HERNING, Denmark — Finland handed the United States its first defeat at the ice hockey world championship in a 6-2 thumping on Tuesday.
The Finns supplanted the U.S. to top Group B in Herning, and will face Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Swiss clinched a quarterfinal by beating France 5-1 to finish fourth in Group A in Copenhagen.
The Americans’ first defeat in seven games dropped them to second in the group and a quarterfinal against the Czech Republic, the third team in Group A.
“It’s not a good feeling losing,” U.S. captain Patrick Kane said. “It could be good for us to make sure we won’t deal with this again and stay positive. We’re a good team, we’ve had a good tournament to this point.”
“(The Czechs) have some talents, it will be a tough game against them.”
The remaining quarterfinal pairings will be decided in the final group stage games later Tuesday.
Canada needs a win over Germany to secure third place in Group B while host Denmark will fight with Latvia over the last quarterfinal berth in the same group.
Sweden and Russia will clash over the top place in Group A. Slovakia also plays Belarus.
Sebastian Aho scored a couple of opening-period goals for Finland and added one more into an empty net to finish the scoring to become the championship leader with nine goals and eight assists.
“We’ve played really well,” Aho said. “We just try not to think who we play against, focus on our own system and play our game.”
Kane got a power play goal to reduce the deficit to 4-1 in the final period. Derek Ryan added another one for the U.S.
Finland outplayed Canada 5-1 earlier in the preliminary round.