Italy, Germany Advance In World Hockey

Wednesday, May 2nd 2007, 12:38 pm
By: News On 6

MOSCOW (AP) _ Italy and Germany advanced to the qualifying round Wednesday by winning their first games at the hockey world championships.

In Moscow, Jason Cirone scored late in overtime to help Italy defeat Latvia 4-3 in a Group A game. In Mytischi, Michael Wolf scored twice to lead Germany to a 5-3 victory over Norway in a Group C game.

Latvia and Norway will play in the relegation round along with Ukraine and Austria.

Andre Signoretti skated through two Latvian defenders and fed Cirone, who took the pass off his skate and sent the puck past the outstretched pad of Latvia goaltender Sergejs Naumovs at 4:10 of the five-minute overtime.

``It was a pretty easy goal for me,'' Cirone said. ``Andre did all the work taking three guys with him and all I had to do was shoot it in.''

Italy improved to 1-2 in the preliminary round to finish third in Group A. It will face Russia on Friday in the qualification round.

Germany jumped out to a 2-0 lead on power-play goals from Michael Hackert and Wolf in the opening period.

But after the break, Norway pulled ahead with three goals by Mats Trygg, Morten Ask and Lars Erik Spets, all just 3:50 into the second period.

The Germans immediately responded. Wolf scored his second just 25 seconds later, with John Tripp adding the winner less than three minutes later. Alexander Barta added an insurance goal.

The Germans finished third in Group C with a 1-2 record.

Later Wednesday, Canada played Slovakia to determine the top spot in Group C. Switzerland faced defending and Olympic champion Sweden to determine first place in Group A.