United States trounces Russia at world hockey championship

Paul Stastny had two goals and two assists and Craig Smith set up five on Thursday to give the United States an 8-3 win over Russia and a spot in the semifinals of the hockey world championship.

Win for Finland, potential opponent for Canada

Russia's Alexander Ovechkin, left, vies for the puck with USA's Matt Hunwick during the 2013 Ice Hockey IIHF World Championships Group B Quarterfinal match Russia vs USA in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/LEHTIKUVA / Martti Kainulainen) FINLAND OUT

Paul Stastny had two goals and two assists and Craig Smith had five assists on Thursday to give the United States a spot in the hockey world championships semifinals with an 8-3 pounding of Russia on Thursday.

It was the first time Russia or the Soviet Union had let in eight goals in the worlds or Olympics.

David Moss also scored, and five players other players — Ryan Carter, Nate Thompson, Jacob Trouba and the two late additions of TJ Oshie and Alex Galchenyuk — all had their first goal in the tournament. Goaltender John Gibson made 31 saves.

The Americans will next face Switzerland, who, winning 2-1, eliminated 2012 bronze medalist Czech Republic in Stockholm. Denis Hollenstein and Roman Josi had goals in the first and second periods. Zdenek Kutlak was the only Czech to score.

Russia's late addition, star forward Alexander Ovechkin, started the final period finishing a second Russian goal after 1:33. Carter's shorthand goal at 2:55 made it 5-2, but Russia again came within two 45 seconds later.

"Everything was timely today," United States coach Joe Sacco said. "The early goal in the last period makes it a new game. As we scored we were kind of getting the momentum back. It could easily have stayed in the Russians' favor after that second goal. Two goals is not out of reach for that team with their firepower."

Russia scored again, but the U.S. had a brutal knockout blow waiting. In less than two minutes, the Americans hit three unanswered goals between 8:11 and 10:07 to go up 8-3. Trouba and the smart and tough forward David Moss hit goals from the outside, and 11 seconds after Moss, team captain Stastny made it 8-3 with his second of the afternoon.

"We got to make a good start when our goaltender played well, especially in the first few minutes when they had a couple of chances. He made a couple of big saves to help us stay at 0-0," Sacco said. "To be able to take the lead against a very good team like that is also important."

"We felt proud of our accomplishment to beat such a quality opponent. We capitalized on a lot of our chances with opportunistic play, and we did a very good job defensively, as well as we could against a high power offense. We did it with a lot of discipline."

Apart from Ovechkin's goal for the Russians, Alexander Svitov and Alexander Perezhogin scored. Goalkeepers Ilya Bryzgalov, pulled after 4-1, and Semyon Varlamov combined for 23 saves.

Finland beat Slovakia 4-3 in the first of two late games and will play either Sweden or Canada in the semifinals.

Finland had some anxious moments when Slovakia rebounded from a 3-0 deficit, but Juhamatti Aaltonen scored the winner at 8:13 after goalie Antti Raanta made key saves earlier in period. He finished with 33 saves.

Finland's top line combined for eight points with Petri Kontiola scoring two goals and Aaltonen another.