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U.S., Canada onto Hlinka semis as group champions

Thursday, 08.12.2010 / 10:16 AM / Prospects

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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U.S., Canada onto Hlinka semis as group champions
The United States beat Finland 5-2 and Canada rolled over Slovakia 6-1 to finish first in their groups at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
The United States and Canada rolled to wins on the final day of round-robin play at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and in the process earned the top spots in their groups.

The U.S. got goals from Tanner Sorenson and John Gaudreau in a 1:59 span midway through the second period against Finland to turn a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes into a 3-1 advantage. The U.S. scored twice more in the third period to skate away with a 5-2 victory, in a game played Wednesday at Alcaplast Arena, in Breclav, Czech Republic.

The victory clinched first place in Group A for the U.S.

Justin Selman, Cason Hohmann and Sean Kuraly also scored for the U.S., and Steve Michalek made 28 saves in goal for the win.

"Everyone contributed to the win today. As the game went on, we played extremely well, and our penalty kill and power play were both outstanding."
-- U.S. coach Tim Army

"Everyone contributed to the win today," U.S. coach Tim Army said. "As the game went on, we played extremely well, and our penalty kill and power play were both outstanding."

Finland took a 1-0 lead 1:13 into the game, but Selman tied it just over four minutes later, converting a Vincent Trocheck pass.

At 8:03 of the second, Sorenson knocked in a loose puck lying in the crease, and moments later, Gaudreau finished a 3-on-2 rush with a power-play goal.

Hohmann's power-play goal 1:43 into the third made it 4-1, and after a Finland goal, Kuraly scored into an empty-net to close the scoring.

Canada remained the only undefeated team in the tournament by skating past Slovakia 6-1 in a game at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia. The victory gave Canada first place in Group B.

Boone Jenner scored two goals in 20 seconds in the third period, and Duncan Siemens and Matthew Puempel each had a goal and an assist.

Siemens scored two minutes into the game, and Harrington followed with 4:39 left to give Canada a 2-0 lead after one period.

Martin Gernat scored Slovakia's lone goal midway through the second, but Myles Bell answered with 2:13 left to restore Canada's two-goal lead.

Canada closed the game with three goals in 57 seconds in the third -- one by Puempel, and then Jenner's first two of the tournament.

Tyson Teichmann, making his third straight start in goal, made 25 saves.

"We've got a good group of kids that care about each other and are very sincere in their interest to take care of business here," Canada coach George Burnett told Canadian Press. "They know the process that we've started. I think everyone's bought in. It's been a nice run so far -- we've got some work to do, though."

In Friday's semifinal, the U.S. will face Sweden, which closed round-robin play with a 7-1 rout of Switzerland to finish second to Canada in Group B. In the other semifinal, Canada will play the Czech Republic, which beat Russia 3-2 to finish second in Group A.

In other Friday games, Russia and Switzerland will meet in the fifth-place game, and Finland and Slovakia will face off for seventh place.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com
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