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Cozens, Team Canada advance to World Junior semis

Forward tallies 2 assists in win over Slovakia

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Dylan Cozens (1st round, 2019) tallied two assists and a game-high seven shots as Canada advanced to the semifinals of the IIHF World Junior Championship with a 6-1 victory over Slovakia on Thursday.  

Cozens was one of three Sabres prospects who saw action in quarterfinal play. Mattias Samuelsson (2nd round, 2018) and Team USA dropped a 1-0 contest to Finland, while Matej Pekar (4th round, 2018) and the Czech Republic fell to Sweden, 5-0. 

Swedish goaltender Erik Portillo (3rd round, 2019) is also participating in the tournament, though he has not dressed to date. 

Cozens and the Canadians will face reigning champion Finland in the semifinal round on Saturday. The forward ranks second on Team Canada and tied for fifth among all skaters with eight points in five contests. He leads his team with a plus-five rating.

Samuelsson, who captained Team USA, concludes his tournament with a plus-3 rating in five contests. He was among the team's top two skaters in ice time in four of those games. The defenseman will pick up his sophomore season at Western Michigan University, where he also serves as captain. 

Pekar tallied one assist in five games. He will return to OHL Barrie, where he's tallied 29 points (16+13) in 26 contests this season.

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