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World Championship

Worlds: Matthews scores winner for U.S.

Top 2016 draft prospect leads Americans into semifinals against Canada on Saturday

by @NHL

Auston Matthews scored in regulation and had the game-deciding goal in the shootout to give the United States a 2-1 victory against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the 2016 IIHF World Championship at Yubileiny Arena in Moscow, Russia.

Matthews, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters for the 2016 NHL Draft, leads the U.S. with five goals and eight points in eight games.

Keith Kinkaid (New Jersey Devils) made 31 saves through overtime, then stopped Lukas Kaspar, Petr Koukal and Tomas Zohorna in the shootout.

The U.S. will play Canada, which defeated Sweden, in the semifinals on Saturday. Canada beat the U.S. 5-1 in the tournament opener for each team on May 6.

"Everything was good today," Matthews said. "Keith Kinkaid was really big today. We played pretty well defensively. We did all these little things to win this game. And we were quite fortunate to win in the shootout. I had some opportunities in previous games that I couldn't score, so I'm happy I scored today."

Zohorna put the Czech Republic ahead by scoring on a first-period penalty shot, but Matthews tied the game 1:27 into the second. He took a pass from Frank Vatrano (Boston Bruins) in the Czech zone on the move, skated around defenseman Radek Simek and tucked a backhand shot under goalie Dominik Furch.

The U.S. had an opportunity to win the game during the 10-minute overtime when Zohorna was called for charging at 3:07. Jordan Schroeder (Minnesota Wild) had the best U.S. chance with a shot from the slot but Furch stopped him with his glove.

In the second round of the shootout, Matthews came down the right side and beat Furch to the short side through his pads. Kinkaid stopped Zohorna to give the United States the victory.

"I wanted to kind of open him up and see if I can find a hole," Matthews said. "Luckily I did; it sneaked in the net."

Matthews said his experience this season in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league, helped him prepare for the Worlds.

"I played against mature, experienced players in Switzerland," he said. "It made me a better player."


Canada 6, Sweden 0: Six Canadians scored, including Mark Stone (Ottawa Senators) and Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets), who each had a goal and two assists to help Canada reach the semifinals.

Matt Dumba (Minnesota Wild), Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins), Max Domi (Arizona Coyotes) and Derick Brassard (New York Rangers) also scored goals, and Cam Talbot (Edmonton Oilers) made 24 saves for his third shutout of the tournament.

Scheifele redirected a shot by Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo Sabres) past Sweden goalie Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver Canucks), putting Canada ahead at 18:39 of the first period. At 6:05 of the second, Scheifele and Stone set up Dumba's goal that made it 2-0.

Dumba's goal was the first of three in the second period for Canada.

Markstrom made 28 saves for Sweden.

Finland 5, Denmark 1: Mikael Granlund (Minnesota Wild) scored twice, Mikko Koivu (Wild) had two assists and Patrik Laine and Jussi Jokinen (Florida Panthers) each had goals to help Finland remain unbeaten and advance to the semifinals.

Mikko Koskinen made 16 saves for Finland, which will play Russia in the first of the two semifinals Saturday at the Moscow Ice Palace.

Finland outshot Denmark 11-3 in the first period, and Granlund put the Finns ahead at 14:29. Jarno Koskiranta scored 1:45 into the second period to give Finland a 2-0 lead.

After Lars Eller (Montreal Canadiens) scored a power-play goal for Denmark to cut the lead to 2-1, Laine, No. 2 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters for the 2016 NHL Draft, scored late in the second period to make it 3-1.

Jokinen and Granlund each scored empty-net goals.

Russia 4, Germany 1: Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) had his first goal of the tournament, and Russia scored four unanswered goals to advance to the semifinals.

Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) stopped 19 shots for Russia.

Patrick Reimer gave Germany a 1-0 lead when he beat Bobrovsky at 4:45 of the first period. Vadim Shipachyov tied the game 40 seconds into the second period with the first of his two goals, triggering a three-goal period for Russia.

Shipachyov also had an assist on Yevgeni Dadonov's goal, which was the eventual game-winner. Evgeny Kuznetsov (Capitals) helped set up Ovechkin's goal that made it 4-1 at 2:45 of the third.

Thomas Greiss (New York Islanders) made 33 saves for Germany.


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