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Russia cruise into semi-final date with United States at World Junior Hockey Championships

Russia cruise into semi-final date with United States at World Junior Hockey Championships
The unbeaten Russians breezed past Slovakia by a score of 8-3 on Wednesday to set up a semi-final clash with the United States in Vancouver, Canada on Friday in the 43rd iteration of the World Junior Hockey Championships.

Klim Kostin scored twice in Russia's convincing victory against Slovakia in the quarter-finals, while Grigori Denisenko added a goal and a pair of assists. Alexander Alexeyev, Stepan Starkov, Nikita Shashkov, Kirill Slepets and Ilya Morozov also found the net in the rout.

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Russia were clinical in the win, outscoring their opponents by five goals despite having five fewer shots on target throughout the game. Indeed, the Slovakians were kept off the board entirely until the third period - well after Russia had taken full control of the tie.

Two goals in the final minute put a semblance of respectability on the scoreline but Russia, who have now won all five of their games in the tournament, were never in danger.

The win sets up a semi-final with perennial rivals the United States who bypassed the challenge of the Czech Republic 3-1 in their last-eight fixture.

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A measure of revenge will be on the minds of the Russian squad, as they were eliminated at the quarter-final stage a year ago by the United States, losing 4-2.

Finland and Switzerland will compete in the other semi-final, with both games taking place inside Vancouver's Rogers Arena on Friday. Finland upset hosts Canada 2-1 in their quarter-final. 

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