. “I thought we were a little tight to start the game but that’s to be expected. It’s better to get that out of the way before quarterfinals.”
Sweden (2-1) rallied in the third, with Emil Andrae cutting it to 3-1 with 9:22 to go and Ake Stakkestad making it a one-goal game on a power play with 1:45 left and goalie Jesper Wallstedt off for an extra attacker.
Sweden will play Germany (2-1) on Monday for second place in the group.
In Group A, Ralfs Bergmanis had a hat trick and Latvia beat the Czech Republic 5-2 to secure a quarterfinal spot.
Only in the field after Russia and Belarus were expelled, Latvia (1-2-1) finished third in the group — a spot ahead of the Czech Republic (1-2-1).
Earlier, Kasper Simontaival had two goals and an assist in Finland's 9-3 victory over Slovakia. Joel Maatta also scored twice for Finland (2-1), which will face Canada (3-0) on Monday for the top spot in the group.
Slovakia finished 0-3-1.