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Canada, Czech Republic make semifinals

January 2, 1997

GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) _ Christian Dube and Brad Isbister each contributed a goal and an assist to lead Canada to a 7-2 victory over Slovakia on Wednesday in the World Junior Hockey Championships.

The Canadians, looking for a record fifth consecutive title, will play Russia in the semifinal round on Friday.

The United States will take on the Czech Republic in the other semifinal, after the Czechs beat Finland in a overtime penalty shootout after regulation play ended 2-2.

Daniel Briere and Trenton Whitfield combined to put Canada ahead 2-0 early in the second.

Marian Hossa brought Slovakia to 2-1, but Peter Schaefer restored Canada’s two-goal edge with less than two minutes remaining in the period.

Slovakia continued to fight back in the third, once again narrowing the deficit to one after a goal by Pavol Rieciciar’s goal made it 3-2 in the third, but Canada pulled away with goals by Brad Isbister, Boyd Devereaux, Trevor Letowski and Christian Dube.

Olli Jokinen opened the scoring in the first period, giving Finland a 1-0 lead which stood up until Pavel Kriz brought the Czech Republic even with less than three minutes remaining in the second.

The teams traded third-period goals. Tommi Kallio made it 2-1 for the Finns, who appeared headed for the semifinals until Radek Matejovsky sent the game into overtime when he scored with 27 seconds remaining in regulation time.

After a scoreless 10-minute overtime period, Finland crumbled under the pressure of the shootout, scoring only one goal to the Czech Republic’s three.

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