May 1, 2009

USA bests France in world hockey

Kyle Okposo opened the scoring 4:02 into the game Friday and the United States cruised to a 6-2 victory over France at the World Hockey Championship.

The Americans opened the second round-robin phase of the tournament by moving to within one point of Russia in Group F. The United States and Russia will meet Saturday.

The top four from each of the six-team groups will reach next week's quarterfinals.

Team USA spent more than nine minutes on the power play in the first period and capitalized by outshooting the French 20-3. David Backes scored midway through the period and Matt Niskanen made it 3-0 at the 4:51 mark of the second.

In the only other second-round game Friday, Finland recorded a 2-1 victory over Slovakia in Group F.

With two games remaining in the second round, Russia is on top of Group F with eight points. The United States has seven while Switzerland, Sweden and Latvia all have four. France remains without a point.

In Group E, Canada is on top with nine points, followed by Finland with eight, Belarus with four, the Czech Republic with three, Slovakia with two and Norway with one.