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Seguin's hat trick leads Canada past Belarus

by Staff

Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) had a hat trick, and Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks) and Ryan O'Reilly (Colorado Avalanche) each scored two goals, to lead Canada to a 9-0 win against Belarus on Thursday in a quarterfinal game at the 2015 IIHF World Championship played at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

Canada will play the Czech Republic, a 5-3 winner against Finland, in one semifinal game Saturday.

Burns also had two assists, Jason Spezza (Dallas Stars) had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Ennis (Buffalo Sabres) scored for Canada. Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers) and Jake Muzzin (Los Angeles Kings) each had two assists. Goaltender Mike Smith (Arizona Coyotes) made 24 saves.

Spezza leads all scorers in the tournament with 13 points. Hall, Burns, Jordan Eberle (Edmonton Oilers), who had an assist Thursday, and Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche) are among a group of six players tied for third with 11 points.

Seguin's hat trick gives him eight goals, which are tied with Sweden's Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators) for the tournament lead. Seguin also scored his first regular-season NHL goal at O2 Arena on Oct. 10, 2010 as a member of the Boston Bruins.

"Someone's blessing me here in this arena," Seguin told the IIHF website. "I think for me personally, I started off the tournament not getting bounces. I'm obviously more happy when they go in. We're not the team that started out back in Vienna and Austria some 20 days ago. We've gotten better every day. We've grown as a team. We've come together and we're going to try to continue doing that."

Belarus goalie Kevin Lalande made 41 saves.

"It's nice to put ourselves in a position to get to the finals," Canada captain Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) said. "That's the important thing, to get better every game. At this point you've got to be at your best. It's win or go home. We did a good job today."

Burns opened the scoring 27 seconds into the game and Canada added three more goals in the first period.

Seguin scored late in the first to make it 4-0 and again 3:23 into the second to make it 5-0 for Canada. Burns scored his second goal later in the second and Seguin completed his hat trick at 10:32 of the third.

O'Reilly and Spezza scored later in the third to complete the scoring.

Czech Republic 5, Finland 3: Jaromir Jagr (Florida Panthers) scored his second goal of the game with 4:30 remaining in regulation to break a tie and send the Czech Republic to the semifinals, delighting the sellout crowd of 17,383 at 02 Arena.

Jagr picked up the puck behind the net after a giveaway by Finland's Janne Pesonen, came out to the left of Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators), and fired a shot between the kneeling goaltender's left arm and body to break a 3-3 tie. Vladimir Sobotka added an empty-net goal with 23 seconds remaining. Jan Kovar also scored twice for the Czech Republic.

Jagr, 43, also had an assist. He is tied for third in the tournament with six goals and has nine points in eight games.

Ondrej Pavelec (Winnipeg Jets) made 19 saves for the Czech Republic, which will compete for a medal for the first time since winning the bronze in 2012. Its most recent gold medal was in 2010.

Tuomo Ruutu (New Jersey Devils) and two of Jagr's teammates with the Panthers, Jussi Jokinen and Aleksander Barkov, scored for Finland. Barkov's goal 4:24 into the third period tied the game at 3-3 after Jagr and Kovar scored 97 seconds apart late in the second period to put the Czech Republic up by a goal through 40 minutes.

Rinne finished with 27 saves for Finland, which won the silver medal last year after losing to Russia in the final.

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