O’Reilly scores in OT; Canada beats Rus­sia, ad­vances to world semi­fi­nals

Waterloo Region Record - - Sports - CAROL SCHRAM

COPENHAGEN — 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 four-on-three power play with 4:57 into over­time Thurs­day as Canada beat Rus­sia 5-4 and punched its ticket to the semi­fi­nals 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 semi­fi­nal 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.”

The Cana­di­ans will face Switzer­land in the semi­fi­nals in Copenhagen on Satur­day.

The Swiss ad­vanced with a 3-2 up­set of Fin­land on Thurs­day.

Canada came into the quar­ter­fi­nal as the lower seed af­ter a some­what lack­lus­tre pre­lim­i­nary-round per­for­mance in small-town 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 slap­shot 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 pre­lim­i­nary-round 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.”

Canada has now won its last three meet­ings with Rus­sia at the worlds, storm­ing back for a 4-2 come-from-be­hind win in the semi­fi­nal in Cologne, Ger­many in 2017 and earn­ing gold with a 6-1 win over Rus­sia in ’15.

The win also ends a four-year medal streak for the Rus­sians at worlds, where they won gold in ’14, silver in ’15 and bronze in ’16 and ’17.

The other semi­fi­nal will fea­ture the United States and Swe­den.

The Amer­i­cans re­mained in the hunt for its first medal since 2015 af­ter a 3-2 win over the Czech Repub­lic in Hern­ing, while the Swedes edged Latvia, 3-2.

LISELOTTE SABROE THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Canada’s Ryan O’Reilly cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing to lead Canada to vic­tory against Rus­sia in Copenhagen, Den­mark, on Thurs­day.

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