U.S., Sweden clinch spots in hockey semifinals

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MORA, Sweden (AP) – 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 today.

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 U.S. 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.

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 semifinals in the junior worlds. Canada and Russia qualified for the semifinals by winning their groups.

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