Condon, Larkin shine as U.S. topples France at Worlds

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) The United States moved a step closer to qualifying for the quarterfinals of the hockey world championship by beating France 4-0 Thursday.

The Americans, who were coming off a loss to Finland, have a 2-2 record and could end up in third place in Group B if Canada beats Germany later Thursday. The top four teams advance to the next round.

UPDATE: Canada defeated Germany 5-2, with Taylor Hall scoring a pair for the Canadians.

Chris Wideman, Connor Murphy and J.T. Compher scored three goals in quick succession late in the second period. Brady Skjei scored the fourth early in the third. Detroit rookie Dylan Larkin registered a pair of assists.

Goaltender Mike Condon made 19 saves for the shutout while the United States killed six power plays.

“Our special teams were a factor tonight and it’s important that we continue to have good habits in our game,” United States coach John Hynes said.

The Americans next play Hungary on Friday.

In Moscow, the Czech Republic routed Norway 7-0 to go three points clear at the top of Group A.

Lukas Kaspar scored two goals, while Dominik Furch made 26 saves for his second shutout of the tournament.