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World Championship Roundup: Make Way for the Playoffs

The quarter-final matchups are set after blowout wins for Canada and Finland, and a close victory for Japan.
Women's World Championship

Canadians Dominate Americans in 5-1 Victory

It wasn't the classic matchup we're used to seeing from the two North American powerhouses, but Canada won't mind after taking a 5-1 win over the United States to close out the preliminary round.

It was a crushing loss for the Americans, who entered the game with a 29-game overall winning streak dating back to a loss to Canada back in 2013. 

The Americans had no answer for the Canadians, allowing four goals by the 27:16 mark. Melodie Daoust started things with a goal at 7:13 off of a Natalie Spooner feed and Renata Fast scored six minutes later to double the advantage. 

The Americans, hungry on the first shift of the second ended up taking a too-many-men penalty, and while the Americans successfully killed off the penalty, they couldn't keep up, speed-wise afterward. Jamie Lee Rattray scored twice three minutes a part and Sarah Nurse scored another three minutes after that to take a monumental 5-0 advantage. Lee Stecklein scored the lone American goal, her second of the round robin, in the third to end Ann-Renee Desbiens' shutout.

Finland Cruises to 6-0 Shutout Win

It wasn't exactly a close outing between Finland and Switzerland, with the Finns shutting out Switzerland 6-0 on Thursday to finish off the preliminary round. 

It was lopsided from an early point in the game. Susanna Tapani scored the first goal at 4:38 on the power play to make it 1-0 before Petra Nieminen got a natural hat-trick to close out the period. Tapani scored in the second to make it 5-0 and Viivi Vainikka scored her first goal of the tournament to finish things off.

The Swiss only managed nine shots in the game, split with four in the first, one in the second and four in the third.

Japan Wins Close Game Over Germany

In the final game of the round robin, Japan snuck out with a 2-1 win thanks to a strong second-period effort over Germany.

It was a tough result for the Germans, who actually scored first at 14:52. Kerstin Spielberger grabbed her own rebound to open the scoring, but it was the only time the Germans had something to cheer about.

In the second, Japan took over. Hanae Kubo scored at 2:13 to knot things up and after some sustained pressure in front of the German crease, Hiraku Yamashita gave Japan its first lead of the contest.

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Three Stars

1. Petra Nieminen, F (FIN): With a hat-trick, Nieminen's inclusion was a no-brainer here.

2. Jamie Lee Rattray, F (CAN): Two goals in yet another great performance from one of Canada's most underutilized players.

3. Susanna Tapani, F (FIN): Two goals, including the game-winner, to help Finland end things off in a strong manner.

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Quarter-final Matchups (Aug. 28)

Russia vs. Switzerland
Germany vs. Canada
USA vs. Japan
Finland vs. Czech Republic

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