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BLOG: Reichel, Canadian Trio Advance to Semifinal Round at Worlds

Five total Blackhawks players advance to final four at 2021 IIHF World Championship

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum / Blackhawks.com

And then there were four.

The semifinal round is set at the 2021 IIHF World Championship with five Blackhawks players still in the mix for the gold medal game: Lukas Reichel (GER), Brandon Hagel (CAN), Nicolas Beaudin (CAN), Brandon Pirri (CAN) and Drew Commesso (USA). 

Dominik Kubalik (CZE), Philipp Kurashev (SUI), Nikita Zadorov (RUS) and Maxim Shalunov (RUS) all saw their tournaments come to an end on Thursday with defeats in the quarterfinal round. 


REICHEL, GERMANY TOP KURASHEV, SWITZERLAND

It was a thriller that came down to a shootout as Germany overcame a 2-0 hole to Switzerland, tied the game in the final minute of play and then took the skills competition to advance to the semifinal round. 

Reichel tied for the team lead in shots in the win with five shots, but was held off the scoresheet in the victory despite a beautiful breakaway attempt in overtime and a chance in the fourth round of the shootout that was denied. 

Germany will move on to face Finland on Saturday in the semifinals with puck drop scheduled for 10:15 a.m. CT. Win or lose, Germany will play for a medal -- gold or silver in the championship, bronze in the consolation match -- for the first time since 2010 and only the second time since 1953.

Kurashev recorded an assist on the game's opening goal for the Swiss and skated 17:39 of ice time, but saw his tournament come to a close in the quarterfinal round. He finished with five points (1G, 4A) in eight skates at the World Championship, one point better than his first appearance at the tournament two years ago in the same number of games.

HIGHLIGHTS: GER vs. SUI


CANADA UPSETS TOP-SEEDED RUSSIA

The Canadian team took their comeback story to another level by defeating the Group A-winning Russian team in the quarterfinal, 2-1 in overtime. 

Chicago's Team Canada trio was held off the scoresheet on the day, as Hagel skated 11:18, Beaudin 11:52 and Pirri netted 15:00 of ice time in the overtime win. The Canadians move on to face the Americans on Saturday (6:15 a.m. CT) for a spot in the tournament final on Sunday. 

Zadorov logged 19:16 of ice time for the Russians while Shalunov was a scratch for the contest. The Blackhawks blueliner finished the tournament with three assists in eight games as a top-pair d-man for the Russians, while Shalunov registered a goal in six skates for his home country. 


KUBALIK, CZECHS ELIMINATED

Late-game heroics were not in the cards for the Czech Republic, who fell to Finland in a 1-0 quarterfinal matchup on Thursday. The Czechs attempted another late comeback with the netminder pulled for nearly the finals three minutes of the game, but could not find the equalizer before time expired. 

Kubalik logged 21:04 of ice time with three shots in the loss, finishing as Czech Republic's leading scorer on the tournament with six points (3G, 3A) in seven games. 


AMERICANS MOVE ON

The U.S. took the most lopsided quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, a 6-1 win over Slovakia to advance to the semifinals. Blackhawks prospect Commesso, who is serving as the third netminder for Team USA, did not dress in the win. 

They'll face Canada on Saturday in the penultimate round at 6:15 a.m. CT. 


GAMES JUNE 5
  • CAN vs. USA - 6:15 a.m. CT 
  • GER vs. FIN - 10:15 a.m. CT 
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