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Czechs give Canadians tough time

Norway earned the right to face Team USA in the semifinals Friday and Canada overcame its stiffest opposition yet Wednesday as preliminary round games of the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships wound up at HarborCenter.

The Norwegians clinched second place in Group A with a 5-0 win over Japan, breaking open a scoreless game with three second period goals. A short-handed goal by Morten Vaernes got Norway started at 2:01 of the second. Goals by Loyd-Remi Pallander Solberg and Einar Pedersen (power play) followed. Tor Joakim Rivera and Emil Sorheim (power play) added goals in the third.

Canada, which had rolled over its first two opponents with ease and has not been scored on, sweated a little before defeating the Czech Republic, 2-0. The victory clinched first place in the Group A preliminary round and sends the Canadians to a semifinal game Friday against Russia (2-1).

Canada outshot the Czechs, 23-3, but did not have a comfortable lead until Billy Bridges scored his second goal of the game at 10:08 of the third period. Bridges had scored a first period goal at 10:32 with an assist from Tyler McGregor.

Earlier, Russia (2-1) clinched second place in Group B with 10-0 rout of Germany (0-3). Sergei Panfilov, Nikolay Terentyev and Ilia Volkov had two goals each for the winners.