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Canada Earns Bye Into Semifinals, Finland, Sweden Advance in Group B


With a 7-1 win over the Czech Republic, Canada secured a berth in the semifinals of the Women’s U18 World Championship at HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y.

With the bye into Sunday’s semi, Canada is on track to play for its fourth straight gold medal.

But players aren’t getting ahead of themselves. Micah Hart understand the importance of the daily grind. The Canadian captain was part of last year’s gold medal winning team and has been a key influence for her teammates.

“Just take it step by step,” Hart said. “You can’t look ahead. You can’t look back. You just have to be in the moment all the time. It’s just focusing on the little things. Focusing on those details and those habits we want to be good at.”

Hart finished with two points as six players scored. Sarah Potomack, a Minnesota commit, scored twice and finished with four points. Elizabeth Giguere had a three-point night with a goal and two assists giving her five points in the tournament.

Also adding goals were Kristin O’Neill, Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout and Lindsay Agnew.

Canada dominated shots on goal, 50-8, but that wasn’t the focus.

“Today we were able to play a complete game,” coach Cassie Turner said. “It wasn’t just the goals. I think we did a lot of little things and took care of details we’ve been talking about. We’re happy overall with our effort today.”

Switzerland 3, Japan 1

The Swiss won their second game of the tournament but did not avoid the relegation round.

Kaleigh Quennec gave the Swiss a 1-0 lead with 9:17 left in the second period with her second goal of the tournament.

Alina Muller made it 2-0 with an impressive move in alone on Japanese goalie Ayu Tonosaki. Muller moved across the crease and tucked the puck underneath Tonosaki for a power play tally. Muller added her second goal of the game to make it a 3-0 game before Japan got on the board with 23 seconds left in regulation.

The teams finish in the bottom of Group B and will face off in a best-of-three relegation series beginning at noon on Friday.

Finland 3, Sweden 1

Finland needed to win to avoid the relegation round and it rallied form a 1-0 first period deficit to advance to the quarterfinals.

Sweden took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from Jessica Adolfsson.

Finland then scored three times in the second all on special teams. Nea Katajamaki and Sanni Hakala tallied on the power play while Anniina Kaitala scored shorthanded.

The win forced a tiebreaker among Sweden, Finland and Switzerland, after all three won two games. Goal differential gave Finland the quarterfinal spot while Sweden won Group B.

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