By Glenn Odebralski for floridapanthers.com
It was the all important game to get into the medal rounds.
Win and you're on to the semis. Lose and you fall oh-so-short for a chance at gold, silver and bronze.
For three teams with Panthers players, it was a great day. For the head coach? Not so much.
That's because Tomas Vokoun and the Czech Republic, Jacob Markstrom
and Sweden and Dmitry Kulikov
and Russia are all moving on. For Peter DeBoer and Canada, their tournament is done.
The Czechs went to a shootout to beat Finland 2-1. Sweden (4-2 over Denmark) and Russia (5-2 over Canada) had much easier quarterfinal results.CZECH REPUBLIC 2 - Finland 1 (SO)
70 minutes? No thanks. Let's just decide it via the shootout.
And that's exactly what happened as the Czech Republic beat Finland 2-1 in the shootout to advance to Saturday's semifinals against Sweden.
Finland jumped on the Czechs early but Tomas Vokoun and his teammates fought back to tie it early in the third.
From there Lukas Kaspar and Jan Marek scored for the Czech Republic while Jarkko Immonen found a way to beat Vokoun in the one-on-one session.
After the first three shooters scored, Jussi Jokinen (FIN), Jakub Klepis (CZE) and Petri Kontiola (FIN) all missed the net to secure the victory for the Czech Republic.
"The shootout is lots of times a matter of luck. I get some, and I miss some. It's a fun way to win, but a tough way to lose," said goaltender Vokoun to IIHF.com following his 29 save performance.
It was Kontiola who got the Finns on the board just 55 seconds into the game. Taking a pass from inside the Finns' blueline, he wove his way through two defenseman before waiting Vokoun out and beating him with a wrist shot.
And that was it. For 40 minutes of play as the two defenses went into shutdown mode.
The Czech Republic would score their goal 1:12 into the third as Klepis beat Pekka Rinne with a slapshot from the point on a power play.SWEDEN 4 - Denmark 2
Sweden built a 3-0 lead and never looked back in beating Denmark in Mannheim. With that, Sweden moves on to play the Czech Republic Saturday in Cologne.
Marcus Nilson gave the Tre Kroner a lead 14:58 into the first as he took a feed from former Panther Magnus Johansson and beat Patrick Galbraith from in close.
The Swedes would again get on the board 7:21 into the second when Jonas Andersson fired a quick shot on a rush down the right wing. Then 5:08 later, they made it 3-0 as Rickard Wallin took a pass from Andreas Engqvist and buried it for a shorthanded goal.
Denmark would answer that goal 49 seconds later with the captain Jesper Damgaard beating Jonas Gustavsson with a slapshot.
Linus Omark put Sweden up 4-1 with 6:43 left in the third on a power play while Morten Madsen closed out the scoring with 2:25 left on a Danish power play.Jacob Markstrom
served as backup to Gustavsson.RUSSIA 5 - Canada 2
It was a rematch of the Olympic quarterfinals.
And just like in the quarters in Vancouver, it was a blowout.
But this time it was Russia on the winning end as they beat Canada 5-2 in Cologne.
Can anyone even stop the Russians? With the victory, they've won their seventh straight game at the 2010 IIHF World Championships and their 26th straight victory overall at the Worlds. Russia built a 4-0 lead through 48 minutes of play on their way to the victory.
Atlanta speedster Maxim Afinogenov gave the Russians a 1-0 lead when he beat Chris Mason with 52 seconds left in the first period. Dmitry Kulikov
set up Afinogenov for the goal. It was his second straight game with an assist.
They would add to it 1:45 into the second on a 5-on-3 power play as Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk scored his fourth of the tournament and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin scored on another power play goal with 2:29 left in the frame for a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
Sergei Fedorov gave Russia a 4-0 lead 7:31 into the third before Canada finally found a way to beat Washington netminder Simeon Varlamov.
NY Islanders super rook John Tavares scored his seventh of the tournament with 6:08 left to play in the game to get Canada on the board.
Malkin netted his second of the game with 3:04 left and Colorado's Matt Duchene closed out the scoring with 14 seconds left.
Russia takes on Germany in the semis. The host nation upset Switzerland 1-0 in the fourth quarterfinal.