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Sens trio advances to world championship semis

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
There will be a definite Senators presence in the gold-medal game at the world hockey championship.

Ottawa forward Milan Michalek and the Czech Republic continued their march toward a potential second straight title at the 2011 IIHF worlds, blanking the United States 4-0 today in their quarter-final matchup at the Orange Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. Former Pittsburgh Penguins star Jaromir Jagr had a hat trick for the Czechs, who own a spotless record in the tournament.

Michalek was held off the scoresheet but recorded a pair of shots against the U.S., whose roster included Ryan Shannon of the Senators. After the game, the speedy Ottawa forward was named one of the top three American players in the tournament, along with Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers and Craig Smith of the University of Wisconsin.

In today's other quarter-final, Sens defence prospect David Rundblad recorded an assist — his first point at the world championship in two outings — as Sweden rolled past Germany 5-2. The Tre Kronor's lineup also includes Ottawa forward prospect Jakob Silfverberg, who totalled three shots in the game.

With the Czechs and Swedes matching up in the early semifinal on Friday (10:15 a.m., TSN), at least one player with a Senators connection will play for gold on Sunday.

Senators centre Jason Spezza, who owns a pair of silver medals from his two previous appearances at the worlds, hopes to get a shot at gold himself. First, Spezza and Canada must get past Russia in quarter-final play on Thursday (2:15 p.m., TSN). The survivor plays either Finland or Norway in a Friday semifinal (2:15 p.m., TSN).

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