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Russia 5, Finland 0

September 7, 1996

KANATA, Ontario (AP) _ Buffalo Sabres backup Andrei Trefilov made 27 saves as Russia beat Finland 5-0 on Friday night to advance to a World Cup semifinal against the United States.

Andrei Kovalev, Sergei Gonchar, Andrei Nikolishin, Dimitri Yushkevich and Andrei Kovalenko scored for Russia, which will face the United States on Sunday night at Kanata. The United States won the North American pool, clinching a quarterfinal bye with a 5-2 victory over Russia.

``We have to play the same disciplined game and play hard defensively and play together like we did tonight to beat the Americans,″ said Trefilov, 8-8-1 with a 3.51 GAA in 22 games for Buffalo last season.

Canada will play Sweden on Saturday night in Philadelphia in the other semifinal. The best-of-3 championship series begins Tuesday night at Philadelphia.

A crowd of 15,347 _ significantly more than turned out for Canada’s 4-1 victory over Germany on Thursday night in Montreal _ attended the game at the Corel Centre. They were treated to occasional brilliant playmaking, along with long stretches of neutral-zone circling.

Still, it was a marked improvement for the Russians, who also lost to Canada in round-robin play.

Russia, which lost Alexei Zhamnov in the first period because of an apparent shoulder injury, converted one of three power plays. Finland failed on seven advantages, including a full two minutes of 5-on-3 late in the game.

After sparkling saves on Zhamnov, Nikolishin and Kovalev, Finnish goalie Jarmo Myllys had little chance at 6:36 of the first period when Kovalev converted a perfect feed from Alexei Yashin.

Myllys’ strong play was all but negated during a Russian power play at 15:00 when he misplayed Gonchar’s wrist shot from the point. The goalie allowed the puck up and over his glove hand into the goal.

Nikolishin made it 3-0 at 7:36 of the second period, converting a 2-1 break following a turnover near center ice. Yushkevich made it 4-0 at 5:40 of the third, and Kovalenko, traded earlier in the day from Montreal to Edmonton, completed the scoring 29 seconds later.

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