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Belarus 8, Germany 2

Associated Press
Monday, February 9, 1998; 2:37 a.m. EST

NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Ruslan Salei, who arrived at the Olympics earlier than anticipated because of a two-game NHL suspension, scored a goal to help Belarus defeat Germany 8-2 in a pivotal preliminary round game Monday.

Salei, a defenseman for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, was suspended for two games without pay and fined $1,000 for a head-butt in a Feb. 1 game against Chicago. The infraction enabled Salei to become the first NHL player to join the competition, and it didn't take long for him to make his presence felt.

His rising slap shot from the top of the left circle at 14:51 of the first period made it 2-0, and Belarus never lost the lead.

The victory put Belarus (2-0) in a commanding position to win its bracket and advance to the next round against teams made up of almost entirely NHL players.

Unfortunately for Germany (1-1), the addition of NHL stars Uwe Krupp, Marco Strum and goaltender Olaf Kolzig will likely be too late to make a difference.

Belarus outshot Germany 16-4 in the first period and went up 2-0 on goals by Oleg Antonenko and Salei. Germany got a power-play goal from Dieter Hegen at 3:39 of the second period, but Belarus scored twice in a span of 32 seconds to make it 4-1 at 8:37.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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