Canada de­feats Rus­sia 5-4 in over­time to ad­vance to semi-fi­nal at hockey worlds

The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS - CAROL SCHRAM

O’Reilly nets win­ner, team ad­vances to face Switzer­land in Satur­day’s semi-fi­nal

Canada will com­pete for a medal at the world hockey cham­pi­onship for the fourth straight year thanks to an­other clutch goal from Ryan O’Reilly.

O’Reilly scored the game win­ner on a 4-on-3 power play with 4 min­utes 57 sec­onds into over­time on Thurs­day as Canada beat Rus­sia 5-4 and punched its ticket to the semi-fi­nal in Copenhagen.

Colton Parayko and Ryan Nugent-Hop­kins also scored pow­er­play goals while Kyle Tur­ris and Pierre-Luc Dubois added third­pe­riod mark­ers.

“It was back and forth,” said O’Reilly, who also scored the game win­ner that elim­i­nated Rus­sia in the 2017 semi-fi­nal in Cologne, Ger­many. “We had the lead mul­ti­ple times, and go­ing for­ward we have to so­lid­ify those leads and not give any­thing up. But we showed good re­silience, we kept scor­ing. We kept tak­ing the lead and hit­ting the one in over­time was huge.”

Canada came into the quar­ter­fi­nal as the lower seed af­ter a some­what lack­lus­tre pre­lim­i­nary-round per­for­mance in small­town Hern­ing. The change of scenery seemed to agree with the Cana­di­ans in their first pe­riod of ac­tion at Royal Arena in Copenhagen.

Canada con­trolled the play, out­shoot­ing Rus­sia 12-4 in the open­ing frame and tak­ing a 1-0 lead when Parayko fired a mas­sive slap shot to the glove side of Igor Sh­esty­orkin at 4:45.

The power-play goal snapped a 0-for-16 drought that had stretched over four pre­lim­i­nary­round games for Canada. It was the first of the tour­na­ment al­lowed by Sh­esty­orkin, who had been per­fect in seven pe­ri­ods of ac­tion against Slo­vakia, Be­larus and Aus­tria dur­ing pre­lim­i­nary­round play.

“We may not have been great through the group stage but we were dan­ger­ous tonight,” said Canada cap­tain Con­nor McDavid, who picked up pri­mary as­sists on all three power-play goals and now has 16 points in eight tour­na­ment games. “We did a lot of good things.”

The 22-year-old was a sur­prise starter in place of the more ex­pe­ri­enced Vasili Koshechkin, who held down the No. 1 job for the gold-medal-win­ning Olympic Ath­letes from Rus­sia team at the Pyeongchang Games in Feb­ru­ary.

Darcy Kuem­per made his fifth start of the tour­na­ment for Canada.

The Rus­sians started skat­ing in the sec­ond pe­riod, build­ing an 8-3 shot ad­van­tage be­fore Nugent-Hop­kins put Canada up 2-0 while Sergei An­dronov was serv­ing his sec­ond penalty of the game at 11:51 of the sec­ond pe­riod.

The Rus­sians stormed back with a goal just 1:02 later when Ilya Mikheyev scored af­ter an Artem Anisi­mov shot pulled Kuem­per out of po­si­tion. Alexan­der Bara­banov evened the score with an ex­tra at­tacker on the ice for a de­layed penalty call with 2:28 left to play in a sec­ond pe­riod where Rus­sia out­shot Canada 15-9.

Af­ter a cau­tious start to the third, Tur­ris put Canada up 3-2 at 7:11, beat­ing a sprawl­ing Sh­esty­orkin be­tween the pads from the slot af­ter a pinpoint pass from Jaden Schwartz.

An­dronov an­swered back for Rus­sia just 1:33 later, de­flect­ing a shot by Nikita Zait­sev over Kuem­per’s shoul­der. Then, Dubois scored his third of the tour­na­ment off a re­bound off a Tyson Jost shot with 7:24 left to play in the third be­fore Anisi­mov forced over­time when beat Kuem­per high from a bad an­gle.

The teams traded chances in over­time be­fore Canada went to the power play af­ter Kir­ill Kapri­zov was whis­tled for slash­ing with 3:35 elapsed. Cana­dian coach Bill Peters called a time out, then sent out McDavid, O’Reilly, Aaron Ek­blad and Parayko, with O’Reilly’s goal end­ing the game.

“I didn’t do too much on the play, I just stood there with my stick,” O’Reilly said. “I still don’t know how [McDavid] got it through on my tape like that.”

In the other early quar­ter-fi­nal in Hern­ing on Thurs­day, the United States re­mains in the hunt for its first medal since 2015 af­ter a 3-2 win over the Czech Repub­lic. Thurs­day’s late games will see Swe­den clash with Latvia in Copenhagen, while Fin­land meets Switzer­land in Hern­ing.

Canada will face Switzer­land in Copenhagen in semi-fi­nal ac­tion on Satur­day.

GRIGORY DUKOR/REUTERS

Ryan O’Reilly of Canada scores the over­time goal against Rus­sia in Thurs­day’s quar­ter-fi­nal game in Copenhagen.

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