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HOCKEY

Canada demolish Norway to close on quarter-finals

MANNHEIM, Germany (Reuters) - Olympic gold medalists Canada crushed Norway 12-1 on Friday, John Tavares netting a hat-trick as they edged closer to the world championship quarter-finals.

Canada, who were stunned by Switzerland in their last match, are now top of Group F. They next play Sweden and Czech Republic.

It was the Norwegians who took the lead after only a minute and a half through Jonas Holos, who seized on a bad clearance.

Canada got down to business in the second period, scoring seven times to end any short-lived Norwegian hopes of an unexpected victory.

The Canadians, who won the gold medal in Vancouver in February, added another four goals in the third period.

"We didn't control the game in the first period," Canada's Marc Staal told reporters. "But we were patient and then got some time on the powerplay and got some goals."

In Group E, Slovakia slumped to a 6-0 defeat by Denmark who have proven to be the surprise team of the tournament after earlier beating Finland and United States.

Denmark scored with their first three shots to set the stage for yet another unexpected rout.

"We killed them right away," said captain Jesper Daamgard. "We came out flying and it seemed like everything went in."

Holders Russia, who will add Pittsburgh Penguins pair Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin to the roster after they end their playoff runs in the NHL, are in action on Saturday, taking on hosts Germany.

(Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez)