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Sports in brief

HOCKEY

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U.S. ENDS world junior round-robin with victory

HELSINKI, Finland — Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist to lead the United States to a 4-1 victory over Denmark on Thursday in their final round-robin game at the world junior championship.

Matthews, who plays professionally in Switzerland, tied it at 1 in the first period, and Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano put the United States ahead in the second period. Matthews assisted on Boston College center Colin White's third-period goal, and Notre Dame wing Anders Bjork added a power-play goal.

Goalie Brandon Halverson, who plays junior hockey for Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario League, made 16 saves for the United States.

"We had a slow start, but we came together in the middle of the game and capitalized on some chances," said Matthews, 18, expected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NHL draft.

The Americans finished second in Group A at 3-1-0. They face the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals Saturday.

Sweden beat Canada 5-2 and won Group A at 4-0-0. Sweden plays Slovakia in the quarterfinals, and Canada faces Finland.

In Group B, Finland beat the Czech Republic 5-4, and Russia topped Slovakia 2-1 to finish 4-0-0. Russia plays Denmark in the quarterfinals.

SOCCER

Transfer window opens today

The January transfer window opens for business today in Europe, and rarely has so much been at stake for teams in the lucrative English Premier League. Lagging behind in the race for Champions League qualification, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool could be the most active of the major powers as they look for a strong finish to arguably the most unpredictable season in the Premier League's 24 years. Then there's the scramble to avoid the costliest-ever relegation from England's top division. Next season is the start of the EPL's new three-year TV deal worth a record $8 billion, and no club wants to miss out on a share of that bounty. So count on England being where most deals are done over the next month.

Times wires

Sports in brief 12/31/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2015 8:27pm]
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