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USA ousted by Finland; Canada, Russia roll on to semifinals

by Erin Chenderlin / Tampa Bay Lightning

Team USA came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it late and send their game against Finland into overtime Wednesday night, only to fall short in the extra period. Finland will move on to the semifinals with the 3-2 win.

After falling behind by two after two periods, Team USA stormed back, scoring two goals less than a minute apart, including a shorthanded goal by Buffalo’s Drew Stafford with less than four minutes remaining. Finland’s Sami Lepisto scored the overtime game-winner for his first goal of the tournament.

The Canadian team showed once again why they are undefeated and wasted no time securing their place in the semifinals, handing Norway an 8-2 defeat Wednesday afternoon. Team Canada was led by Buffalo’s Derek Roy, who had a hat trick and added an assist. Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis had an assist for his ninth point of the tournament.

Russia also made a strong case for their chances in the semifinals Wednesday night as they shut out Switzerland, 6-0. Russian goaltender Evgeny Nabokov turned aside all 22 shots he faced to backstop his team into the next round. Russia will take on Finland in the semifinals Friday afternoon in Quebec City.

Sweden was the first to punch their ticket to the semifinal round Wednesday afternoon, as they slugged out a 3-2 overtime win against the Czech Republic. Lightning defenseman Filip Kuba had no points but played more than 23 minutes for the Czech team. With the win, Sweden will face the unbeaten Canadian team late Friday afternoon in Quebec City for the chance to play for a Gold medal.

In the past 10 years, Sweden leads the four remaining teams with seven total medals (2G, 2S, 3B); Finland trails by one but has no Gold medals (4S, 2B); Canada has only four medals, but more Golds (3) than any other remaining team; Russia has one Silver and two Bronze medals in the past 10 tournaments.

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