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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia, U.S. Skate To Decisive Wins

VIENNA -- Andrei Skopintsev and Roman Oksiouta each scored a pair of third period goals to lead Russia to a 6-2 win over crowd favorites Slovakia in the World Ice Hockey Championships.


Earlier on Monday, the United States used a balanced attack to beat host nation Austria 5-1 in both teams' opening matches of pool play.


Russia, looking more poised than the team that scrambled to a 2-1 win over Germany in its opening game Sunday, moved to the top of group A. The Czech Republic and Italy head group B.


Dmitri Kvartalnov put Russia ahead 1-0 five minutes into the opening period when he dug the puck out from behind the Slovak net and jammed it past net-minder Jaromir Dragan.


The lead was short-lived as New York Islander sniper Zigmund Palffy replied for the Slovaks 33 seconds later.


Russia went ahead to stay midway through the period when Kvartalnov threaded a perfect pass to Sergei Berezin just off the Slovak goal mouth. Berezin then slammed the puck home.


After a scoreless second period, the Slovaks were visibly tired while the Russians picked up the tempo and exploded for four goals.


Slovakia's Oto Hascak closed out the scoring at just over a minute remaining in the game. The Slovaks, riding high after a 3-3 tie with Canada on Sunday, are expected to advance to the eight-team medal round joining Russia, Canada and the United States from Pool A.


The Americans opened their game sluggishly and seemed surprised by the Austrians' physical play -- an influence of Canadian-born coach Ken Tyler.


Darby Hendrickson of the New York Islanders gave the United States a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, knocking in a rebound after Austria's goalie Reinhard Divis couldn't control a Martin McInnis slap shot.


San Jose's Thomas Pederson added another for the Americans, but Richard Nasheim cut the U.S lead to 2-1 just under two minutes later, when U.S. goalie Parris Duffus -- called up from Springfield in the minor-league AHL -- let a shot trickle in under his catching arm.


The Americans regained the two-goal lead 13:04 into the second period when Joe Sacco of Anaheim scored on a wrist shot from the right side, another power-play goal. They stretched their lead to 4-1 just over a minute into the third period on a goal by Chris Tancill of San Jose and finished off the scoring a when Brian Bonin tucked the puck into the net off a pass from behind the goal by Robert Reynolds.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)