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Canada, U.S., Finland win at World Championships

The newly-formed James Neal-Jason Spezza-Rick Nash line shined for Team Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championship on Saturday.

Spezza and Neal each scored with assists from Nash as the Canadians remained undefeated in the tournament with a 3-2 victory against Norway.

The trio was first put together during the third period of Friday's shootout win against the United States.

"This is a men's tournament," Canada coach Ken Hitchcock said. "If you expect kids to go and win games for you, (it's not good). We've had great play by our kids but at the end of the day, as you get further along, it's men.

"We needed some of our veteran players to have better offensive output and to put those three guys together worked well today."

All three players bring size -- Neal is the smallest at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds. In the end, that size wore the Norwegians down.

"As the games get more important, we know we're going to play a lot of minutes and have to hang on to the puck," Spezza said. "That's how you wear these teams down."

John Tavares had the other goal for Canada (5-0) while Ken Andre Olimb and Marius Holtet replied for Norway (3-2).

After wrapping up the round-robin segment of the tournament against Sweden on Monday, the Canadians will travel to Bratislava in need of three straight wins to take the gold medal.

"It gets really quick right now," Hitchcock said. "This thing is over next weekend."

Meanwhile, the United States rallied to beat France 3-2 on Saturday and advanced to the quarterfinals.

The U.S. team has seven points and plays Switzerland in its last qualifying game Sunday.

"If we play the right way we have a great chance," U.S. captain Mark Stuart said.

Derek Stepan tied the game for the United States with his second goal of the tournament after Sacha Treille gave France a surprising lead just 5:25 into the game.

Stuart put the Americans ahead early in the second and Andy Miele set up the third goal for Rangers prospect Chris Kreider on a power play.

France cut the lead to 3-2 on a power-play goal by captain Laurent Meunier, but the Americans held on.

Also, Finland rallied Saturday to beat Slovakia 2-1, handing the tournament host its fourth straight loss.

Tuomo Ruutu led the comeback for Finland, scoring twice in the third period after Marian Gaborik had given Slovakia a 1-0 lead in the first.

In Bratislava, Denmark beat Germany 4-3 in a shootout, but it was not enough for the team to advance with two points and one game left. Germany has eight points and qualified for the quarterfinals despite the loss.

Material from wire services was used in this report.