Prague, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) - Canada completed a perfect preliminary round schedule with a 10-1 rout of Austria and will next face Belarus in the quarterfinals of the 2015 World Hockey Championship.
Belarus qualified for the knockout round Tuesday with a 3-2 win over Norway to secure fourth place in Group B. Canada won each of its seven games to finish atop Group A.
The Canadians dominated from start to finish on Tuesday, scoring four times in the first period, twice in the second and four times again in the third. Matt Duchene and Jason Spezza led the effort with two goals and two assists apiece, while Nathan MacKinnon and Jordan Eberle each tallied a goal and an assist.
Belarus had its fate in its hands with an early game Tuesday and opened a 3-0 lead a little over halfway through the contest, then held on as Norway scored twice to make it close. Alexei Kalyuzhny had a hand in all three tallies for Belarus, notching a goal and two assists. Andrei Kostitsyn had the third goal, which proved to be the difference.
All eight quarterfinal spots have now been clinched with only seeding in Group B still up for grabs.
The United States can clinch first place in Group B with a win over Slovakia, which was eliminated from quarterfinal contention once Belarus won. A victory would give the U.S. a quarterfinal matchup with Switzerland, but a loss would drop the Americans to second in Group B with a quarterfinal contest against the host Czechs on Thursday.
If the United States loses to Slovakia, the winner between Russia and Finland would earn the top seed from Group B. The team that winds up third in Group B will face Sweden in the quarterfinals.