Slovakia needed to do well at the world championships to secure a spot in the next Olympics. Canada, ranked as the fifth-best hockey playing nation in the latest IIHF ratings, wanted to show that hockey's birthplace is still No. 1.
Only Slovakia succeeded.
The Slovaks eliminated Canada this morning in the quarterfinals at the world championships, the third straight quarterfinal defeat for The True North. Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera's power-play point shot was tipped by Michal Handzus with 2:28 left in regulation to give the Slovaks a 4-3 victory.
The other three teams for Friday's semifinals will be decided today. Russia is playing Norway now on NBC Sports Network. The channel will also have live coverage of the United States visiting Finland at 11:30 a.m. Sweden and Czech Republic finish the slate of games.