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Jones, Moses and Vesey Fall in Semifinals, Will Play for Bronze

by Alexis Tahara / Nashville Predators

After Friday’s day off, the United States, Russia, Canada and the World Championship host Czech Republic returned to the ice on Saturday for their semifinal matchups.

Semifinal One: Canada 2 vs. Czech Republic 0

The first semifinal of the day pitted Canada against the Czech Republic. Just 8:40 into the contest, Canada’s Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers) tallied his seventh goal of the tournament (nine games played), giving the Canadians a 1-0 lead that stuck through the first intermission.

In the second frame, Jason Spezza (Dallas Stars) tallied Canada’s second goal of the game, increasing their lead to two. After a scoreless final period and 23 saves from Mike Smith (Arizona Coyotes), Canada prevailed 2-0 and secured their spot in the 2015 World Championship’s Gold medal game.

Semifinal Two: Russia 4 vs. USA 0

Nashville’s three remaining representatives in the tournament, Seth Jones, Steve Moses and Jimmy Vesey, and Team USA met up with Russia in Saturday’s second semifinal game. The game was the second time during the tournament that the two teams had faced off (the Americans won 4-2 during the teams’ matchup in the Group B Preliminary Round).

Through the game’s first 40 minutes, the United States and Russia stood scoreless, with the Americans maintaining a slim 23-22 shot advantage.

Within the first 10 minutes of third period, Russia took a 2-0 lead on goals from Sergei Mozyakin (KHL) and Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), who was appearing in his first game of the tournament after joining his country following the Caps elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Russians added a third tally with just over five minutes remaining in the game and secured their 4-0 victory with Evgeni Malkin’s (Pittsburgh Penguins) empty-net goal.

Vesey recorded four shots on goal against the Russians, second on Team USA, and Moses added three shots.

Jones, who was voted by the coaches, along with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets) and Trevor Lewis (L.A Kings) as one of the U.S.’s Top 3 players, finished the game with two shots in 22:09 time on ice, third among American skaters. His 21 shots on goal through nine games played continue to pace all American skaters and rank fourth among all tournament defensemen.

In Sunday’s bronze medal matchup, Jones, Moses, Vesey and Team USA will play against the Czech Republic at 9:15 a.m. CT. The Americans are looking for their second medal in three years (bronze in 2013) and the Czechs are looking to get back on the medal stand for the first time since 2012 (bronze).

The puck drops in the gold-medal game between Canada and Russia at 1:45 p.m. CT. Regardless of the game’s outcome, Canada will be taking home a medal for the first time since they lost to Russia in the 2009 final and earned silver. A Russian victory would signify their second gold medal in as many years and their fifth gold in the last seven years at the tournament.

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