United States hammer Slovakia to go top, Sweden qualify


Johnny Gaudreau scored twice as the United States beat Slovakia 6-1 to move above Russia at the top of IIHF World Championship Group A, while Sweden beat Denmark to seal a quarter-final spot.

The USA and Russia will meet on Tuesday in a contest which will decide who will finish at the summit after Gaudreau inspired a comfortable victory in Cologne on Sunday.

The Calgary Flames winger opened his account in the second period and also laid on another before doubling his tally to make it 5-1 in the third, Kevin Hayes with the assist.

Clayton Keller, Christian Dvorak, Jacob Trouba and Anders Lee were also on target as the USA made it five wins out of six to go a point ahead of Russia, who have a game in hand.

Sweden will feature in the last eight after Niklas Backstrom was on target in a 4-2 triumph over Denmark just hours after flying in from Washington.

Backstrom touched down in Germany on Sunday morning after the Washington Capitals' elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday and was clearly not suffering from jet lag, scoring one goal and assisting another, while Oscar Lindberg also struck in his first game of the tournament.

Finland fought back from two down to defeat Switzerland 3-2 and replace them in third spot in Group B.

Valtteri Filppula was Finland's hero, scoring from a tight angle in overtime to complete a rousing fightback, while Czech Republic struck a blow to France's hopes of reaching the knockout stages with a 5-2 victory.