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Team Canada advances to semis at WJC

Ontario Hockey League players had strong games for Team Canada as it advanced to the semifinal at the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship
Hockey Ref

For four teams, hopes for gold at the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship came to an end on Monday.

The tournament saw four quarter-final games split between Toronto and Montreal to determine the four semifinal participants.

Team Canada kept its medal hopes alive with a 5-3 win over the Czech Republic in Montreal.

The Canadian entry will face Sweden in one semifinal while Team USA will face Team Russia in the other semi.

Julien Gauthier (Val-D’Or – QMJHL) scored a pair of goals in the third period that was the difference for the Canadians. Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw – OHL) added a goal and two assists/ Anthony Cirelli (Oshawa – OHL) also had a pair of assists. Thomas Chabot (Saint John – QMJHL) had a goal and an assist. Blake Speers (Soo Greyhounds – OHL) had the other Canadian goal.

David Kase, Simon Stransky and Tomas Soustal scored for the Czech Republic.

Sweden advanced thanks to a win over Slovakia on Monday.

Tim Soderlund and Joel Eriksson Ek had two goals each as Team Sweden beat Team Slovakia 8-3. Rasmus Asplund assisted on four Swedish goals. Alexander Nylander had a goal and an assist while Oliver Kylington assisted on two goals for Sweden. Carl Grundstrom and Fredrik Karlstrom also scored in the win.

Adam Ruzicka, Martin Bodak and Miroslav Struska scored for Slovakia.

Team USA earned the other semifinal berth thanks to a narrow 3-2 win over Switzerland. Jordan Greenway’s third goal of the tournament on the power play in the third period was the game-winner. Greenway and Jeremy Bracco had a goal and an assist while Luke Kunin also scored for the Americans.

Nico Hischier scored both Swiss goals.

Kirill Kaprizov had a pair of goals as Russia blanked Denmark 4-0. Alexander Polunin chipped in with a goal and an assist. Pavel Karnaukhov had the other Russian goal. Ilya Samsonov stopped 14 shots for the shutout.

Lasse Petersen got the start for Denmark but was pulled after giving up a pair of goals on nine shots in the opening period. Kasper Krog came in and stopped 21 of 23 shots in the final two periods.

Team Finland won the opener of the relegation round 2-1 over Latvia on Monday.

Kristian Vesalainen had the game-winner for the Finns with his first goal of the tournament midway through the third period. Vili Saarijarvi had the other goal for Finland.

Latvian goaltender Mareks Mitens made 43 saves. Maksims Ponomarenko had the lone Latvian goal.

The defending-champion Finnish entry kissed its medal hopes goodbye after struggling out of the gate and finished the round robin with 1-3 record.

Finland and Latvia meet in the second game of the relegation round on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Montreal.


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Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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