U.S., Canada to meet in World Hockey Championship semifinals

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The U.S. and Canada will meet with a medal at stake at the World Hockey Championship for the first time since the tournament introduced bracket rounds in 1992.

Likely No.  1 NHL Draft pick Auston Matthews scored the U.S. goals in regulation and a shootout, lifting the Americans past the Czech Republic 2-1 and into the Worlds semifinals in Russia on Thursday.

Later, Canada trounced Sweden 6-0 in a rematch of the Sochi Olympic gold-medal game. Russia and Finland advanced to the other semifinal with wins over Germany and Denmark, respectively.

NBC Sports Live Extra will air live coverage of both semifinals on Saturday at 9 a.m. (Russia-Finland) and 1 p.m. ET (U.S.-Canada).

The gold-medal game is Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in Moscow on Live Extra.

The U.S. roster at Worlds includes zero Olympians and, though it has many NHL players, two have made an NHL All-Star team (Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings).

Canada, the reigning World champion, has a more decorated roster of NHL players, including Corey PerryMatt DucheneBrad Marchand and Taylor Hall.

The Americans squeaked into the quarterfinals in the last qualifying spot in its group after losses to Canada, Finland, Germany and Slovakia.

The U.S. earned bronze two of the previous three years at Worlds, beating the Czech Republic in the 2015 bronze-medal game.

The U.S. hasn’t finished higher than third at Worlds since 1960, when it won the title.

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