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Worlds: Quarterfinal Recap

by Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) / Winnipeg Jets

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It was wire-to-wire no-doubter – a dominant display in a tournament chock-full of ‘em for the red and white.

Canada cruised to a 9-0 win over Belarus Thursday in Prague, Czech Republic, and is only one win away from guaranteeing a medal at the IIHF World Hockey Championship for the first time since 2009.

Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks) had two goals and two assists, Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) recorded a hat trick, and four others had multi-point nights in the one-sided victory. Tyler Ennis (Buffalo Sabres), Ryan O’Reilly (Colorado Avalanche) and Jason Spezza (Dallas Stars) rounded out the scoring.

Goaltender Mike Smith (Arizona Coyotes) made 24 saves for the shutout.

A win in Saturday’s semifinal against the Czech Republic would put Canada in the gold-medal game for the first time in
six years.

Canada last won it all in 2007, dropping its two most recent final-round appearances in back-to-back years (2008 and 2009).

Burns opened the scoring less than a half-minute in, picking the corner with a beautiful one-time shot from the edge of the near hash marks. Canada took a 2-0 lead at 7:36 as Ennis – the beneficiary of a spry feed from Tyson Barrie (Colorado Avalanche) – went bar down from close range. O’Reilly extended the lead at 10:14, redirecting a flat Burns point pass into the far corner of the cage before Seguin capped a four-goal first period with a power-play marker at 17:47, wiring a shot short side on Kevin Lalande, a Belarusian-Canadian currently playing with CSKA Moscow in the KHL.

Lalande finished the night with 41 saves.

Shots on goal favoured the Canadians 20-3 after one period of play, but the intermission did little to quell the attack.

Seguin made it a 5-0 game early in the second period, fanning on a shot from the far faceoff circle but having it fool and dribble under the pad of the goaltender.

Burns followed suit, scoring his second of the night with 8:53 left in the middle frame, launching a one-time blast through a clear, 45-foot lane.

Seguin completed the hat trick at 10:32 of the third, roofing a backhand shot after receiving a slick feed from Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers).

O’Reilly and Spezza added goals two-and-a-half minutes apart in the final 6:58.


Jets goaltending prospect Connor Hellebuyck made 21 saves in a 3-1 US win over Switzerland in the day’s first quarterfinal matchup in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Ben Smith (San Jose Sharks) and Charlie Coyle (Minnesota Wild) scored 57 seconds apart as the US rallied from a 1-0 deficit. Jake Gardiner (Toronto Maple Leafs) put the game away with a wrist shot midway through the third period.

Roman Josi (Nashville Predators) scored the lone goal for the Swiss.

With the win, Hellebuyck improves to 6-0-0 with a 1.32 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage, allowing only eight goals in the tournament.

The Americans will now face either Sweden or the defending World champion Russia in one of Saturday’s two semifinal tilts.

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Playing his 150th career game in a national team sweater, the ageless wonder – 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers – broke a 3-3 tie with five-and-a-half minutes to play in the third period, propelling the Czech Republic to an emotional 5-3 win over Finland at O2 Arena.

Jagr scored a power-play goal earlier in the game, drawing the Czechs even after briefly falling behind 2-1. Jan Kovar added a pair and Vladimir Sobotka rounded the scoring for the Czechs,
while Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 21 of 24 shots in the victory.

It was a magnificent scene in Prague, as the host team earned a semifinal berth vs. Canada, coming up on Saturday at 8:15am CT.

Tuomo Ruutu (New Jersey Devils), Aleksander Barkov (Panthers) and Jussi Jokinen (Panthers) scored for the Finns.

With the win, Pavelec improves to 5-1-0 with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.

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