As a result of Tuesday's games, the quarterfinal matchups are all set. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Devan Dubnyk and Team Canada will go up against Slovakia; Ales Hemsky's Czech Republic will go head-to-head with Sweden; Jeff Petry's Americans will be assigned to the host nation, Finland.
All games will take place Thursday in Helsinki and Stockholm.
CANADA 5 vs. BELARUS 1
Canada and Belarus headed into the second tied at one, but three middle-period goals -- including a pair on the power-play -- pushed the red and white to a 5-1 win, securing the top spot in the Helsinki Group with a 6-0-1-0 record (19 points).
Ryan O’Reilly scored twice, while Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did the damage in the second.
"I thought we out-battled them for the most part," Oilers winger Jordan Eberle said. "Our team's strength is how good we are in the offensive zone in cycling the puck and taking control that way. If we continue to do that, we'll (continue to) do well."
Just 2:16 in, Ryan O'Reilly buried an Andrew Ladd pass with a quick shot that zoomed past the helpless netminder, Dmitri Milchakov.
Belarus got it back with 5:35 to play, as Yevgeni Kovyrshin delivered a pinpoint pass to Sergei Kostitsyn at the doorstep. He wasted little time, one-touching a shot past Ward to even the score.
But that was all Belarus could muster, as the red and white took over in the middle period. Ward, 28, made 17 saves on 18 shots in the win.
With Sergei Drozd and Alexei Kalyuzhny serving separate penalties, Canada was put on an extended 5-on-3 advantage. While it was a not-so-dangerous, passive-looking power-play for most, the go-ahead goal was cashed late. With 22 seconds left in Kalyuzhny's hooking minor, Ryan Getzlaf's rocket-like one-timer pinballed in off Corey Perry's skate in the (very) deep slot.
Perry helped give it back to his Anaheim Ducks teammate moments later, too. With a loose puck bouncing around and with little in the way of defence from the Belarusians, Getzlaf was last to touch it as he hammered home the 3-1 tally at 12:46, on the Canadians’ 15th shot.
Canada wasn't done with the middle-period onslaught. Nor did Belarus' undisciplined play cease.
At 13:32, Andrei Kostitsyn drilled Evander Kane with a dirty hit in the numbers, sending the Winnipeg Jet violently into the corner boards. No. 9 required attention from Head Athletic Therapist T.D. Forss of the Oilers, but he remained in the game.
Kostitsyn did not, however; he was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for his efforts.
"It got a little bit chippy," said Eberle, who had a quiet night, collecting two shots on goal and an even rating in 13:31 of ice time. "They're competitors and they don't want to lose, but at the same time it maybe went over a line a little bit. We responded and played well."
"We've seen them play against other teams," added Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. "They come at you hard and don't let up, so we expected it."
On the ensuing power-play, RNH stamped a goal similar to Getzlaf's, banging home the garbage and putting Canada up 4-1, 1:25 later. Nugent-Hopkins ended the night with the goal, two shots on net, a 2-1 record in the dot and an even rating in 12:04 of ice time.
8:16 into the third, O'Reilly scored his second of the night with a wicket, water-bottle-destroying snapshot upstairs on Milchakov's blocker side.
Canada's Luke Schenn and Marc Methot were each assessed late-game boarding penalties (and game misconducts), which means they could be suspended for Thursday's game. Both plays will be reviewed by the IIHF.
Heading into Thursday's game and the start of the elimination round, Canada and its Oilers contingent is feeling good about the team's play to this point.
"The last two games have been tough mentally because of the scores, but we've got some pretty big games coming up," Eberle explained. "It won't be hard to get up."
"Every game we're getting better," RNH added. "The guys are really gelling better and that's huge. It's coming along and everyone's feeling a lot better."
CZECH REPUBLIC 8 vs. GERMANY 1
With a dominant 8-1 win over Germany Tuesday, the Czech Republic have locked up third place in the Stockholm Group with a 4-1-0-2 record (14 points), behind Russia (who’s unbeaten) and Sweden.
Oilers winger Ales Hemsky got it all started at 1:58, dancing down the near side and potting a slick backhand shot reminiscent of his goal in Game 1 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final -- beating the D wide, cutting across the crease and depositing the puck with ease past Dennis Endras.
Hemsky added an assist, ending the night with two points, two shots on goal and a +1 rating in 15:44 of ice time.
Before the game was 10 minutes old, the score was brought back on even terms. On a power-play, Germany's Christoph Schubert delivered a slap-pass to Thomas Greilinger, who teed up a blast that soared past Jakub Stepanek on the club’s second shot on net.
The Czechs regained the lead 2:58 later with a power-play goal, and added another with only 3:55 to play in the period -- a backbreaking goal, scored by Martin Erat as he attempted a doorstep dish to Tomas Plekanec, but it redirected in off Goc’s stick past Endras.
The German netminder played the entire game, giving up all eight goals on 39 shots.
10 came in the opening period when his squad could only produce half, en route to a three-period total of 18.
Hemsky nearly cashed his second of the night early in the second when he spliced the German D and burst in alone, but he was hauled down as the puck skirted to the corner and he careened into the goalie. No penalty was called on the play, despite No. 83’s lengthy verbal appeal.
The Czechs’ onslaught didn’t stop, as they added three more goals in the second period to take a commanding 6-1 advantage into the third.
Without much hope of coming back and winning, the Germans got into some third-period penalty trouble. Minors to Greilinger, Goc (2) and Sebastien Furchner put Germany in a not-so-wunderbar circumstance. As a result of the ensuing disadvantages, the Czechs added another pair on the power-play -- with Petr Koukal (assisted by Hemsky) and Miroslav Blatnak doing the damage -- setting the score at 8-1.
The Czechs had a chance to make it a 9-1 lead with a late-game penalty shot, but it was stopped.
The Czech Republic will now play Sweden in Thursday’s Quarter-Final. Puck drop is at 12:15pm MT.
USA 5 vs. SWITZERLAND 2
Three third-period goals and a three-point performance by Paul Stastny pushed Team USA to a 5-2 win over Switzerland Tuesday at the Hartwall Arena. With the victory, the Americans have vaulted to second place in the Helsinki Group and will go up against the host nation, Finland, in Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup.
Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry scored a goal (and it was a beauty), giving him a round-robin total of two goals and two assists in seven games. In addition, the 24-year-old logged 16:27 of ice time and recorded a +1 rating Tuesday.
"We didn't take them lightly or anything like that, we knew they're a good team," he said post-game. "Even though they knew they were eliminated, they were going to come out hard and play us hard. It was something that, going into the quarterfinal, we didn't want to take a game off and take them lightly.
"It was a big win for us tonight. We've got to continue with the effort that we had in the third period (and have it) carry over into the next game."
Swiss goaltender Reto Berra was exceptional in the opening period, answering all eight shot the Americans tossed his way. With 50 seconds on the clock, a US surge allowed Chris Butler and Cam Atkinson to whack at a pair of goalmouth opportunities, but the netminder kept them all out with a sensational athletic display.
The US held a slim 8-6 edge in shots after one.
That sequence proved pivotal as Switzerland struck only 21 seconds into the middle period. Damien Brunner delivered a cross-ice pass to Ivo Ruthemann at the crease’s lip; driving hard, he accepted the puck in full-flight as he crammed it past Jimmy Howard, crashing hard into the net in the process.
The play required a short video review, but it was deemed good moments later.
Howard was solid, stopping 25 shots in total for the win.
On the Americans’ first shot of the second period, they got back on even terms. Just as a power-play expired while Luca Sbisa sat for hooking, Bobby Ryan collected a mid-air Max Pacioretty pass, kicked it from skate-to-stick and launched a quick shot by Berra to make it a 1-1 game.
Late in the period, the US captured their first lead of the night. Cam Fowler engineered a dangerous up-ice rush, dropping the puck to Paul Stastny near the blueline. Stastny slalomed his way into the zone, dishing a return feed to Fowler down the middle. With a quick redirection on his backhand, the puck slid between Berra’s legs and across the goal line on the Americans’ 17th shot.
Stastny added a goal to his Tuesday resume, scooping up a wide-side Ryan dish at the goalmouth, stepping around the sprawling netminder and pulling a shot past him at 5:22 of the third. Team USA notched another 42 seconds later when Dallas’ Alex Goligoski walked into a bullet that beat Berra clean, restoring the daunting lead.
Switzerland’s Morris Trachsler brought his club back in it with a tally at 14:43, but Team USA’s quick-strike attack got it back 16 seconds later.
Stastny, collecting his third point of the night, orchestrated a give-and-go with Petry -- the Oilers rearguard got the last touch, going down on one knee and sniping a shot 14-hole on Berra to regain his squad’s three-goal edge.
"I saw Stas on the goal line, so I drove down and he made a great pass right into the slot."
-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com - with files from Tom Gazzola & Nyki Scheuerman on location in Helsinki
PLAYOFF SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times mountain)
Thursday, May 17:
Canada vs. Slovakia - 4:00 a.m. Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | IN FOCUS: Post-game
USA vs. Finland - 9:30 a.m. Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | IN FOCUS: Post-game
Czech Republic vs. Sweden - 12:15 p.m. Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights
Saturday, May 19:
Canada/Slovakia vs. Czech Republic/Sweden - TBD Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | IN FOCUS: Post-game
USA/Finland vs. Russia/Norway - TBD Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | IN FOCUS: Post-game
Sunday, May 20:
Bronze Medal Game - 11:30 a.m. Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | IN FOCUS: Post-game
Gold Medal Game - 7:00 a.m. Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | IN FOCUS: Post-game ======END OF TOURNAMENT===== ROUND ROBIN SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times mountain) Friday, May 4: