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Canada thumps Belarus for first place in Group H

Ryan O'Reilly scored a pair of goals and Cam Ward made 17 saves, lifting Canada to a 5-1 win over Belarus on the final day of preliminary round play at the 2012 World Championship.

Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for Canada, which finished atop Group H with a 6-0-1 mark. The lone loss for the Canadians came against the United States in overtime.

Canada could face the U.S. or Slovakia in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Slovaks clinched a spot in the next round Tuesday with a 5-4 win over France, while the Americans will play later against Switzerland and would finish fourth in the group with a loss.

O'Reilly gave Canada the lead just 2:16 into the game, but Sergei Kostitsyn tied it for Belarus with 5:35 left in the first. Canada then scored three times in the second period, as Perry, Getzlaf and Nugent-Hopkins tallied in a span of 5:01 for a 4-1 lead, and O'Reilly added his second of the game midway through the third.

Also Tuesday in Stockholm, Norway scored five goals in the second period en route to a 6-2 rout of Denmark. The Norwegians will face Russia or Sweden in the quarterfinals.