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Team Pacific advances to World Under-17 Challenge finals

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According to the Hockey Canada website, Team Pacific (comprised of players born in Alberta and British Columbia) defeated Team Russia 7-3 on Friday to advance to the 2014 World Under-17 Challenge championship final in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Calgary natives Nick Merkley of the Kelowna Rockets and Zach Sawchenko of the Moose Jaw Warriors came up huge as Team Pacific will now play an impressive American squad in Saturday's championship final. The United States hammered Quebec 9-1 in the other semi-final.

Merkley notched a goal and an assist in the semi-final win. The 16 year-old who has 28 points this year for Kelowna, scored Team Pacific's opening goal at 10:18 of the first period, and then assisted on Team Pacific's fifth goal early in the third period off the stick of Matteo Gennaro of the Prince Albert Raiders to make the score 5-2 at the time.

Sawchenko meanwhile made 25 saves on 28 shots. Sawchenko has been Team Pacific's number one goaltender and will try to backstop the Pacific team to their first World U-17 Challenge title ever.

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