U.S. advances at hockey world championships


RIGA, Latvia -The United States beat winless Denmark 3-0 Sunday with goals from Andrew Alberts, Yan Stastny and Richard Park to reach the second round at hockey’s world championships along with Canada and Finland.

Canada routed Norway 7-1 behind Sidney Crosby’s goal and three assists, joining the U.S. in the next round from Group D with 2-0 records with one game left. The Americans finish first-round play against Canada on Tuesday.

The Czech Republic held on for a 5-4 win over Slovenia after taking a 4-0 first-period lead, and Finland shut out host Latvia 5-0 in Group A games. Coming off a 1-1 tie with Latvia, the favored Czechs were looking for a win and three points in the standings against Slovenia.

Finland combined tight penalty killing with a solid power play to blank Latvia and assure its spot in the qualification round. Latvia must get at least a tie against Slovenia on Tuesday to advance.

The U.S. win avenged a startling loss in the prelims to Denmark three years ago when the championships were in Finland.

U.S. goalie Craig Anderson, a backup with the Chicago Blackhawks this season, made 19 saves for his first shutout in the tournament. He gave up one goal in the opener against Norway.

“It was definitely an easy night,” Anderson said. “I only had to make the first save, any rebound the defense cleared up and made great plays. We really played well together as a team tonight. So far it has worked fine for us in two games and we’re going to try to do the same in the next game.”

Park, the U.S. captain, praised Anderson.

“Goaltending has been our biggest strength in this tournament,” Park said. “We’ll try to give him the outside shots and clear the rebounds.”

Canada, of course, will be much tougher for the Americans.

“It’s going to be an all-around effort,” Anderson said. “With this big ice, there are going to be a lot of chances offensively. But it’s going to be a little more physical against Canada. Even with the bigger ice surface, I think it’s going to come down to defense and whoever makes more mistakes are going to lose.”

Associated Press writer Timothy Jacobs contributed to this report.

AP-ES-05-07-06 1726EDT