Canada makes quarterfinals at worlds with 4-3 win vs France
PRAGUE (AP) Canada overcame France 4-3 Saturday to maintain a perfect record at the ice hockey world championship and become the first team to secure a quarterfinal spot.
Defending champion Russia thrashed Belarus 7-0 for its fourth win at the tournament.
Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle deflected Bret Burns' shot into the net on a power play to break a 3-3 tie with 10:42 remaining in the final period. It was his second goal of the game.
''They have a good team, they work hard,'' Eberle said about France, which stunned the Canadians 3-2 after a penalty shootout at last year's worlds.
''Every year there's a game where you're in a real fight to get the puck in the net,'' he said. ''You have to find a way to win, and today we did that with our power play.''
Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin also scored twice on power plays for Canada, which outshot France 43-21.
Canada tops Group A with 15 points from five games, followed by Sweden with 11 points, and the host Czech Republic with 10.
The top four teams in each of the two groups of eight will make the quarterfinals.
Seguin and Jordan Eberle scored 66 seconds apart in the opening period for a 2-0 lead before Julien Desrosiers pulled one back for France.
Seguin added his second in the middle period before Canada allowed France to come back in the third on goals from Yorick Treille and Damien Fleury.
Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin scored his first goal of the tournament and added one assist for Russia. Seven different players scored a goal apiece for the Russians, including captain Ilya Kovalchuk
''We haven't always played as well as we should,'' Kovalchuk said. ''One good game doesn't make a full season.''
Russia joined the United States atop Group B with 12 points. Belarus is third with 10, one ahead of Finland.
Later Saturday, Sweden can clinch a quarterfinal berth with a victory over Switzerland. Also, Finland plays Slovakia, Norway takes on Denmark and Austria faces Latvia.