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USA beats Switzerland to reach World Hockey semifinals

Eric Blum of Switzerland (L) fights for the

Eric Blum of Switzerland (L) fights for the puck with Brock Nelson of the United States during the IIHF workd championship quarterfinal at CEZ Arena on May 14, 2015 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Credit: Getty Images

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic - Ben Smith and Charlie Coyle scored 57 seconds apart as the United States rallied for a 3-1 victory over Switzerland in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championship on Thursday.

Smith tied the game for the Americans with a wrist shot 10:17 into the second period, and Coyle deflected in a slap shot by defensemen Seth Jones for the go-ahead goal.

"It was a big minute and a big boost for all the team," forward Trevor Lewis said.

Coyle also had an assist to go with his second goal in three games, since he joined the U.S. after his Minnesota Wild were eliminated in the NHL playoffs.

"It's always nice to help out with the scoring but it was a great zone tie-up by some of our linemates to create those chances and open it up," Coyle said.

Defenseman Jake Gardiner scored the third with a wrist shot midway through the final period as the U.S. set up a semifinal against defending champion Russia or Sweden.

Defenseman Roman Josi gave Switzerland the lead 13:04 into the game when he collected the puck behind the blue line, carved through the U.S. defense, and hit high past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

The U.S., which won its group with six victories and one loss, advances to the semis for the second time in three years. It won the bronze in 2013.

In other quarterfinals later Thursday, Canada played Belarus, and the Czech Republic met Finland.


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