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Allen stops 35 shots to lead Canada into semifinals at world under-18 tournament

NHL.com @NHL

KAZAN, Russia - Head coach Pat Quinn and Canada's national under-18 hockey team don't have much time to relish advancing to the semifinal round at the world under-18 tournament.

Jake Allen stopped 35 shots while Cody Hodgson's power-play goal in the second period proved to be the winner as Canada defeated Finland 2-1 in a quarter-final contest.

"We weren't pretty," Quinn said afterwards. "But we got the job done."

Finland outshot Canada 36-20 but Quinn said that was more due to the Finns' gameplan, which was to put the puck on net to not only force Allen, of St. John's of the QMJHL, to handle it but also help establish the forecheck.

"They play a simple game, one of the more simple games that we've seen over here," Quinn said "They recognize that a lot of their European goaltenders don't handle the puck very well and they weren't sure about Jake so they decided to put the puck there anyway and he handled it very well most of the night.

"It's not put there with the purpose of going in, it's put there for the purpose of establishing a forecheck."

Allen lost his shutout bid at 14:13 of the third on Jani Lajunen's short-handed goal that cut the Canadians' lead to 2-1. Canada played the final 59 seconds shorthhanded, with the Finns enjoying a 6-on-4 advantage after pulling goalie Rasmus Rinne for the extra attacker.

"We maybe took a step back today compared to our game against Slovakia (a 6-0 win Friday)," Quinn said. "So we'll build back that team game.

"We're going to need that to win a medal here."

Tyler Cuma of the OHL's Ottawa 67's had the other goal for Canada. Ryan Ellis of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires added two assists.

Hodgson, of the OHL's Brampton Battalion, was at a loss to explain why Canada appeared sluggish against the Finns.

"We made it a lot closer than it had to be in terms of giving up that short-handed goal," he said. "But all that counts is we got the win, we're moving on.

"We're just focusing more internally on ourselves. We know we can play better and I think that will show (Monday)."

Canada will face Sweden on Monday. The Swedes secured a semifinal berth by winning Pool B with a 4-0 record in the preliminary round. The Canadians were 3-1 in Pool A, finishing behind unbeaten Russia.

"We've heard their goaltending is good, that they've got themselves, as they always do, some very talented kids," Quinn said. "They came out No. 1 on the other side so they must be a good team."

Cuma opened the scoring in the first, converting on the power play at 15:03 before 1,600 spectators at Tatneft Arena. Hodgson put the Canadians ahead 2-0, again on the power play, at 10:57 of the second.

Canada finished 2-for-7 on the power play while Finland was 0-for-9.

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