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Americans advance, Canadians clinch bye in WJC

Monday, 12.31.2012 / 11:28 AM NHL.com

The United States qualified for the medal round and Canada earned a bye into the semifinals Monday on the final day of the preliminary round at the IIHF 2013 World Junior Championship.

A much-needed offensive explosion helped the Americans defeat Slovakia 9-3 and finish third in Group B. They will face the Czech Republic, which finished second in Group A, in a quarterfinal Wednesday at 4 a.m. ET. Should the United States defeat the Czechs, who grabbed the second spot in their group with an overtime win Monday against Switzerland, the Americans would have a rematch with Canada in the semifinals.

The Canadians defeated their rivals from Russia in the last game of the day Monday to finish a perfect 4-0-0 in group play and claim the top spot in Group B. They will have two days off before facing the winner of the United States-Czech Republic contest on Thursday.

Russia will face Switzerland in the other quarterfinal at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Switzerland grabbed the third spot in Group A after Finland was defeated by Sweden. The Swedes claimed the top spot in the group, and will face the winner of Russia-Switzerland in the semifinals.

Both quarterfinals Wednesday will be aired live on the NHL Network, while the United States-Czech Republic game will also be streamed live on NHL.com in the United States.

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