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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Double Loss Hits Canada

Five of the world's top six national hockey teams arrived in Moscow this week to compete in the 29th annual Izvestia tournament for an 80,000-Swiss francs first prize and the traditional Snowman trophy.

Canada, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, along with the hosts,`are represented by their best players outside of the National Hockey League.

On Tuesday, the Russians overcame an early 1-0 deficit, scoring three unanswered goals in the last period to beat the Czechs 3-1. In the first game at the CSKA Ice Palace, Finland easily disposed of Canada 6-1, giving the birthplace of hockey its second straight defeat in as many days.

When the Finns led 3-0 after the first 29 minutes, the Canadians pulled their starting veteran goalie Kay Whitmore, who played seven full seasons in the NHL for Hartford and Vancouver, in favor of newcomer Jardan Willis but the latter didn't fare any better, giving up two quick goals on the first two shots he faced.

On the opening day, Monday, the Swedes also beat the Canadians 5-1, while in the late game Russia powered past the Finnish team 3-1 on the strength of two former NHLers, Sergei Petrenko and Vyacheslav Butsaev, who combined on both of Russia's opening goals, giving their team the lead it never relinquished.

This season, Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Czech Republic, the four dominant European hockey nations, have combined their annual tournaments into one, so that the best overall team will be crowned the unofficial European champion and will get the additional bonus of $100,000.