Canada defeated United States 3-0 to claim top spot in Group A of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, while Russia's 7-4 win over Sweden meant they finished first in Group B.

Six matches on Tuesday concluded the group stage of the tournament in Slovakia.

The eight qualifiers for the quarter-finals – the top four teams in each group – were known, but final placings were up for grabs.

Canada's reward is a last-eight clash against Switzerland – who finished fourth in Group B – on Thursday, while Russia, who have a 100 per cent record after seven games, will take on USA in a mouth-watering tie.

Finland will play Sweden and Czech Republic face Germany in the other two quarter-final contests.

Canada made a fast start against USA with goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Turris in the first period setting them on their way.

Jared McCann of the Pittsburgh Penguins netted in the second to seal the win, while the impressive Matt Murray made 28 saves at the other end en route to a shutout.

They overhauled previous leaders Finland, who lost 4-2 to Germany, while hosts Slovakia ended their tournament on a high after beating Denmark in a shootout.

In Group B, Czech Republic won a lively encounter 5-4 against Switzerland and Latvia beat Norway 4-1 in a match between two teams who already knew they would be eliminated.

The United States inched closer to a IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship quarter-final spot as Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane shone again in a 7-1 victory over Denmark.

Kane scored three points in the Group A success, as did Chicago team-mate Alex DeBrincat, with USA now virtually assured of a last-eight berth.

That would have been confirmed had hosts Slovakia not beaten Great Britain, but the hosts remain in the hunt after a convincing 7-1 triumph in which they scored three times in each of the first two periods.

With three of the top-four spots in Group A already sewn up, USA would join Finland, Canada and Germany in the quarter-finals if they beat the Germans on Sunday.

In Group B, Sweden's last-eight hopes were boosted by a thrilling 4-3 win over Switzerland in a repeat of last year's final.

Defending champions Sweden again came out on top thanks to Oliver Ekman-Larsson's game-winner in the third period.

Canada inflicted a first defeat on Germany, who went down 8-1 in Group A, while in Group B, Russia beat Latvia 3-1 and Norway overcame Italy 7-1.

Finland coasted to a 5-0 win over Great Britain at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to return to the top of Group A on Friday.

Jussi Olkinuora made 12 saves in his first career start for his country as Finland overcame a goalless first period against an improved British defence to prevail.

Toni Rajala needed just 25 seconds to break the deadlock in the second, while Atte Ohtamaa and Joel Kiviranta also scored as Finland stamped their authority on proceedings.

Britain gave up an empty-netter to Kristian Kuusela and Mikko Lehtonen scored with the clock winding down to put Finland back above Germany, who have a game in hand.

Also in Group A, Slovakia ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over France.

Richard Panik scored the opening goal and provided two assists for Slovakia, who boosted their flagging quarter-final hopes with the win.

In Group B, Christian Bull celebrated a hat-trick as Norway won for the first time in this year's Championship thanks to a 5-3 result against Austria.

The Czech Republic, without a medal in the tournament since sealing bronze in 2012, hammered Italy 8-0 in the pool's other fixture – Michael Frolik managing a pair of goals and also assisting twice, while Dmitrij Jaskin also finished with two goals.

Alex Ovechkin helped Russia continue their impressive start to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, while the United States claimed a win on Wednesday.

Russia made it four wins from four in Group B with a 10-0 thrashing of Italy in Slovakia.

Washington Capitals star Ovechkin scored his first goal of the tournament, while Nikita Kucherov (one goal, three assists) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (two goals, two assists) each finished with four points.

Russia and Switzerland are the only unbeaten teams in the group after the latter overcame Norway 4-1.

In Group A, Patrick Kane scored and provided two assists in USA's 6-3 win over Great Britain.

The Chicago Blackhawks star became USA's all-time leading scorer at the tournament with 36 points.

It was USA's third win in four games and left them behind Germany, who maintained their perfect start by edging hosts Slovakia 3-2.

Dylan Larkin struck in overtime to give the United States a 3-2 win over Finland, while Russia maintained their perfect record in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Monday.

Larkin took a long pass from Quinn Hughes and settled a tense encounter with 63:47 on the clock at Steel Arena in Kosice.

Defeat for Finland was the Group A leaders' first of the tournament and came after they had rallied from 2-0 down with goals from Harri Pesonen and Niko Ojamaki.

Russia made it three wins from three to sit pretty at the top of Group B, beating the Czech Republic 3-0 in in Bratislava.

Sergei Andronov, Nikita Gusev and Nikita Zaitsev were on target, while Andrei Vasilevski produced an outstanding display of goaltending.

Norway are rooted to the bottom of Group B after they were hammered 9-1 by ruthless Sweden.

Canada sit third in Group A following an almighty battle with Slovakia, Mark Stone snatching a 6-5 victory on the power play with only 1.8 seconds of regulation time remaining.

Switzerland dismantled newly promoted Italy 9-0 in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Saturday, while fellow new boys Great Britain were also beaten.

Italy and Britain were promoted from Division I last year but both came up short in their opening matches in the top tier, with the former, up against the Swiss, last year's runners-up, completely outclassed.

The Minnesota Wild's Kevin Fiala scored twice for Switzerland, with captain Raphael Diaz encouraged by their continued high standards throughout the game.

"I think we knew after 4-0 we had to keep going," he said. "We had to keep pressing, keep playing our game, keep hitting, keep shooting, those small details."

Meanwhile, Britain went down 3-1 to Germany after holding their opponents scoreless until the 40th minute.

The Czech Republic had upset holders Sweden on the opening day and were comfortable against Norway, winning 7-2.

Hosts Slovakia, who enjoyed a similarly impressive first-game defeat of the United States, came up short against Finland in the final game of the day, losing 4-2.

Denmark needed a shoot-out to beat France in Group A, while Latvia eased past Austria 5-2.

The Czech Republic stunned reigning IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship holders Sweden, while Slovakia defeated the United States on the opening day.

Eyeing a third consecutive title, Sweden suffered a 5-2 defeat against the Czechs in Group B in Bratislava on Friday.

The defeat snapped Sweden's 17-game winning streak, dating back to May 2017.

"They play great system hockey, but I think we played better," said Czech forward Filip Chytil. "We scored more goals, so we're happy for that."

Elsewhere in Group B, Russia claimed a 5-2 victory over Norway.

Host nation Slovakia opened their campaign with a 4-1 victory over USA thanks to goals from Matus Sukel, Erik Cernak, Tomas Tatar and Michal Kristof in Group A.

Meanwhile, Finland were too good for Canada following a 3-1 win.

Sergio Ramos has been praised for his "kind" attitude on the pitch by Norway international Josh King.

The Bournemouth striker levelled the scores from the penalty spot as Norway faced Spain in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.

But Ramos earned all three points for Luis Enrique's side from 12 yards, beating Rune Jarstein with a Panenka after the goalkeeper fouled Alvaro Morata.

Ramos is regarded among football's hardest competitors, as well as for bending the rules on the pitch, but King was fulsome in his praise for the Spain captain.

"I think that I did really well against one of the best centre-backs in the world," King told Norwegian outlet VG.

"Ramos has a reputation of being dirty and rough, but I do not remember going up against a centre-back as nice as him.

"I have not seen all of his matches but I think all of his challenges were clean and he seemed to me a very good sportsman.

"He won some duels and I won others, I think it was a good game."

Ramos' goal means the Spain skipper has scored in his last five international appearances.

Spain continue their qualifying campaign against Malta on Tuesday.

Luis Enrique dismissed suggestions Alvaro Morata is low on confidence after the Spain striker drew a blank in a 2-1 home win against Norway.

Spain got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign up and running with a victory secured thanks to Sergio Ramos scoring a penalty won by Morata.

But the Atletico Madrid striker, who is on loan from Chelsea, failed to score despite having six shots - more than any other player at Mestalla on Saturday.

A Dani Ceballos cross provided Morata with his best opportunity to score his first international goal since November 2017 but the striker headed off target.

Luis Enrique, though, feels Morata is turning his career around after leaving Stamford Bridge to return to the Spanish capital on loan.

"I see him much better than when he was at Chelsea," Luis Enrique told a news conference.

"He has been always great with us but now he is more decisive, keeping the ball at the end of this match for example.

"He did that with confidence. He had many chances and he was where he had to be. He wasn't lucky enough but he had a great match, his best match with us so far.

"It was a complete match where we created many clear chances. We dominated Norway, who tried to attack us from set-pieces.

"We knew the match was going to be like this but I am really happy for team's performance in every way.

"I would like to have scored 50 per cent of our chances and we would have talked about a great result but this is football. We can improve that giving confidence to the players."

Jesus Navas and Dani Parejo were among the players to shine for Spain, who continue their qualifying campaign against Malta on Tuesday.

"He has been very good, he has lost a couple of balls at the beginning," Luis Enrique said of Parejo, the Valencia midfielder playing on his home ground. 

"But he is an ice-cold player, he is not affected by the accuracy, he is intelligent, very happy that he is with us."

Of Sevilla veteran Navas, who impressed from right-back, Luis Enrique added: "It's key to have players in a squad that overflow, and Navas has been at a spectacular level.

"He has not made a mistake, he has defended and attacked well, he has focused well."

Sergio Ramos hailed the impact of new Spain coach Luis Enrique after a winning start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Spain beat Norway 2-1 in Valencia on Saturday but needed a penalty from Ramos to take the points after Josh King cancelled out Rodrigo Moreno's opener.

Captain Ramos has now scored in five consecutive appearances for Spain and he thinks the team is in good hands after the appointment of former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

"You always have the dream and the goal of achieving something important," Ramos said to TVE.

"We are in a new dynamic of working with a coach who has a wonderful philosophy of play, then we will see match by match. Winning will make us feel more confident.

"A new road starts and what better way than to start winning against an opponent that has made it complicated despite the fact that we had the ball? We knew it was going to hurt."

For his part, Luis Enrique had no doubts Ramos would convert his penalty, the defender beating Rune Jarstein with a Panenka after the goalkeeper felled Alvaro Morata.

"Sergio Ramos is a unique player in the history of world football," the Spain coach said to Teledeporte. 

"A player with that personality, I know he's going to shoot well."

Ramos took a bang to the head in the closing stages of the game as Spain saw out their victory.

"Now I feel well," Ramos added. "I suppose the inconvenience of the blow will come later."

Sergio Ramos scored the winner from the penalty spot as Spain opened their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 victory at home to Norway. 

Luis Enrique has vowed to stick with his preferred 4-3-3 system in Spain's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers as he looks to replicate the success of the last great La Roja side.

Spain, winners of the European Championship in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in-between, face Norway and Malta in their first two fixtures in a group that also includes Sweden, Romania and Faroe Islands.

There are only a handful of players left in this squad that were part of their previous triumphs and current coach Luis Enrique acknowledged it will take time to build a team capable of emulating the side of a decade ago.

Yet he wants to discover that winning formula quickly and is not prepared to try many different things in the early stages of the qualification process.

Speaking to reporters about his starting line-up at a news conference, Luis Enrique said: "I am not in a rush.

"I would like to have already a line-up and the same 23 players every time but I think this is a long process. It's not just a week's work.

"We are starting official matches and we don't have any more friendlies to see players, so we have to start winning and trying to get to the same level at this qualification, but I will keep trying with new players.

"I'm going to stick with the same system, the 4-3-3."

The Spain coach feels at this stage it is unfair to consider how his side shapes up against the double Euros and World Cup winners.

"If we compare this national team with the one who won the World Cup and two Euros, we will lose, for sure," Luis Enrique added.

"But we don't need to compare with our past, we need to compare with our rivals and we are at the same position as we were when we arrived, ninth [in the FIFA world rankings].

"The last title [Euro 2012] we won three championships ago. I can talk about my project and this is the first big qualifying phase.

"Those players have turned years and some are retired. Now we are looking for another winning block.

"Conquering titles is not very easy."

Isco's fall from grace continued on Friday with the Real Madrid midfielder left out of Luis Enrique's Spain squad for the matches against Norway and Malta.

Isco has made just five starts for Madrid in LaLiga this season, despite the club's domestic struggles, and his lack of playing time has seen him omitted from a much-changed selection.

His Madrid team-mates Sergio Reguilon and Nacho Fernandez have also been left out as have Atletico Madrid trio Diego Costa, Koke and Saul Niguez.

Uncapped quartet Sergio Canales, Sergi Gomez, Jaime Mata and Fabian Ruiz have all been included while there are returns for Jesus Navas and Iker Muniain.

Experienced Sevilla winger Navas has not played for his country in a competitive fixture since 2013 while Athletic Bilbao midfielder Muniain won his only cap a year earlier.

Defender Gomez is rewarded for a strong season with Sevilla, as is Canales with Real Betis while Ruiz has impressed in Serie A with Napoli. 

Mata, 30, has scored 13 league goals in Getafe's bid for Champions League qualification, the club sitting fourth in the table heading into matchday 28.

Spain's European Championship qualifying programme begins on March 23 when they host Norway in Valencia before travelling to Malta three days later.

Spain squad in full: David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Pau Lopez (Real Betis); Sergi Roberto (Barcelona), Sergi Gomez (Sevilla), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mario Hermoso (Espanyol), Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Jose Gaya (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Juan Bernat (Paris Saint-Germain); Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodrigo (Atletico Madrid), Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid), Fabian Ruiz (Naples), Dani Parejo (Valencia), Sergio Canales (Betis); Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Rodrigo (Valencia), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao), Jaime Mata (Getafe).

It’s been a week since Reggae Girl Lauren Silver arrived in Norway where she will play for Norwegian Toppserien club SK Trondheims-Ørn.

Reggae Girl Lauren Silver has signed for Norwegian Toppserien club SK Trondheims-Ørn, one of the most famous women’ football teams in that country.

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