Canada benefits from Slovakia win

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:17 PM ET

HELSINKI - Canadian coach Brent Sutter insisted it wasn’t the end of the world, that it was a long tournament and that the big thing was getting the point in the standings.

Turned out the wait wasn’t long for that to be true, after Canada lost for only the fourth time in 42 world hockey championship games, 5-4 in overtime here Saturday.

Canada’s 7-2 win over France was basically a non-event at the world championships of hockey here Monday. But Slovakia’s 4-2 victory over the United States changed everything.

Slovakia hadn’t beat the U.S. since 2000.

“We’re happy with the three points and hopefully they’ll mean something at the end of the tournament,” said Miroslav Satan, who put the game away with an empty-net goal after Andrej Sekera, Dominik Granak and Branco Radivojevic had scored for Slovakia with Justin Faulk and Paul Stastny, son of Slovakian great Peter Stastny, scoring for the Americans.

Slovakia, in 10th place in the world rankings and needing to move up at least one position to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Olympics, had lost two one-goal games — 3-2 to Canada and 1-0 to Finland — to open the tournament.

The loss left the Americans with a three-point win and a two-point overtime win for five points in the standings. Canada, with two three-point wins and a one-point overtime loss, has seven points.

Finland and Switzerland, both 2-0 with six points each in the standings, play each other Tuesday. Canada faces Switzerland Wednesday.

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