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Cirelli and Joseph advance to the finals

The pair of Bolts forwards and the rest of Team Canada will face Finland in the gold medal game on Sunday

by Bryan Burns /

Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph are onto the final at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.

Canada earned a 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the second semifinal at Bratislava's Ondrej Nepela Arena, Cirelli and Joseph defeating Lightning teammates Ondrej Palat and Jan Rutta in the process.

Canada had little trouble disposing of the Czechs. The Canadians went into the first intermission holding a 1-0 lead and increased their advantage to 3-0 by the end of the second period. Canada would score twice more to open up a 5-0 lead before the Czech Republic scored its lone goal with 6:01 remaining.

Cirelli and Joseph didn't figure in any of Canada's five goals, but Cirelli was plus-1 in 17:36 time on ice, tops among Canadian forwards, and Joseph sent three shots at the Czech net in 12:19 of action.

Canada will face Finland in Sunday's gold medal game in Bratislava.

Palat and Rutta each had three shots for the Czechs. Rutta skated 19:30, second-highest time on ice for the Czech Republic.

Russia was undefeated at the World Championship heading into the semifinal round but will have to wait another year for gold following a 1-0 defeat to Finland.

The Russians had scored three or more goals in all eight of their contests heading into Saturday's semifinal but were shut out behind a superb effort by the Fins defense and goalie Kevin Lankinen, who stopped all 32 shots he faced.

Marko Anttila broke a 0-0 deadlock at 10:18 of the final period, putting a rebound opportunity five hole through Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (28-of-29 saves).

Bolts right wing Nikita Kucherov took a team-high six shots but was unable to find the back of the net. Kucherov skated 17:35, third-most time on ice among Russian forwards.

Mikhail Sergachev fired two shots in 15:12 at the Finland goal.

Russia will face the Czech Republic Sunday in the bronze medal game.

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