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Sweden, Czech Republic reach Worlds final

May 20, 2006 at 8:22 PM

RIGA, Latvia, May 20 (UPI) -- Sweden and the Czech Republic won their semifinal games Saturday to reach the gold medal game of the 2006 World Ice Hockey Championship in Riga, Latvia.

Mikael Samuelsson had a goal and an assist, Michael Nylander had three assists and Johan Holmqvist had 28 saves for Sweden, in a 5-4 win over Canada. The Swedes -- who won the gold in hockey at the Olympics in Turin, Italy -- are in position to become the first country to win the Olympic and world championship hockey titles in the same year.

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Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist for Canada, to push his scoring total for the tournament to 16 points. He could become the youngest player since 1954 to win the scoring title at the event.

The Czech Republic scored three unanswered goals in a 3-1 victory over Finland.

Tomas Plekanec, David Vyborny and Jaroslav Hlinka all scored goals for the defending champion Czechs.

Riku Hahl scored the lone goal for the Finns, who have not made it to the final since 2001.

Sweden and the Czech Republic meet in the title game Sunday, following the bronze-medal game between Finland and Canada.

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