By KAREL JANICEK Associated Press
MINSK, Belarus — Joel Ward scored two power-play goals and had an assist to lift Canada to a 3-2 victory over Norway at the ice hockey world championship on Tuesday, clinching first place in Group A.
Ward tied the game at 1-1 in the second period before helping to set up Mark Scheifele for 2-2. He netted the winner — his sixth at the tournament — in the third with 9:17 left. Anders Bastiansen and Mads Hansen scored for Norway.
“We felt good about ourselves,” Ward said. “We had a lot of chances, a lot of shots. We had some power plays. We just got to capitalize on special teams.”
Canada won Group A ahead of Sweden, and will play the fourth-place team from Group B in the quarterfinals, Latvia or Finland.
Latvia must win over Switzerland on Tuesday to make it to the final eight.
Also later Tuesday, the Czech Republic played France to decide who finishes third in the group. The loser will face Group B winner Russia in the quarterfinals.
United States captain Justin Abdelkader returned from a one-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit and scored twice in a 5-4 win over Germany in their final group stage game.
“I felt pretty good as the game went on, pretty fresh. I just wanted to hopefully spark my team tonight and it was a big win for us.”
The U.S. was second in Group B, two points ahead of Belarus, which faced Russia late Tuesday.
“We didn’t play the way we wanted come on, took too many penalties,” Abdelkader said after seven U.S. players were sent to the penalty box during the game.
“Hopefully, we can learn from that.”
Johnny Gaudreau scored a power play goal and added three assists, Drew Shore had a sort-handed goal and Matt Donovan also scored for the U.S. on a power play.
“It was a fun game,” Gaudreau said. “Thanks to my linemates, Abdelkader and Stapleton, two older guys who just help me get better every single day.”
Germany and Norway didn’t make the playoffs.