Canada still in hunt for fourth straight world junior title

Updated: January 2, 2008, 5:56 PM ET
Associated Press

PARDUBICE, Czech Republic -- Canada rallied to beat Finland 4-2 to reach the semifinals of the world junior hockey championship Wednesday and keep alive its bid for a fourth straight title, while Russia defeated the Czech Republic 4-1 in the other quarterfinal.

Canada will play the United States in one semifinal Friday and Sweden will play Russia. The U.S. and Sweden qualified for the semifinals by winning their preliminary groups.

Canada's first three goals came from John Tavares, Steven Stamkos and Brad Marchand, who scored the winner 10:32 into the third period. Stefan Legein added an empty-netter with 30 seconds left.

Finland got goals from Juuso Puustinen and Jan-Mikael Juutilainen, who scored when goalkeeper Steve Mason deflected his attempt from behind the goal into the net.

Russia jumped to a 3-0 lead behind second-period goals by Yakov Seleznev, Viktor Tikhonov and Nikita Filatov. After the Czechs cut the lead to 3-1 with 2:40 remaining in the period, Anton Korolev restored the three-goal lead midway through the third.

Finland and the Czech Republic will meet Thursday for fifth place.

In the relegation round, Slovakia beat Switzerland 5-2 while Kazakhstan topped Denmark 6-3. The winners secured spots for next year's U20 championship in Ottawa, Canada, while Denmark and Switzerland will be relegated and replaced by Germany and Latvia.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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