Canada earns top seed in quarters at worlds

MYTISCHI, Russia -- Matthew Lombardi scored three goals
Monday to give undefeated Canada a 6-3 victory over the United
States and a top seeding entering the quarterfinals of hockey's
world championships.

Canada next plays Switzerland. The Americans, who finished
second in the qualifying round, play the tougher Finns.

In Moscow, Evgeni Malkin scored the winning goal and assisted on
another as Russia remained undefeated with a 4-2 win over defending
and Olympic champion Sweden. Russia, the other top seed in the
quarters, will face the Czech Republic. Sweden will play Slovakia.

Canada's Jay McClement scored eight seconds into the game, but
the International Ice Hockey Federation could not confirm if that
was a championship record.

"It was huge for us. It set the tone," Lombardi said.
"Basically, we started the game with a 1-0 lead."

Mike Cammalleri put Canada up 2-0 less than two minutes later,
banging in a cross-crease pass from Eric Staal on the power play.

"It's the first time we scored first all tournament,"
McClement said. "Then the second goal kind of took the wind out of
their sails."

Lombardi made it 3-0 at 12:48. Cammalleri scored his second less
than a minute later, tipping in a slap shot from Dan Hamhuis.

Paul Stastny scored for the U.S. at 9:47 of the second, but
Lombardi added his second with a slap shot from the top of the
circle at 15:19. Lee Stempniak reduced the gap less than three
minutes later, one-timing a perfect pass from Erik Johnson.

In the third period, the U.S. replaced embattled goalie John
Grahame with Jason Bacashihua.

Lombardi completed his hat trick at 11:58 in the final period.
Stastny also scored for the U.S., at 13:42.

"Hopefully we'll meet again in a more meaningful game later
on," Stempniak said.

Malkin scored on a slap shot from the high slot at 9:51 of the
third period, beating Sweden goalie Erik Ersberg low on the stick
side to put Russia up 3-2. Alexei Morozov put the game out of reach
at 16:33 when he took a pass from Sergei Zinoviev and wristed a
shot past Ersberg from the faceoff circle.

Alexander Steen tied it 2-2, picking up a loose puck in close
and slipping it between the pads of Russian goalie Alexander
Eremenko at 18:22 of the second period. Denis Grebeshkov gave
Russia a 2-1 lead three minutes into the second period, stuffing in
a rebound behind Ersberg.

Sweden took a 1-0 lead at 8:43 of the first period when Martin
Thornberg beat Eremenko on the power play. Russia tied it in the
17th minute when Alexander Kharitonov split two Swedish defenders
and was hauled down, giving Russia a penalty shot. Alexei Morozov
lifted a backhand over the shoulder of Ersberg.

Earlier, with only tournament rankings at stake, Michael Wolf
scored twice, including the winner, to lift Germany over Belarus
6-5 and improve his country's chances of an automatic berth for the
2010 Olympics. Germany was ninth at the worlds and Belarus 11th.

Denmark defeated Italy 5-2 in the final game for both teams. The
Danes ended 10th and claimed their first top-10 finish since
joining the top division in 2003. The Italians finished 12th.

This tournament and the 2008 worlds in Canada count toward
Olympic qualification in Vancouver, following which the top nine
teams in the IIHF rankings directly enter the Olympics. Those
ranked 10th and worse will compete for the last three spots.

In the relegation round, Austria beat Ukraine 8-4, but both
teams will still be relegated because of Norway's 7-4 win over
Latvia. Norway and Latvia remain in the elite 16-team division for
another season.