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Blues Goalie Conklin Stars in U.S. Loss

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US goalkeeper Ty Conklin makes a safe during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship group F qualification round match between Canada and USA in Kosice, on May 6, 2011.  (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

US goalkeeper Ty Conklin makes a safe during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship group F qualification round match between Canada and USA in Kosice, on May 6, 2011. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

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KOSICE, Slovakia (AP) — Jordan Eberle and captain Rick Nash scored in a penalty shootout to lift Canada to a 4-3 victory over the United States in the second round of the ice hockey world championship on Friday.

Canada goalie James Reimer made 17 saves and stopped Jack Johnson and Blake Wheeler in the shootout.

“It was difficult, they have a good team, they work hard and they proved that,” Nash said. “It’s a great rivalry (between Canada and U.S.) … It was a tough game but we enjoyed it.”

Canada leads Group F with seven points and plays Norway on Saturday while the U.S. has four with two more games left. The U.S. faces France next in a must-win game.

“Satisfied? Not really,” Johnson said. “It’s a loss, no matter how it looked like it was a loss.”

Canada outshot the U.S. 52-20 in the game and 14-4 in the first period but couldn’t immediately find the net.

After a scoreless first period, Mike Komisarek scored what looked like a soft goal from inside the blue line to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead 4:13 into the second.

Reimer said he would probably never concede a goal like that again.

Brent Burns equalized two minutes later but Blake Wheeler set up the second U.S. goal for Jack Johnson to score on a breakaway later in the period.

Canada came back again through John Tavares, who scored 3:27 into the third, and took the lead when Jason Spezza scored on a power play.

Derek Stepan tied the game with 8:43 remaining to force overtime with his first goal of the tournament.

“It’s a big game for us,” Stepan said. “We came up a little short. But I feel we played pretty well, we played the right game.”

Canada pressed for a winner but U.S. goalie Ty Conklin, who made 48 saves in the game, stood firm.

“He made some great saves out there when it was 3-2,” Nash said. “We could win 4-3 but during the end of the game he made some key saves, he’s a good goalie.”

Canada coach Ken Hitchcock was clearly satisfied with the team’s performance.

“We played really well from start to finish,” he said. “I was really impressed with the way our players refused to get frustrated and just kept coming and coming.”

Copyright Associated Press

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