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U.S. routs Finland in junior worlds quarterfinals

1/2/2007

MORA, Sweden -- The United States beat Finland 6-3 Tuesday,
setting up a semifinal against two-time defending champion Canada
at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship.

Sweden defeated the Czech Republic 5-1 in another quarterfinal and will play Russia in the semis Wednesday.

That game will follow the U.S. versus Canada, a rematch for the Americans following their 6-3 preliminary-round loss last week. Canada finished first in Pool A with a 4-0 mark to earn a bye to the semifinals.

Jack Skille deflected a shot from Erik Johnson on a power play
23 seconds into the third period to give the Americans a 3-2 lead,
but Finland's Oskar Osala tied it a minute later.

The United States then capitalized on three 5-on-3 power plays, starting
with Peter Mueller's winner nearly eight minutes into the period.
Trevor Lewis and Jack Johnson closed the scoring for the Americans.

The Americans led 2-0 after Pat Kane's goal two minutes into the
second period. Finland tied it eight minutes later with goals from
Jesse Joensuu and Osala.


Canada will be the more rested team against the U.S., having not played since Sunday's 3-0 victory over Slovakia in a Group A final.

Still, "they're a pretty dangerous team," Canada defenseman Marc Staal told The Sports Network of Canada. "They have a lot of skilled players and you always have to be on your toes.

"If we play simple and play our game and limit our turnovers against them, that's where we're going to be successful."

In Leksand, Magnus Isaksson opened the scoring for Sweden 1:18
into the game, cutting in front of the net to beat Czech goalie
Ondrej Pavelec.

Alexander Sundstrom -- the son of former Vancouver Canucks and
New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Sundstrom -- then scored from the
slot to make it 2-0. Vladimir Sobotka scored on a power play for
the Czechs 18:27 into the first before Sweden pulled away behind
goals from Linus Omark and Martin Johansson in the second period.

Johansson also made it 5-1, knocking in his own rebound off the
post 13 minutes into the third.

This is the first time since 2001 that Sweden advanced to the semifinal round in the junior worlds. Canada and Russia qualified for
the semifinals by winning their groups.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.