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Canada, USA, Latvia advance at world ice hockey

Canada has defeated the United States, 3-1, while Latvia beat Slovenia by the same score to reach the second round of the World Ice Hockey Championships in Austria.

Rick Nash scored two goals for Canada while Joe Thornton added the third score to leave the Canadians undefeated in preliminary round play. Canada meets Sweden in the next round while the United States will play Finland.

Also in Innsbruck, Latvia beat Slovenia, 3-1, thanks to goals from Martins Cipulis, Atvars Tribuncovs and Girts Ankipans. The Latvians finished third in their group behind Canada and the United States and will play Ukraine in the second round Saturday.

In Vienna, Ales Hemsky's second period goal gave the Czech Republic a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan. The Czechs were without injured star player Jaromir Jagr, but still ended preliminary play undefeated. The Czech Republic faces Slovakia in the second round Saturday.

The top three teams in each of the four groups advanced to second round play. The last-placed teams are relegated and will play to see which nation remains in the tournament next year.

Some information for this report provided by AP