Koutsky stops 39 shots as Czechs down Americans

, Last Updated: 12:21 AM ET

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (CP) -- The United States will have to take the long way around to defend its world junior hockey championship.

Vladislav Koutsky stopped 39 shots to lead the Czech Republic to a 3-1 win over the Americans on Thursday in Pool A action.

The loss was the second straight for the Americans, who finished third in their pool. That means the U.S. will play Sweden in the quarter-finals.

A win would've given the Americans top spot and a berth in the semifinals. Instead, that benefit goes to Russia, which beat Switzerland 6-1 to finish first in Pool A with a 3-1 record.

In Pool B action, Sweden beat Slovakia 3-0 to finish second behind unbeaten Canada (4-0).

Rostislav Olesz had two goals for the Czechs. Lukas Kaspar had the other.

Dan Fritsche replied for the Americans, who dropped a 5-3 decision to Belarus on Wednesday night.

Alexander Ovechkin led Russia's attack with two goals and one assist. Dimitri Vorobiev, Dmitri Pestunov, Alexander Galimov and Georgi Misharin also scored.

Marco Kaser had the lone goal for Switzerland.

Russia scored two goals in the final three minutes of the second period. The Swiss (1-3) will play Germany on Saturday in the consolation game.

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