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Sekera nets winning goal versus U.S.; Slovakia wins its first game

HELSINKI -- The United States lost to Slovakia, 4-2, Monday for its first loss at hockey's world championships after opening with two victories, as Buffalo Sabres' defenseman Andrej Sekera had the game-winning goal.

Slovakia won for the first time in the tournament after two defeats. The Americans previously beat France and Canada.

In an earlier game in the 16-team tournament, Canada routed France, 7-2.

Dominik Granak of Slovakia opened the scoring 47 seconds into the game. Less than 15 minutes later, Slovakia's Branko Radivojevic made it 2-0. Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes cut it to 2-1 at 15:41.

Sekera struck at 19:54 to put Slovakia ahead, 3-1.

"Marcel Hascak made a nice play to Mario Bliznak who shot the puck. The goalie stopped it but the puck came straight to me and I just tried to shoot it, and it went in," Sekera said.

Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny added another goal with 1:13 to go in the second period to make it 3-2. Miroslav Satan, an ex-Sabre, of Slovakia completed the scoring with an empty-net goal with 37 seconds left in the game.

"I think we had enough chances yesterday, but it wasn't meant to be. Tonight, we finally got some luck and scored some goals the hard way," Satan said.

Team USA forward Bobby Ryan said, "It was three points we should have had. We throw away the first period, even though we dominated the game in many areas. Their goalie was phenomenal, and their defence played a good game. Hopefully this was a wakeup call for us, for the rest of the tournament."

Canada was powered by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars with two goals each.

The Canadians bolted to a 4-0 lead after 18 minutes and ran their record to 2-0-1. The French fell to 1-2-0.

Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring 1:59 into the first period and went on to add another goal and an assist. Chicago's Patrick Sharp had a goal and four assists and Benn had two goals and an assist. Edmonton's Jordan Eberle and Anaheim's Corey Perry also scored for Canada.

Brian Henderson and Alexandre Gaudreau Rouleau scored for France, which rested top goalie Cristobal Huet and used 39-year-old Fabrice L'Henry.

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