Eight teams looked to continue their quest for gold as the Quarterfinals for 2013 IIHF World Hockey Championship took place Thursday. In Group H, Team USA beat Russia skating away with an 8-3 victory and Finland defeated Slovakia 4-3. Over in Group S, Switzerland outlasted the Czech Republic 21 and Sweden took the win in the shootout against Canada 3-2.
The semifinals take place on Saturday starting with Sweden playing Finland and then the US battling Switzerland for the right to play for gold.
USA 8 – RUSSIA 3
HELSINKI, Sweden – USA won the first game of the IIHF quarterfinals against Russia with a never done before remarkable feat, outscoring Russia by five goals and winning 8-3. Colorodo’s Paul Stastny started and finished the scoring for the USA in the victory.
Halfway through the first period and still scoreless, Stastny, got the US on the board against the Russians and less than a minute later St Louis’ TJ Oshie, scored the second goal of the game 12:43 in.
Russia cut the US lead in half three minutes later with their first goal of the game, ending the first period with the US ahead.
The USA finished the second period strong with a goals from Tampa Bay’s Nate Thompson and the other from 19-year-old Montreal rookie Alex Galchenyuk,with assists from Stastny and Nashville’s Craig Smith, just one of five assists on the game.
The third period started off with a back-and-forth battle. Russia struck 1:33 into the third period scoring their second goal thanks to superstar Alex Ovechkin. Less than a minute and a half later however, the USA fought back and New Jersey’s Ryan Carter, netted the American’s fifth goal for the Americans coming with the US killing off a Russia power play. The Russians would score on the same power play 45 seconds later to make it 5-3.
After that the USA dominated the Russians with three goals within a two minute span to put the game away starting from Winnipeg ’s 19-year-old , Jacob Trouba scoring on the power play goal. The other two goals came from David Moss and Stastny.
Nick Bjugstad recorded one shot during the game with 7:12 time on ice.
SWITZERLAND 2 – CZECH REPUBLIC 1
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Switzerland defeated the Czech Republic in a nail-biter, earning a 2-1 victory to put the Swiss in the final four.
23-year-old Denis Hollenstein recorded the only goal of the first period 5:45 in for Switzerland with assists from Severin Blindenbacher and Reto Suri. The Swiss had a chance for a second goal however Suri lost the puck on his opportunity.
The Czech Republic started off the second period shorthanded with two penalties from Jiri Tlusty and Petr Hubacek which allowed Switzerland to go up 2-0 after letting another goal 13:08 in during a power play netted by Nashville’s 22-year-old Roman Josi. Martin Gerber was strong between the pipes and kept the Czechs scoreless after 40 minutes.
With 5:29 gone in the third period, the Czech’s Zdenek Kutlak scored on a turnaround shot during a power play with assists from Tomas Plekanec and Jakub Voracek ending Gerber’s shutout bid.
Switzerland had to hold on for the last 15 minutes, including on two separate Czech power plays but Gerber stood strong, finishing the game with 33 saves.
Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann had four shots with 17:52 time on ice.
FINLAND 4 – SLOVAKIA 3
HELSINKI, Sweden - Finland made it to the semifinals thanks to an early first period lead in the quarterfinals against Slovakia, holding on for a 4-3 victory.
Finland started off the first period powerful with a three-goal lead. Ossi Vaananen scored the first goal 1:31 into the game and Petri Kontiola scored the next two goals with his second coming with five minutes left in the period to give them a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Slovakia hit the scoresheet 5:03 into the second with a goal from Michel Mikli. That goal would help give the Slovaks some momentum as they scored three straight to tie the game just 30 seconds into the third. Buffalo’s Andrej Sekera brought Slovakia to within one with a goal with 7:43 left in the period before Tomas Surovy knotted it early in the third.
Halfway through the third however Finland’s Juhamatti Aaltonen broke the tie and Finland held on the rest of the period leading to a 4-3 Finnish victory.
Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky recorded two shots for Slovakia in 17:50 time on ice.
SWEDEN 3 – CANADA 2 (SO)
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – It took a extra time to decide the final semifinal team but Sweden took the spot thanks to Fredrik Pettersson who netted the winning goal of the shootout, propelling the Swedes past Canada with a 3-2 victory.
Although the scoreboard saw no goals after the first period, 15:52 into the game Sweden’s Alexander Edler made some noise on the ice after colliding with Carolina’s Eric Staal in a knee-on-knee collision. Edler was ejected from the game which left Canada a five minute advantage.
The Canadians almost wasted the entire five-minute advantage but Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos started the second period with a speedy turnaround shot 45 seconds in. Canada thought they netted another goal with time running out in the period but replays showed the puck passed the goal line too late leaving the score 1-0 for Canada after 40 minutes.
Sweden picked up their game and Nicklas Danielsson scored the first goal during a power play tying the score 1-1 with a little more than five minutes gone in the third. Less than four minutes later, Sweden took full advantage of the power play once again and Loui Eriksson gave Tre Kroner their first lead of the game.
The lead didn’t last as Canada answered less than a minute and a half later when Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux tied the score two ultimately sending the game into overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, Eriksson came out to give Sweden the lead on their first attempt but Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle answered right back on Canada’s second shot. Saves by the netminders on the team’s third shots sent the game to the sudden death portion of the shootout where Pettersson netted the goal for the victory as Eberle’s shot missed on his attempt against Buffalo’s Jhonas Enroth.
While Enroth recorded the victory, Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom had a hand in sending Sweden to the semis after being pressed into duty in overtime, recording two two saves in 2:19 of ice time. Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell was on the ice for a total of 15:32 including 2:03 of the overtime.