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Duchene Leads Canada to World Cup Semifinals

Canada eliminates United States

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

CANADA (4) VS. UNITED STATES (2)

Matt Duchene had a big impact for Canada, when he was on the ice.

The Colorado Avalanche forward played a team-low 11:05 but scored two goals on five shots as the Canadians defeated the United States 4-2 on Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre in World Cup of Hockey group play.

The win advances Team Canada to the semifinals, while the Team USA is eliminated from playoff contention with its second loss of the tournament.

"We had a chance to knock them out of the tourney, and they were obviously one of the favorites coming in," Duchene told NHL.com after the contest. "We had an opportunity, we took it, and we needed to."

Things started off well for the Americans, as Ryan McDonagh opened the game's scoring at 4:22 of the first period. That would be the extent of the celebration for the red, white and blue as Canada scored four unanswered goals, including three in a 6:16 time frame in the opening stanza.

Canada responded soon after as Duchene scored his first of the night at 5:41, picking up a rebound off the end wall and stuffing the puck into an open area of the cage to tie the contest. Corey Perry flipped the score in the host team's favor with a marker 14 seconds later, and the Canadians run was on.

Duchene added his second tally with 7:53 left in the first period, taking advantage of a failed clear by the U.S. He grabbed the loose puck, went alone in on goaltender Jonathan Quick, deked and placed it five-hole.

The Haliburton, Ontario, native finished the first stanza with two goals on two shots in 2:48 of ice time. He was named first star of the game, not too bad after playing fourth line minutes

"That was a special moment, to play on this stage against the U.S. and find a couple tonight," Duchene said. "It felt pretty awesome. All those long hours of work kind of pay off. It felt good, but we have big game tomorrow against Europe and we want to win this pool. It'll be a good test."

Duchene's second tally turned out to be the eventual game-winning goal as TJ Oshie scored with 2:32 left in the third period for USA. Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson of the U.S. was on the ice for Oshie's score, but he finished the game with a minus-1 rating. He also had three shots and two takeaways.

Patrice Bergeron scored the last tally for Canada, which closes pool play on Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Team Europe. The winner of that contest takes the top spot in Group A

USA will play the Czech Republic on Thursday night in each squad's final game of the tournament.

SWEDEN (2) VS. FINLAND (0)

It was another classic Sweden-Finland matchup, with the Swedes just getting by.

Anton Stralman scored midway through the second period, and Sweden won 2-0 on Wednesday afternoon. Loui Eriksson recorded an empty-netter with three seconds left in regulation to secure the victory in the tight meeting between the Scandinavian rivals.

Finland held the shot advantage, 36-29, but weren't able to get any by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog of Sweden finished with three shots, two hits and a plus-1 rating in 12:18 of ice time. He also won three of the four faceoffs he took.

Landeskog played on a line with Colorado teammate Carl Soderberg, who saw 9:03 of game action.

Sweden closes the preliminary round on Wednesday afternoon versus Team North America. A win of any kind would clinch the top spot in Group B.

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