US and Canada reach semifinals at hockey worlds, Germany and Latvia also advance
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TAMPERE, Finland (AP) — The United States beat the Czech Republic 3-0 on Thursday to set up a semifinal game against Germany at the ice hockey world championship.
Canada will face Latvia at Nokia Arena in the other semifinal on Saturday.
The Americans earned their eighth straight victory.
“This was a tough game and I’m really proud of our team and how we stuck to our game plan,” U.S. head coach David Quinn said. “There’s a real selflessness to our team and that’s been evident from the outset.”
Matt Coronato scored on a shot from the left circle that deflected off the skate of a Czech defenseman and into the net in the opening period in which the Czechs managed just two shots on goal.
Nick Perbix doubled the advantage midway through the second with a shot into the roof of the net to beat goaltender Karel Vejmelka.
Cutter Gauthier completed the scoring in the third with his seventh goal at the tournament.
The quarterfinal was a repeat of last year’s bronze-medal game, which the Czechs won 8-4.
In another quarterfinal in Tampere, Canada beat defending champion Finland 4-1. In last year’s final, Finland beat the Canadians 4-3 in overtime.
Jack Quinn, Samuel Blais and Michael Carcone scored for Canada before Finland pulled goaltender Emil Larmi for an extra attacker, leading to Teemu Hartikainen’s consolation goal with 3:08 left.
Only 50 seconds later, Canada captain Tyler Toffoli scored an empty-netter.
In the Latvian capital of Riga, Germany upset Switzerland 3-1 to reach the semifinals.
Jonas Siegenthaler answered Germany’s opening goal by Maximilian Kastner before John Peterka and Nico Sturm netted for the Germans.
Also in Riga, co-host Latvia followed the suit by upsetting Sweden 3-1.
Dans Locmelis, Mick Indrasis and Janis Jaks scored for Latvia. The Latvians beat Sweden for only the second time at the world championship and gave themselves a first chance to play for a medal.
Timothy Liljegren scored for Sweden.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports