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Ontario books berth in final of Under-17 Challenge with win over West

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

PORT ALBERNI, B.C. - Ontario is one win away from retaining its gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Tyler Toffoli and Erik Gudbranson each scored twice and added an assist as Ontario won its 14th consecutive game at the tournament with a 7-4 semifinal triumph over West on Saturday.

John McFarland added two goals, giving him a tournament-leading 11 points in five games.

Christian Thomas also scored for the Ontarians, while Tyler Seguin had four assists.

Leading 3-2 after 20 minutes, the defending champs rattled off three unanswered goals in the middle frame to take a 6-2 advantage to the dressing room after two periods. A pair of third-period goals from West made it close, but Gudbranson's power-play marker with six minutes to go sealed the deal.

Michael St. Croix scored two goals to lead the way for West, which will play for bronze for the second year in a row. Brooks Macek and Quinton Howden also scored in a losing cause.

In Sunday's final, Ontario will play the winner of Saturday's later semifinal between Pacific and USA.

Also Saturday, Quebec beat Germany 3-1 to earn fifth place, while Russia topped Slovakia 6-3.

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