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Reinhart's big day leads Canada into Hlinka final

by Adam Kimelman

Sam Reinhart won't be eligible for the NHL Draft until 2014, but he's already making quite a name for himself.

The center, who plays for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League, scored the go-ahead goal 1:13 into the second period as Canada held off the Czech Republic for a 5-2 win Friday in one semifinal of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, played at Thereza Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.

Canada, which has won the past four summer under-18 tournaments, will face Finland in the gold-medal game Saturday. Finland scored a 5-4 overtime win against Sweden in the other semifinal.

Reinhart, the team's captain, also had three assists. Nathan MacKinnon, a candidate to be the first player picked at the 2013 NHL Draft, had three assists. The pair is tied for the team lead in scoring with eight points.

"He's been our ultimate leader," Canada coach Todd Gill said of Reinhart. "He just knows how to present himself. He's on the point on our power play, he kills penalties, he's scored some big goals five-on-five. And he's a leader in the dressing room. He's well respected."

Bo Horvat had a pair of goals, and Nicolas Petan and Max Domi also scored for Canada.

Lubos Rob had a pair of power-play goals for the Czech Republic.

Horvat opened the scoring for Canada with a power-play goal, but Rob answered with one for the Czech Republic with 12 seconds left in the first period.

Canada got seven power plays in the first period as the Czechs tried playing a more aggressive game. Gill said that was OK with him.

"We like chippy," said Gill, who also coaches the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. "We're Canadians, we want to play a chippy game if the refs allow it, but over here you never know. I told my guys to finish checks, keep sticks down ... and we stayed out of the box for the most part."

Reinhart put Canada ahead early in the second period with his team-high third goal of the tournament, and moments later Petan scored to make it 3-1.

Rob scored his second man-advantage goal 4:04 into the third period, but Domi -- a top 2013 NHL Draft candidate and the son of former NHL player Tie Domi -- matched Reinhart with his third goal of the tournament less than three minutes later to give Canada a 4-2 lead.

Horvat, who plays for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, scored the game's final goal at 13:30 of the third.

Canada's opponent in the gold-medal game Saturday will be Finland, which rallied from a 4-3 third-period deficit to win it on Felix Westermarck's goal 1:34 into overtime.

"They play probably as close to a North American game as any country here," Gill said of the Finns. "We know they're going to come hard, they pass the puck very well, they're physical, you can't intimidate them. (It) should match up to be a great gold-medal final."

Sweden led 4-2 with 8:32 left in regulation, but that's when Jonatan Tanus scored. Janne Puhakka's second goal of the game tied the score with 4:27 remaining.

In overtime it was Westermarck, a right wing who plays for Espoo Blues in the Finnish junior league, scoring the winner in a game played at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia.

The bronze-medal game, also Saturday, will see Sweden face the Czech Republic.

In other games Friday, Russia beat Switzerland 7-5 in the fifth-place game, played in Breclav, and the United States beat Slovakia 5-3 in the seventh-place game, played in Piestany.

Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Adam Erne scored a pair of power-play goals and added an assist to lead Team USA.

Anthony DeAngelo had three assists, and Vinny Lettieri, Gabe Guertler and Justin Bailey also had goals as the U.S. team finished the tournament 1-2-1. Goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 32 of 35 shots as the United States outshot Slovakia 47-35.

"We learned to play together and really accomplished that for 60 minutes today," U.S. coach Matt Herr said. "We didn't let down. We capitalized on the power play and were successful on the penalty kill to stay focused on what we needed to do to win."

Guertler and Lettieri scored first-period goals to give the United States a 2-1 lead after one period, then Erne, who had 28 goals and 27 assists in 64 games with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scored a power-play goal early in the second to push the lead to 3-1.

Erne did it again to start the third, scoring on a two-man advantage to make it 4-1.

Slovakia scored twice to pull within a goal, but Bailey provided an insurance goal when he ripped a shot over the glove of goalie Maros Mikolas with 3:53 left.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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