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U.S., Sweden gain semifinals of the world junior hockey championship

NHL.com @NHL

PARDUBICE, Czech Republic - The United States and Sweden advanced to the semifinals of the world junior hockey championship on Monday.

Colin Wilson had a natural hat trick for the U.S., which also got goals from Tyler Ruegsegger and James vanRiemsdyk in a 5-3 victory over Finland. Jeremy Smith made 10 saves and Joe Palmer added eight for the U.S.

The Americans automatically gained the semifinals by taking first place in Group B, going 4-0 to earn 12 points. The only other time the U.S. won its first four games was 2004, when it captured its only gold medal in the event.

Sweden beat the host Czech Republic 4-2 to also go 4-0 and win Group A. The Swedes took a 3-0 lead in the second period behind goals from Oscar Moller, Patrik Berglund and Thomas Larsson.

Antonin Boruta gave the Czechs hope 44 seconds into the third, but Robin Figren made it 4-1 just a minute later and Sweden clinched the top spot in Group A.

The Czechs finished third in Group A and advanced to the quarterfinal round, where they will face Russia on Wednesday.

Canada beat Denmark 4-1 behind two goals from Kyle Turris to finish second in Group A, while Russia edged Switzerland 4-3 to grab second place in Group B.

Canada will play Finland in the other quarter-final, while Slovakia, Denmark, Kazakhstan and Switzerland will play in the relegation round.

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