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Canada advances to semis against Russia at Ivan Hlinka

The Canadian Press

8/7/2013 5:02:43 PM

BRECLAV, Czech Republic - Spencer Watson and Brayden Point scored shootout goals as Canada nipped Switzerland 4-3 on Wednesday to claim a semifinal berth at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial under-18 men's hockey tournament.

Canada was first in the Group A standings despite finishing tied with the Swiss and Czech Republic, which beat Sweden 5-2 also Wednesday, with five points apiece. The Canadians beat the Czechs and Switzerland during the preliminary round.

The Czech Republic, which earned a 4-3 shootout win over Switzerland during the preliminary round, took second spot.

Switzerland forced overtime with Simon Kindschi's goal at 4:28 of the third, his second of the game.

Point, Sam Bennett and Aaron Ekblad scored in regulation for Canada, which is chasing a sixth straight tournament title.

Kevin Fiala had the other goal for Switzerland, which was outshot 41-24 by Canada in the game.

After an off-day Thursday, Canada will face Russia in semifinal action Friday. The United States takes on the Czechs in the other.

The semifinal winners meet in the tournament final Saturday.

In other action, the U.S. beat Slovakia 5-2 to cement top spot in Group B with seven points. Russia beat Finland 7-3 to finish second with six points.