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Canada to Face Czech Republic  in World Hockey Championships - 2003-05-08


Canada will take on the Czech Republic while defending champion Slovakia will face Sweden in the semifinals of the World Ice Hockey Championships in Finland.

P.J. Axelsson scored a power-play goal with less than five minutes left in Wednesday's game in Helsinki to cap Sweden's amazing five-goal comeback in a 6-5 victory over Finland. They had trailed 5-1 in the second period. Sweden advanced to Friday's semifinals against defending champion Slovakia, which ousted Switzerland, 3-1.

The comeback upheld Finland's winless home record against arch-rival Sweden in the championships, and Finland's inability to win a championship medal at home in six attempts. In Turku, NHL sharpshooter Milan Hejduk had a goal and an assist while goalie Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves, as the Czech Republic shut out Russia, 3-0. The Czechs will face Canada in the semifinals, after the Olympic champion Canadians edged Germany, 3-2, on Eric Brewer's goal 37 seconds into overtime.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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