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Canada, U.S. get rematch

MONDAY, JAN. 3, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Canada set up an anticipated rematch, even if it’ll be two days earlier than expected.

Canada reached the semifinals of the World Junior Championships with a 4-1 win Sunday over Switzerland, and will face the United States today. The winner will advance to the gold-medal game on Wednesday.

The semifinal will be a rematch of last year’s championship game, when the Americans snapped Canada’s string of five straight gold medals with an overtime win.

Sweden beat Canada in a shootout in the final game of the preliminary round Friday to grab the top seed in Group B, dropping Canada into the quarterfinals.

The USA won group A and got a bye into the semis.

“It was the most hyped game coming in,” Canadian forward Marcus Foligno said. “I think it will live up to it. The U.S. versus Canada. Here it is.”

A win over its southern neighbor today would give Canada a chance to play for its 16th gold medal since this tournament began in 1977.

A U.S. victory would put the host country into the gold-medal game for the third time in 11 years.

“It’s the U.S., and I don’t think anybody in the locker room really likes them,” Canadian forward Louis Leblanc said with a sly smile. “They’re a solid and balanced team.”

Leblanc, Ryan Johansen, Casey Cizikas and Zack Kassian scored, and Mark Visentin made 21 saves for Canada against a stubborn Swiss team.

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