BERN, Switzerland -- Canada and Sweden are to meet in the semifinals of the International Hockey Federation World Championship for a fourth consecutive year after they both won tight matches May 7.
Sweden skated past the Czech Republic 3-1 while Canada got past Latvia for a 4-2.
Sweden finally put away the Czech Republic 3-1 on a goal from veteran captain Kenny Jonsson with 2:14 to play in a quarterfinal.
"I know we're going to play a tough opponent but we still haven't lost in regulation so far," Sweden forward Marcus Nilson said. "I think we've got a good chance."
Canada beat Sweden the past two years, winning it all in 2007, while Sweden won the final four matchup on its way to the world title in 2006, the year it also won Olympic gold in Turin.
In a game that seldom flowed, Sweden received power-play goals from Mattias Weinhandl and Dick Tarnstrom in the second and survived a third-period rally from the Czechs.
Goalie Jonas Gustavsson made a sliding pad save on Jaromir Jagr's shot in front of the goal, and Patrik Elias had a slap shot hit the post.
The Czechs' frustration quickly led to two more penalties but instead of putting the game out of reach on their two-man advantage, the Swedes gave the puck away to Tomas Rolinek, who went down the ice and fed Petr Cajanek for a one-timer in the slot.
The Czechs came inches away from an equalizer when their next shot ricocheted from the crossbar and bounced a couple times on the ice behind Gustavsson before the puck was cleared.
Gustavsson had 33 saves for the win, and Jakub Stepanek had 17 stops for the 2005 champion Czechs.
"We've got a great goaltender and when there was rebounds around our defensemen did a good job of clearing them out," Nilson said.
Against the Latvians, Canada got three goals in the second period from Dany Heatley, Dan Hamhuis and Steve Stamkos following a scoreless first.
Stamkos' goal was a tournament-best seventh for the rookie forward who was picked first in the 2008 NHL Draft.
"He has been in the right spot and scored timely goals for us," Canada coach Lindy Ruff said. "He came in with a lot of confidence and it's showing. He's been able to flourish."
The United States played Russia in the first semifinal May 8, with the Sweden-Canada following.
Swedish forward Kristian Huselius gives the Tre Konor a 1-0 lead as he banks the puck into the net behind Czech goalie Jakub Stepanek during Sweden's 3-1 win over the Czechs in the May 7 quarterfinals of the IHF World Championships in Bern, Switzerland.
Bildbyrån photo/Joel Marklund