Sat, May 09, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Same old routine as Canada, Sweden advance

REUTERS , BERN

Sweden’s Marcus Nilson, right, challenges the Czech Republic’s Miroslav Blatak during their IIHF World Hockey Championship quarter-final game in Bern, Switzerland, on Thursday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Canada reached the ice hockey World Championship semi-finals as expected on Thursday, beating Latvia 4-2 for a place in the last four for the seventh time in a row.

Canada, who have won three of the last six tournaments and were runners-up at home last year, will face Sweden, who beat the Czech Republic 3-1 to reach their ninth successive semi-final.

The two teams were to meet yesterday evening, preceded by the match between title holders Russia and US.

Dan Hamhuis and Steve Stamkos scored a goal and an assist apiece, while Dany Heatley and Matthew Lombardi were also on target for Canada.

Latvia, who finished seventh to equal their best previous performance at the tournament, had won four out of six games and made a determined start as they kept the first period goalless.

“In the first period, they put themselves in a position with good goaltending,” Canadian coach Lindy Ruff said. “They felt like they could give us a run in this game.”

Mattias Weinhandl and Dick Tarnstrom scored power play goals in the second to help Sweden on their way against the Czechs. The Czechs pulled one back with a rare goal, scored with two men down.

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