Kane leads U.S. into semis; Canada knocks out Russia

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS - By Karel Jan­icek

HERNING, DEN­MARK » Cap­tain Patrick Kane scored two goals to lift the United States to a 3-2 win over the Czech Repub­lic in the quar­ter­fi­nals of the ice hockey world cham­pi­onship on Thurs­day while Canada beat Russia 5-4 in over­time.

Switzer­land pulled off a sur­prise by elim­i­nat­ing Fin­land 3-2 and de­fend­ing champion Swe­den edged out Latvia 3-2.

Kane claimed the third-pe­riod win­ner to take the out­right lead in the scor­ing ta­ble on 19 points, a U.S. record, with eight goals and 11 as­sists and set up a semi­fi­nal against Swe­den on Satur­day.

“It’s my job to pro­duce,” Kane said. “It’s al­ways nice to con­trib­ute of­fen­sively.” The U.S. is look­ing for its first medal since pick­ing up bronze in 2015.

“We came here to put our­selves in a position to try to win the gold,” Kane said. “We’re on the right path.”

The U.S. took con­trol with a cou­ple of goals in the span of 1:43 mid­way through the first pe­riod.

Kane beat goal­tender Pavel Fran­couz from the right circle be­fore Nick Bonino fed Cam Atkin­son in front of the net to stretch the lead with a back­hand shot.

The Czechs hit back in the sec­ond pe­riod. Michal Repik re­duced the ad­van­tage on a slap­shot and Martin Ne­cas net­ted the ty­ing goal on a power play.

“It’s a pity,” Czech for­ward To­mas Plekanec said. “We cre­ated enough chances to win.”

In Copenhagen, Ryan O’Reilly scored 4:57 into over­time to knock out Russia while cap­tain Con­nor McDavid had three as­sists, in­clud­ing on the win­ning goal.

Hunt­ing its third ti­tle in four years, Canada will face Switzer­land in the semis.

“Canada are a great team, they al­ways are,” de­fense­man Ro­man Josi said af­ter his Switzer­land team beat Fin­land for the first time since 1972.

De­fense­man Colton Parayko blasted a shot past goal­tender Igor Sh­esty­orkin on a power play to give Canada a 1-0 lead in the first pe­riod be­fore Ryan Nu­gent-Hop­kins dou­bled the ad­van­tage on an­other power play.

But Alexan­der Bara­banov and Ilya Mikheyev scored in the sec­ond pe­riod to tie the game.

Kyle Tur­ris made it 3-2 to Canada in the third be­fore Sergei An­dronov lev­eled. Pierre-Luc Dubois put Canada ahead again but Russia an­swered with a goal from Ar­tyom Anisi­mov.

Fin­land looked to be head­ing for vic­tory af­ter Markus Nu­ti­vaara’s first-pe­riod goal, but Switzer­land ral­lied with goals from Enzo Corvi, Joel Ver­min and Gre­gory Hof­mann in less than four min­utes mid­way through the sec­ond.

“We didn’t start the way we wanted but we re­acted in the sec­ond pe­riod and played very well from then on,” Josi said.

Mikko Ran­ta­nen cut the deficit to one goal in the third pe­riod.

“This wasn’t what we were look­ing for,” Fin­land cap­tain Mikael Gran­lund said. “They had the momentum in the sec­ond pe­riod and we were not able to turn it around.”

PETR DAVID JOSEK| — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Patrick Kane of the United States cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing his side’s win­ning goal dur­ing the quar­ter­fi­nal match against the Czech Repub­lic in Herning, Den­mark on Thurs­day.

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