January 02, 2016

HELSINKI (AP) Auston Matthews had a hat trick to lead the United States to a 7-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the world junior hockey championship.

''Everybody on the ice helped me. My linemates played unbelievably today,'' said Matthews, who plays for SC Lions Zurich in Switzerland and is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft.

The U.S. will face Russia in the semifinals Monday, and Finland will face Sweden. Russia beat Denmark 4-3 in overtime, Finland edged Canada 6-5, and Sweden beat Slovakia 6-0.

Nick Schmaltz, Christian Dvorak, Scott Eansor and Alex DeBrincat also scored for the Americans, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 28 saves for his first shutout of the tournament.

Schmaltz plays for North Dakota, Dvorak for London in the Ontario Hockey League, Eansor for Seattle in the Western Hockey League, DeBrincat for Erie in the OHL, and Nedeljkovic for Niagara in the OHL.

''The guys played really well,'' Nedeljkovic said. ''It was a little bit of a question how we were going to come out, but we established our forecheck early on, and we got pucks on the net. Couldn't ask for a better game.''

Patrik Laine scored twice for Finland, netting the power-play winner with 5:50 left.

''This was the most amazing game of my life so far,'' Laine said. ''I hope that we will keep going and hope that we can win more.''

Mitch Marner had two power-play goals in the third period for Canada.

Vladislav Kamenev scored twice, including the overtime gooal for Russia.

Linus Soderstom led Sweden, stopping 17 shots for his second shutout of the tournament.

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