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WCH: Team Europe, Canada roll into Semifinals

Streit, Bellemare and Giroux all in the mix to claim World Title

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has had a strong World Cup tournament through both the preliminaries and round robin portion. Now he, along with Flyers teammate Mark Streit will get a chance in the final four as Europe advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1-0 record and four points in Group A.

Bellemare had a goal and an assist in three games of the round robin, tying for second on Europe. He has also recorded six shots on goal and logged an average of 14:41, a good amount of which has come on the squad's penalty kill.

In total, he has two goals and two assists for four points in six games, while also recording a +1 rating in the tournament thus far.

Streit has one assist and has averaged 14:45 of ice time, including nearly 18 minutes in their last game, a 4-1 loss to Canada.

As for Canada, they were the only team to go through the round robin with a perfect record, going 3-0-0, and are 5-1-0 in the entire tournament thus far. Claude Giroux appeared in the last game for Canada, the 4-1 win over Europe, going scoreless and recording one shot on goal, three hits and going 57 percent on face-offs. He was named the Third Star of the Game.

As the winner of Group A, Canada will face-off against the second place team in Group B, Team Russia. The Russians earned a berth in the semis with a 3-0 win over Finland on Thursday and a 2-1-0 record in the round robin to knock off Team North America, meaning defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and forward Sean Couturier will be headed back to Philadelphia.

Gostisbehere showed the midseason form of his rookie season throughout the tournament, logging several minutes for the 23 and under team and posting four assists in three games of the round robin and a +4 rating. He had three assists in their last game, a 4-3 overtime win vs. Sweden. Overall, Gostisbehere averaged a point per game with six points (1g-5a) in six contests.

Couturier, who was an alternate captain for North America, appeared in all six games of the tournament posting eight shots on goal.

Also eliminated from the tournament round are Jakub Voracek and goaltender Michal Neuvirth for the Czech Republic. Despite a 3-2 overtime loss on Monday, Voracek recorded his first goal of the tournament - WATCH IT BELOW - and recorded six shots, the most on the Czech squad, in the loss. Voracek added an assist in the Czech's 4-3 win over Team USA on Thursday night.

Michal Neuvirth appeared in just one round robin game for the Czechs, a 6-0 loss to the Canada in which he had a total of 50 shots thrown his way which saw him produce some highlight reel saves.

Below is a schedule for the tournament round, set to begin on Saturday with a one-game elimination and the winners of each playing a best-of-three final series starting on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

SEMIFINALS
Saturday, Sept. 24: Canada vs. Russia (7 p.m., ESPN2)

Sunday, Sept. 25: Europe vs. Sweden (1 p.m., ESPN)

FINALS (best-of-three)
Tuesday, Sept. 27: Game 1 (8 p.m., ESPN)

Thursday, Sept. 29: Game 2 (8 p.m., ESPN2)

Saturday, Oct. 1: Game 3 (7 p.m. if necessary, ESPN2)

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