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WORLDS: Nurse, Canada upset in final by Finland

Finland stuns Canada 3-1 in the gold medal game as Darnell Nurse and Canada settle for silver in Slovakia

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

FINLAND 3 CANADA 1

For Canada, it started and ended in a flash of blue and white.

Finland dished out some early adversity for the Canadians in the first game of the 2019 IIHF World Championship on May 10 with a 3-1 victory over Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse and his fellow countrymen, leading to them kicking into high gear by winning their next eight matches and outscoring opponents 43-11.

A rematch with the Finns in the gold-medal game provided the same 3-1 result on Sunday in Bratislava, Slovakia as Canada settled for silver in their attempt to match Russia's all-time lead for championships at the tournament with 27.

Watch: Youtube Video

A less-experienced lineup for Finland highlighted by 19 first-time players at Worlds and 2019 NHL Draft starlet Kaapo Kakko received two goals from captain Marko Antilla and a stellar 43-save performance from netminder Kevin Lankinen to win their first championship since 2011, one that coincidentally came as well in Bratislava.

Shea Theodore opened the scoring at the midway point of the opening frame by roofing a loose puck picked up inside the Finnish blue line, and Canada continued to pour on the pressure in the offensive zone to no avail.

Antilla slid one under Matt Murray on the power play 2:35 into the second, and added the eventual game-winner the exact same amount of time into the final period before Harri Pesonen put the final on ice with just over four minutes left on the clock.

A silver medal is Nurse's first at the senior level and second accolade in the red of Canada after striking gold at World Juniors in 2014-15. The blueliner finished with a stat line of two goals, two assists, and a plus-8 plus/minus rating in his second stint with Canada at the World Championship.

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WORLDS: Nurse showing confidence ahead of gold medal test

"This year, I'm a lot more confident and I'm enjoying the experience more, but I also want to be relied upon and be a big factor in our team's success," Darnell Nurse said

by Julie Robenhymer / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - After a career season with the Edmonton Oilers, defenceman Darnell Nurse is riding a wave of confidence with Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia - one he hopes sends him back to Canada with a gold medal around his neck. 

"We all came here with that goal and vision in our head and it's great to have the opportunity to do it," the 24-year-old said after Canada defeated Czech Republic 5-1 to advance to the gold medal game against Finland on Sunday. "It's not going to be an easy game whatsoever. They're a team that plays so well as a group. They outwork everybody they've played so far, including us. They're the only team that's beat us. So, it's a game where we're going to have to put on our hard hats and go work."

Nurse, who has two goals and two assists through nine games, was also on last year's world championship team and is benefiting from the experience he gained in Denmark.

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WORLD: Nurse scores in semifinal as Canada advances to gold medal match

Oilers defender finished with one goal, four shots and a plus-one rating in 22:06 of ice time in Canada's 5-1 win over the Czech Republic

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

CANADA 5, CZECH REPUBLIC 1

Darnell Nurse and Team Canada are hunting for hardware at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

The shiny, gold kind.

Nurse scored a wraparound goal in the opening minute of the second period to make it 2-0 in what finished as a 5-1 result against the Czech Republic. 

The Oilers rearguard registered four shots on goal and finished plus-one in 22:06 of ice time. The 2013 seventh-overall selection is up to two goals, two assists and a plus-nine rating at the tournament.

With the win, Canada advances to the gold medal match against Finland, who squeaked out a 1-0 semifinal win against Russia. The Finns defeated Canada 3-1 in the first game of the preliminary round but Canada captured eight straight victories since.

RECAP: CAN 5, CZE 1

"We came out hard in the first," Nurse said post-game. "They outshot us, so we want to clean up some things for tomorrow."

Mark Stone culled a goal and assist, while Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Turris and Thomas Chabot rounded out the rest of the scoring for the Red and White. 

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Murray stopped 40 of 41 shots on his 25th birthday, allowing the lone goal against to Tomas Zohorna.

"We stayed tight, Matt made some huge saves for us and we were able to capitalize on our opportunities," said the Oilers defender.

Nurse was also asked about Team Finland, who he will see on Sunday at 12:15 PM MDT. 

"Everywhere all over the ice, you see five," he said. "It seems like they swarm you. It's going to be a hard challenge tomorrow but one we're looking forward to."

Canada will look to go for gold for the fourth time in the past five years.

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WORLDS: Quarter-finals coverage

Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse logged 19:49 of ice time in a thrilling OT win vs. the Swiss; Draisaitl, Larsson get eliminated from medal contention

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

CANADA 3, SWITZERLAND 2 (OT)

Forward Mark Stone scored the game-winner at 5:07 of overtime against Switzerland to lift Team Canada to a 3-2 victory and semifinal berth in the 2019 IIHF World Championship on Thursday.

There was no shortage of drama in the match as Canada - trailing 2-1 with just seconds remaining in regulation - pushed until the very end with goaltender Matt Murray pulled to be rewarded with a Damon Severson slap shot marker with 0.4 seconds showing on the clock. 

The goal forced the overtime session where Stone notched his second of the outing, redirecting Pierre-Luc Dubois' feed for the winning score.

Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse logged 19:49 of ice time in 27 shifts as a force on the back end, while Murray backstopped Canada with a 22-save performance to eliminate the Swiss, who took silver in the tournament last year.

Sven Andrighetto and New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier tallied for Switzerland and goaltender Leonardo Genoni finished his standout performance with 39 saves on 42 shots. 

Canada will face the Czech Republic in semifinal action on Saturday.

WORLDS: CAN 3, SUI 2 (OT)

FINLAND 5, SWEDEN 4

A year after winning gold in last year's World Championship, Sweden was ruled out of medal contention with a loss in Thursday's affair against Finland, dropping an overtime decision 5-4.

Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson registered an assist on Patric Hornqvist's first-period marker and finished the evening having played 21:39 and with two shots.

Sakari Manninen notched the winner for Finland, who advance to the semifinals for a date against Russia on Saturday.

WORLDS: FIN 5, SWE 4

CZECH REPUBLIC 5, GERMANY 1

Despite Leon Draisaitl's best efforts to lead his nation to a medal finish at this year's World Championship, scoring five goals and three assists in eight outings, the Germans were dealt with a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Czech forward Jan Kovar scored two goals and an assist, while NHLers Jakub Voracek and Ondrej Palat also tallied for the club, who move onto the semifinals.

Germany's lone marker came from Frank Mauer in the second period, with the only assist going to Frederik Tiffels.

WORLDS: CZE 5, GER 1

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WORLDS: Leon, Germans look to keep strong tourney going

'These guys are some of my best friends' says Draisaitl who leads his 5-2 squad into Thursday's quarterfinal showdown vs. Czech Republic

by Julie Robenhymer / Special to EdmontonOilers.com

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - Leon Draisaitl has played more than 70 games for Germany's men's national team and is currently in Slovakia representing his country for the fifth consecutive year at the IIHF World Championship.

When asked why he always answers the call to come to these international events, his answer was pretty simple.

"I just like to play hockey," the 23-year-old said with a shrug. "And, I like to play hockey with my friends."

Of the 25 players on Germany's roster, six of them - including Draisaitl - were born in 1995 and have been playing together on various national teams since they were 16 and, in some cases, even younger for their various club teams and national camps.

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WORLDS: Day 12 Coverage

A three-point performance for Germany's Leon Draisaitl in a 4-2 victory over Finland highlights a busy slate of games for Oilers players at the IIHF World Championship

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

For full coverage of the Oilers competing in this month's IIHF World Championship and their individual and country's performances, visit our international page at EdmontonOilers.com/Worlds.

GERMANY 4 FINLAND 2

An impressive showing for Germany in a 4-2 victory over Finland was cemented with two goals and an assist for Leon Draisaitl, who increases his point production to five goals and three assists through seven preliminary-round contests.

Watch: Youtube Video

Draisaitl's backhand pass to Dominik Kahun from the left halfboards with just under seven minutes to go in the second frame levelled the score before the Oiler forward was able to tally the eventual game-winner 4:46 into the third with a quick snap shot off the feed from teammate Leonhard Pfoderl.

An empty netter for Draisaitl as the clock hit the one-minute mark sealed a top-4 finish in Group A and a place in the quarter-finals for Germany, who awaited the result of this afternoon's matchup between the United States and Canada to learn they will face the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

SLOVAKIA 2 DENMARK 1 (SO)

Hosts Slovakia and Andrej Sekera won't be going to the quarter-finals, but the nation was able to send off its home crowd and veteran Ladislav Nagy with a shootout win in the swansong of their tournament.

Watch: Youtube Video

Sekera would forego wearing the 'C' in order to pass the honour to his longtime international teammate Nagy, who had an assist and scored in the shootout in his final game before retiring. The Kosice crowd stood long after the final save was made by Slovak netminder Denis Godla saluting the efforts of their nation and long-time international mainstay Nagy.

Patrick Russell notched an assist for Denmark - his first point for the Danes in four games played at the tournament since arriving after the conclusion of the Bakersfield Condors playoff run.

Slovakia finishes fifth in Group A at 3-1-0-3, with Sekera rounding out his tournament with five points (2G, 3A) in seven appearances at this year's Worlds.

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WORLDS: Day 11 Coverage

Larsson and Sweden win tight 5-4 matchup against Latvia to secure quarter-final berth while Nurse and Canada roll past Denmark

by Cait MacPhail / EdmontonOilers.com

For full coverage of the Oilers competing in this month's IIHF World Championship and their individual and country's performances, visit our international page at EdmontonOilers.com/Worlds.

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WORLDS: Day 10 Coverage

Draisaitl's Germans defeated 3-1 by USA in tightly-contest matchup at IIHF World Championship

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

Leon Draisaitl and the Germans gave the Americans everything they could handle on Sunday in IIHF World Championship preliminary round action but two USA goals in the third resulted in a 3-1 decision.

Quarterfinal seeding was on the line in the lone matchup of the day involving an Oilers player, and Draisaitl made his presence felt early on, setting up the game's opening goal to give Germany the initial advantage.

Draisaitl stole the puck at the blueline, carried it to the high slot, drew American defender Alec Martinez to him and slid a perfect pass over to Frederik Tiffels for the quick wrister at 11:55 of the opening frame.

Draisaitl sets up Tiffels

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WORLDS: Day 9 Coverage

Nurse and Canada best Germany while Sekera and Larsson pick up wins with Slovakia and Sweden

by Cait MacPhail / EdmontonOilers.com

For full coverage of the Oilers competing in this month's IIHF World Championship and their individual and country's performances, visit our international page at EdmontonOilers.com/Worlds. 

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WORLDS: Day 8 Coverage

Captain Sekera with an assist as the host nation Slovakia improves to 2-3 at Worlds with a 6-3 victory over France

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

Oilers defenceman Andrej Sekera recorded his third assist and fourth point of the tournament as the host nation Slovakia doubled up France 6-3 on Friday at the IIHF World Championship.

Richard Panik got the Slovaks on the board with a power-play goal at 13:26 of the opening frame as Sekera got the puck at the point, slid it across to Robert Lantosi for the one-timer and Panik capitalized on the rebound.

Sekera assists on Panik's PPG

Matus Sukel, Libor Hudacek, Erik Cernak, Michal Cajkovsky and Ladislav Nagy also scored for Slovakia in the important victory to bump them up to 2-3 through five games.

With Germany's hot start at 4-0, the hosts will be hard-pressed to secure a spot in quarterfinals, but they can earn as many as 12 points with wins in their final two games against Great Britain on Saturday and Denmark on Tuesday.

The most likely scenario for Slovakia to qualify for quarterfinals would be the United States securing four or less points in their final three games vs. Denmark, Germany and Canada. The host squad's opening day win over the Americans could prove vital.

Day 8 was quiet for the Oilers contingent at the tournament, with only Sekera in action, but Day 9 on Saturday features Denmark (Russell) vs. USA at 4:15am MT, Canada (Nurse) vs. Germany (Draisaitl) at 8:15am MT, Sweden (Larsson) vs. Switzerland at 12:15pm MT and, as mentioned, Slovakia (Sekera) vs. Great Britain also at 12:15pm MT.

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For full coverage of the Oilers competing in this month's IIHF World Championship and their individual and country's performances, visit our international page at EdmontonOilers.com/Worlds.

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