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Onto The Semis

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Three teams with Panthers players are one step closer towards winning that gold medal. That’s because they earned quarterfinal victories and will be battling it out in the semis on Friday.

Canada routed Norway 8-2 while Sweden and Finland each won 3-2 overtime thrillers against the Czech Republic and the United States respectively. For David Booth and Craig Anderson, the journey for a medal ended prematurely, but it was great experience for the both of them. In the other quarterfinal matchup, Russia shut out Switzerland 6-0.

Jay Bouwmeester (Getty Images)
(Halifax) Canada is in the semi-finals once again thanks to their 8-2 victory over Norway. And while the score looks like a blowout, the Norwegians were close to the Canadians for a period and a half of play.

The game was only 37 seconds old when Ottawa’s Dany Heatley scored his 10th of the tournament to give the Canadians the lead. Norway used the power play to tie the score as Morten Ask’s shot beat Carolina’s Cam Ward 7:51 into the contest. Canada regained the one goal lead heading into the first intermission when Ryan Getzlaf scored a power play goal with 8:58 remaining in the period.

Norway would tie the score once again as Mathis Olimb’s shot found the back of the net 5:32 into the second but Chicago’s Jonathan Toews would net the game-winner 4:25 later, while Buffalo’s Derek Roy scored Canada’s third straight power play goal for insurance with 5:52 remaining in the period. Roy scored his second just 2:42 later to give the Canadians a 5-2 lead heading into the third period.

In the third period, Columbus’ Rick Nash scored back-to-back goals with a power play tally 4:10 into the period and an even strength goal 6:34 later. Roy closed out the scoring with his third of the game 56 seconds after Nash’s second.

Jay Bouwmeester was a part of the first defensive pairing and finished with a shot on net on 12:35 of ice time. He was also a -1 and was assessed a cross-checking minor with 2:30 remaining in the first period.

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Olli Jokinen (Getty Images)
(Halifax) Three days after falling to Finland 3-2, the US had hoped for a different outcome. But just like Sunday, the United States lost to Finland by that same 3-2 score, this time in overtime.

There was one difference between Wednesday’s game and Sunday’s game. In Sunday’s game, the US held a 2-0 lead through two periods of play while the Finns fought back to win. Wednesday’s game saw Finland hold that same 2-0 lead through the first two periods only to see the US fight back to tie it.

Finland first got on the board with 9:46 remaining in the first period as Olli Jokinen set up Carolina’s Tuomu Ruutu for the goal.

The Finns got their second goal of the night 5:45 into the second period when Jokinen and Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne set up Janne Niskala’s power play tally.

Starting the third period, it didn’t look good for the United States. It wasn’t the situation they wanted to be in until about five minutes left in regulation to be exact. Boston’s Phil Kessel finally got the Americans on the board with 4:16 remaining and Buffalo’s Drew Stafford tied it at two with 3:39 remaining as the Americans were killing a penalty.

The two team’s went into overtime with each looking to advance to the next round, but Sami Lepisto’s goal ended that hope for the US as his tally with 1:01 remaining in the extra period sent the Finns onto the semis where they will face Russia.

Jokinen finished with the two assists on three shots and was a +1 on 18:49 of ice time while Ville Peltonen had three shots on net and was a -1 on 18:08 of ice time for Finland.

For the US, David Booth finished a +1 on 13:07 of ice time while Craig Anderson was once again the back up netminder.

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Magnus Johansson (Getty Images)
(Quebec City) It was a back-and-forth affair in Quebec City between the Swedes and the Czechs before Sweden pulled out the 3-2 overtime victory.

After playing a scoreless first period, Sweden used the power play to get on the board as Patric Hornqvist scored 7:43 into the middle period. The lead didn’t last long as Tomas Rolinek put the Czechs on the board just 2:45 later.

Radim Vrbata would give the Czech Republic a 2-1 lead, beating NY Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist on a penalty shot with 7:41, but Sweden’s Marcus Nilson would not the score once again with a goal set up by Magnus Johansson with 4:38 remaining.

The two teams then played 3:15 of overtime before Mattias Weinhandl scored his fifth of the tournament to give Sweden the victory.

Johansson had that assist along with a shot on net on 22:31 of ice time.

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