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Kazakhstan 4, Slovakia 3

Associated Press
Tuesday, February 10, 1998; 3:07 a.m. EST

NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Kazakhstan advanced to the final round of the Olympic hockey tournament Tuesday, rallying in the third period to upset Slovakia 4-3 in a winner-take-all preliminary game.

Alexander Koreshkov scored the game-winner on a breakaway with 1:21 left, slipping the puck underneath the pads of goaltender Igor Murin.

Slovakia lost despite the addition of NHL stars Peter Bondra and Robert Svehla, who combined for the tying goal with 7:44 remaining. Kazakhstan, which has no NHL players on its roster, will next face Canada on Friday.

Down 2-1, Kazakhstan drew even with 17:05 left on a goal by Pavel Kamentsev, then took the lead with 12:56 to go when Konstantin Shafranov scored from the left side of the net.

Slovakia made it 3-3 when Svehla gained possession of the puck at the blue line and sent a pass to Bondra, who scored from the slot.

Bondra did not start but received ample playing time and wore the ``A'' assigned to the team's assistant captain. Svehla, a defenseman, was in the starting lineup.

Vlastimil Plavucha put Slovakia up 1-0 at 5:42 of the first period with a wrist shot from the right circle. Kazakhstan tied it at 9:07 when Yevgeny Koreshkov scored a power-play goal by poking a rebound between the legs of Murin, who had fallen to his knees to stop a shot by Andrei Sokolov.

Slovakia went ahead 2-1 at 8:03 of the second period.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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