Canada slides past USA men at 2009 World Juniors

March 12, 2009, 5:40 p.m. (ET)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - USA's Chris Plys team suffered its third loss of the round robin at the hands of Canada's Brett Gallant Thursday afternoon at the 2009 World Junior Championships at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

Canada never trailed in defeating the Americans 9-3 to improve to 8-1. They've already clinched a playoff berth as well as the No. 1 playoff seed.

Plys (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Aanders Brorson (Duluth), Matt Perushek (Eveleth, Minn.) and Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) are tied for third place with Sweden at 5-3. The Swiss team is at 4-4 and plays a critical match tonight against the Swedes. If the U.S. defeats China (3-5) in the round robin finale, they'll punch their spot to the playoffs. A loss could land them in a tiebreaker game if Switzerland can get past Sweden. Otherwise, they'd be the No. 4 playoff seed.

The American men have struggled this week with consistency. They shot 72 percent today but Plys and Brorson both shot under 60 percent. Today's loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Americans.

The men's playoffs get underway Saturday with the page 1-2 and 3-4 games at noon PT. The men's gold medal game is slated at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Line score:
USA* 010 100 10x x 3
Canada 102 031 02x x 9
*last stone in first end

Women's standings:
*Canada 6-2
*Russia 6-2
*Switzerland 6-2
*Scotland 6-2
USA 4-4
France 3-5
Sweden 3-5
Czech Rep. 2-5
Denmark 2-6
Japan 1-6

Men's standings:
*Canada 8-1
*Denmark 6-2
USA 5-3
Sweden 5-3
Switzerland 4-4
Norway 4-5
China 3-5
Scotland 3-5
Russia 2-6
Germany 1-7
*clinched playoff spot

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