Canada completes late-game comeback over Sweden
After trailing 3-0 for much of the game, Canada managed to level the deficit and beat Sweden 4-3 in extra time after Drake Batherson scored.
Batherson, who deducted a penalty from William Nylander, benefited from a one-timer from Matt Barzal, who scored the decisive goal minutes earlier.
Canada play the Czech Republic in the semifinals on Saturday, with Canada looking to reach the final for the sixth time in the last seven tournaments.
Sweden was in the lead from the start. Carl Klingberg scored on Sweden’s first good scoring chance after just 1:27 into the game, and Nylander scored on a breakaway at 7:04.
Canada beat Sweden 19-1 in the second period, but Sweden’s shot from Erik Gustafsson was tapped by Max Friberg and Chris Driedger to make it 3-0 – an lead that lasted until the 41-minute mark.
At this point, Ryan Graves’ shot from the point gave Canada some momentum. Sweden often tested Driedger in the third round, but Canada’s continued pressure eventually slowed Sweden down.
Pierre-Luc Dubois’ power-play goal at 18:07 brought Canada to 1, and Barzal’s shot on his 25th birthday at 18:37 forced Canada into overtime.
Nylander’s costly 25-second penalty was ultimately the deciding factor, while Batherson’s one-off 45-second time won the game for Canada – the team’s fourth straight quarter-final win after overtime.
Czech Republic runs over Germany 4-1
Three power-play goals set the tone as the Czech Republic beat Germany 4-1 to advance to the quarter-finals.
The Czech Republic meets Canada in the semi-finals on Saturday and is hoping for a gold medal on Sunday.
The Czechs scored just before the end of the opening power play for a hot start. David Krejci found his old pal David Pastrnak on the right side of the German net and wasted no time to make it 1-0.
At 10:04, Roman Cervenka sent a wrister for the Czech Republic’s second power play goal, an lead that ultimately proved too much for the Germans.
The third goal was scored by the same pioneers, Krejci scored one of his own at 32:10 to make it 3:0. The result stayed the same until Moritz Seider’s shot from the spot landed through the traffic and past Karel Vejmelka for a 3-1 goal with the empty net.
Unfortunately for Germany, a late Jiri Smejkal goal from an empty net with 1:50 left ended any chance of a German comeback and sent the Czech Republic into the last four for the seventh time since 2010.
The US excludes Switzerland
Switzerland’s first World Cup defeat comes at a bad time after their 2-0 defeat by the USA.
Switzerland had a perfect record in Group A but couldn’t find their mojo against a young, fast side from the United States. The USA have led 6-2 up to this point and will meet Finland in the semi-finals.
At 11:59, Ben Meyers opened the scoring for the United States after making a deke past a Swiss defender and deflecting the puck from another opponent to beat Leonardo Genoni.
Five minutes later, Adam Gaudette scored a highlight goal when he dived for the puck to make it 2-0. Little did anyone know it was coming as Switzerland failed to beat Jeremy Swayman in a 2-0 defeat. Meyers scored his second goal late in the game to put the competition out of reach and secured USA a place in the last four.
Finland wins over Slovakia in comeback effort
Canada weren’t the only team to stage a comeback on Thursday, as Finland equalized a 2-0 deficit to defeat Slovakia 4-2.
The Finns are playing for a medal for the ninth time since 2010, most recently winning gold in 2019 and silver in 2021. Finland also won gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics and ranks first in the IIHF rankings.
Slovakia’s first goal was as accidental as it gets. At 9:17, Mario Lunter’s shot ricocheted off a defender in front of him and hit Adam Sykora’s racquet to make it 1-0. Pavol Regenda’s strike at 15:16 was a little more targeted and gave Slovakia a 2-0 lead after his fourth shutout in five games against a Finnish side who had Jussi Olkinuora in the net.
Marko Anttila has made a name for himself as one of the best clutch players in Finnish ice hockey history, which was underscored by his two goals during the 2019 gold medal game. At 18:27 he made it 2:1 and added another 3:44 in the second minute to end things.
One of Finland’s other clutch players, Sakari Manninen, went big at 44:01. He snagged a rebound after a Jere Sallinen chance, beating Adam Huska down the left to make it 3-2. Saku Maenalanen struck from an empty net with a second to go, a tremendous home effort for the Finns.
1. David Krejci, F (CZE): With a goal and two assists, Krejci brought his A-game here.
2. Marko Anttila, F (FIN): The Finnish giant doesn’t score often, but when they do, it’s only with big ones. His two goals tied things together for Finland.
3. Mathew Barzal, F (CAN): Barzal scored the tie and set up the game winner to lead Canada to comeback victory.
Finland vs USA
Canada vs Czech Republic