Canada to play Switzerland in semifinals of 2018 IIHF World Men’s Hockey Championship


Connor McDavid (Connor Mah, Wikimedia Commons)

Team Canada has advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s Hockey Championship in Copenhagen, Denmark.On Thursday, Canada defeated Russia 5-4 in overtime in one of four quarterfinal games.

Edmonton Oilers and Team Canada captain Connor McDavid of Richmond Hill, Ontario led Canada in scoring with three points as he notched three assists. St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko also had a multi-point game as he notched one goal and one assist for two points. The other four Canadian goal scorers were Nashville Predators centre Kyle Turris of New Westminster, British Columbia, Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly of Clinton, Ontario (who scored the overtime winner from McDavid on the power play), Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Burnaby, British Columbia and Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec.

However in order for Canada to advance to the gold medal game, they will need to protect their lead better. On three separate occasions Russia tied the hockey game. Also three occasions, Russia scored within two minutes after Canada scored.

Canada’s surprising opponent on Saturday in the semifinals will be Switzerland, who upset Finland 3-2. It was the first time at the World Men’s Hockey Championship since 1972 that Switzerland had beaten Finland.

The other semifinal will be Sweden versus the United States. Sweden beat Latvia 3-2 and the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2.

It was an extremely interesting day in international hockey. In fact, it was the first time since 2005 at the World Men’s Hockey Championship that all four quarterfinal games were decided by a single goal.

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