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Final could be U.S., Canada

Erica Bulman Associated Press

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — The hockey world championships could feature a title game between the United States and Canada — the tournament’s first all-North American final in 54 years.

Defending champion Canada will play 2002 winner Slovakia in a semifinal today.

In the other semi, the Americans face a reinforced Swedish team that called in Colorado Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom for the game.

The bronze- and gold-medal games are Sunday.

This is the first semifinal at the worlds for the United States since 2001 and the second since 1996. The last time Canada and the United States met in the worlds final was 1950 in London, with the Canadians winning.

“That certainly would be something to play them in the final,” Canadian forward Danny Briere said. “It’s been a long time.”

In the quarterfinals, the Americans rallied from a 2-0 deficit in regulation to oust the Czech Republic, the host and title favorite, 3-2 in a penalty shootout.

Now, the United States must face a Swedish team bolstered by Thursday’s arrival of two top players.

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