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Ontario, U.S. earn semifinal berths at World Under-17 Hockey Challenge @NHLdotcom

Ontario and the United States earned semifinal berths with victories Thursday at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Ryan Spooner had a goal and two assists to lead the defending gold medallists from Ontario to a 5-1 victory over Germany. The victory clinched a top-two spot in Pool A for the Ontarians, who scored three times in the second period to break open a close game.

Nathan Chiarlitti, Steven Shipley, Tyler Seguin and Gregg Sutch added singles for Ontario (3-0-0-0), which has outscored its opponents 18-4 so far.

Cory Mapes had the lone goal for Germany (0-2-0-1).

The U.S., advanced to the semifinals with an equally impressive 6-1 rout of Slovakia.

Emerson Etem and Nick Shore each had a pair of goals to pace the Americans (3-0-0-0), last year's silver medallists. Michael Mersch and Matthew Nieto also scored for the U.S.

Matej Bene's shorthanded breakaway goal early in the first period was the lone offence for the Slovaks (0-3-0-0), who were outshot 48-13 in the game.

Later Thursday, Quebec faced Finland while Atlantic battled Pacific.

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