IIHF World Championships - Quarterfinals
Six Oilers will be representing their country at the annual tournament
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Sweden advanced to the semifinals as they defeated Canada, 3-2 in a shootout. It was a costly game for Canada, as they will go home without a medal for the fourth straight year in a row. They also lost captain Eric Staal to a lower body injury late in the first period.
Canada made a few lineup changes as Luke Schenn drew back into the lineup after serving his one game suspension for an illegal hit to the head to Czech Republic’s Zbynek Igrl as well as the addition of P.K. Subban to the blue line.
Sweden had the chance to open the scoring early in the first as Petter Granberg’s shot from the point was redirected off Oscar Lindberg skate but Mike Smith was able to make the pad save.
Shortly after, Sweden had another two huge scoring chance as Gabriel Landeskog and Daniel Sedin went on the two-on-one rush. Landeskog with the give-and-go with Daniel Sedin but the puck went wide as Landeskog missed the pass back. A few seconds later, Henrik Tallinder made a pass to Simon Hjalmarsson who was all alone in front of the net but Smith made the toe save to keep the game scoreless.
In the other end, Matt Duchene on the doorstep of Jhonas Enroth with the backhander but he was able to make the save and quickly smother the rebound.
Late in the first, Eric Staal suffered a knee-on-knee collision Alex Edler. Staal was down on the ice for a few minutes before he had to be helped off by his teammates and trainer. Edler received a five-minute kneeing major as well as a game misconduct. Staal did not return to the game due to the lower-body injury.
Forty-five seconds into the second period and still on the powerplay, Steven Stamkos deflected Stephane Robidas shot in from the high slot to put Canada up, 1-0.
Canada had the chance to go up by two as Ryan O’Reilly was behind the net and centered the puck to Justin Schultz but Enroth made the save.
A few minutes later, Stamkos right off the bench picked up the pass from centre ice and went on the breakaway but Enroth stuck out the right pad and made the save.
Sweden almost tied it up as Tallinder threw the puck on net but Smith made the huge glove save to preserve Canada’s 1-0 lead.
Early in the third, Sweden went on their first powerplay of the night as Dan Hamhuis was called for a delay of game penalty and on the man-advantage, Nicklas Danielsson’s one-timer through traffic from the blue line found the back of the net to tie the game at one.
Five minutes later, Sweden went on their second powerplay of the game as Giroux was given two minutes for cross-checking and on the ensuing powerplay, Danielsson scored his second of the night as his shot from the blue line went through traffic to beat Smith as Sweden took their first lead in the game.
But 1:15 later, Andrew Ladd picked up the turnover in the Sweden zone and made the pass to Giroux, who beat Enroth on the short side to tie the game at two.
Sixty minutes solved nothing as they headed into overtime and early into the extra frame, Landeskog almost ended the game as he rushed in all alone on the right side but Smith was able to make the save to keep the game tied at two.
A minute and 18 seconds into overtime, Sweden made a goalie change as Enroth was replaced by Jacob Markstrom but he only lasted in net for 1:59 and faced one shot on net before Enroth returned to the cage.
Both teams couldn’t capitalize on the extra frame so they went to a shootout.
Canada selected Giroux as their first shooter but Enroth made the poke check to deny Giroux.
Sweden selected Loui Eriksson as their first shooter and he beat Smith through the five-hole to go up 1-0.
Jordan Eberle was Canada’s second shooter and his shot went through Enroth’s legs to tie the shootout at one.
Henrik Sedin was Sweden’s second shooter but Smith made the left pad save to keep it tied at one.
Matt Duchene went next for Canada but his shot was stopped as Enroth made the pad save.
Sweden selected Daniel Sedin as their third skater but Smith made the stop.
Sweden went again as they sent Fredrik Pettersson and his slapshot beat Smith top left hand corner to give Sweden, a 2-1 lead in the shootout.
Eberle went again for Canada as his shot beat Enroth but not the post.
Sweden would go on to win the shootout, 3-2 and will advance to the semifinals.
Taylor Hall was pointless in the game with one shot on net and 11:57 of ice time.
Jordan Eberle was also pointless in the game with three shots on net and 19:10 of ice time.
Justin Schultz was also pointless in the game with one shot on net and 8:53 of ice time.
Many attribute the success of the Swiss program to Edmonton Oilers Coach Ralph Krueger, who spent 13 years leading the national program in Switzerland.
USA 8 vs. RUSSIA 3
Team U.S.A. defeated and dominated defending World Champions, Team Russia, 8-3 as they advanced to the semi-finals.
The last time the two teams met was on Tues. May 7 in the round-robin tournament where Russia defeated USA, 5-3. Ben Bishop was in net and stopped 25 of 30 shots in the loss but Russia was without Alexander Ovechkin, who recently joined the team after the Washington Capitals lost in the first round to New York on Sunday.
However, John Gibson got the nod in net over Ben Bishop as he had one shutout and stopped 61 of 62 shots in the two games he played in the tournament. He also became the youngest goaltender to start for Team USA in the quarterfinals of the World Championship.
Gibson was tested early in the first as he faced a two-on-one rush with Alexander Ovehckin streaking in on the right side but made the huge pad save to keep the game scoreless.
The U.S. opened the scoring as Paul Stastny buried the backhanded pass from Craig Smith in behind Bryzgalov for his fourth of the tournament.
A 1:10 seconds later, a turnover by Russia in the neutral zone lead to the U.S.’s second goal as Tim Stapleton picked up the loose puck and made a pass to TJ Oshie. From beside the faceoff dot, Oshie threw the puck on net and it went in under the glove arm of Bryzgalov to give the U.S. an early 2-0 lead.
Russia would get one back late in the first as Alexander Svitov redirected Sergei Soin’s pass in past Gibson to cut the lead in half, ending Gibson’s shutout streak at 129:37.
Russia started the second on the powerplay but a turnover on the blue line led to a shorthanded rush for the U.S. as Stephen Gionta’s shot from the point was able to beat Bryzgalov but not the crossbar.
Shortly after on the U.S. blue line, Ryan Carter with the takeaway from Fyodor Tyutin began the rush up the ice. Carter centered the puck to Nate Thompson, who was all alone in front and his shot trickled through Bryzgalov’s five-hole and in as the U.S. retook their two goal lead in the game.
Russia had the chance to pull within one as they were on the powerplay but Gibson made the huge pad save on Ilya Kovalchuk’s shot from the point. Ovechkin was all alone in front and had the wide open net to bang in the rebound but couldn’t control the puck as it bounced over his stick.
A turnover in the Russian zone by Yevgeni Kuznetsov led to U.S.’s fourth goal of the night as Stastny made a pass to Smith, who found a wide-open Alex Galchenyuk to extend their lead 4-1.
Bryzgalov was pulled late in the second and replaced with Semyon Varlamov after letting in four goals on 23 shots.
Early in the third, Ovechkin with the quick release beat Gibson on the short side to cut the lead in half.
A few minutes later, Gionta was called for roughing as Russia went on their third powerplay of the game and on the man-advantage, Radulov turned over the puck on the U.S. blue line, which led to a shorthanded goal as Carter netted his first of the tournament.
On the same powerplay, Russia pulled within two as Alexander Perezhogin’s shot from the slot beat Gibson top right hand corner.
But the U.S. pulled away quickly as they scored three goals in 1:56 and took a commanding 8-3 lead over Russia. Jacob Trouba scored his first of the tournament on the powerplay while David Moss and Stasnty both collected their fourth and fifth of the tournament.
The U.S. advanced to the semi-finals and will go on to face the winner of the Czech Republic and Switzerland game. Semi-finals will take place on Saturday.
Jeff Petry was pointless in the game with zero shots on net and had 11:33 of ice time with a plus-2 rating.
SWITZERLAND 2 vs. CZECH REPUBLIC 1
It has been 21 years since Switzerland has advanced to the semifinals and they were able to do it by defeating the Czech Republic, 2-1.
Switzerland opened the scoring early in the first as Denis Hollenstein picked up his own rebound and slid it past Ondrej Pavelec for his fourth goal of the tournament.
A few minutes later, Switzerland went on the penalty kill as Reto Suri was called for roughing but just as the penalty expired, Suri jumped out of the box and picked up the turnover in the neutral zone. He went on the breakaway and almost put Switzerland up by two but Ondrej Pavelec made the save as he was able to get a piece of it.
The Czech Republic tried to tie it up in the second as Jakub Voracek, tried to blast the puck past Martin Gerber but was denied.
In the other zone, Julian Walker made a drop pass to Matthias Bieber in the high slot but Pavelec made the save.
Halfway through the second, Petr Hubacek was called for roughing and sent Switzerland on their third powerplay of the game. On the man-advantage, Roman Josi from the top of the circle threw the puck on net and it was deflected in off a stick in front to put Switzerland up, 2-0.
Trying to cut the lead in half, Tomas Hertl made a cross-crease pass to Voracek, who had the wide open net to tip in the puck but Mathias Seger got back in time and broke up the play.
Still in the Swiss zone, Ladislav Smid was all alone in front with a chance but Gerber made the huge save to preserve their 2-0 lead.
Switzerland started the third on the powerplay but a turnover behind the net in their own gave Tomas Plekanec the shorthanded wraparound chance. Gerber made the save and the Swiss defenders were able to quickly recover and clear the puck before Plekanec could jump on the rebound.
Shortly after on the Czech Republic powerplay, Zdenek Kutlak was all alone in front to pick up the rebound and put it just over the pad to Gerber to pull the Czech Republic within one.
With less than four minutes left in the third, Vrbata went on the breakaway as he picked up the Switzerland turnover in the neutral zone but Gerber made the huge pad save to keep their one goal lead.
Switzerland held onto their one goal lead, as they would go to defeat the Czech Republic, 2-1. The advanced to the semifinals and will face the U.S. on Saturday.
Ladislav Smid was pointless in the game with one shot on net and 17:05 of ice time.
-- Wendy Mach, edmontonoilers.com