OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC – Day 14 of the 2015 IIHF World Championship featured three highly entertaining quarterfinal games and a rout by Canada. Here's what you need to know:
Tyler Ennis and Canada defeated Belarus 9-0. With a hat trick, Tyler Seguin is now tied for the tournament goal-scoring lead with eight goals in eight games.
Ryan O'Reilly and Brent Burns also had two goals a piece, plus goals by Ennis and Jason Spezza, who now leads the tournament in points with 13. Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Matt Duchene and Burns are all tied right behind him with 11 points each.
Team USA defeated Switzerland 3-1 due in large part to a strong second period, something the Americans struggled with during the preliminary round.
"We didn't have as great a start today, but we found a way," U.S. alternate captain Trevor Lewis said. "The second period was big for us. We had everyone contributing and it was a good battle for us. That was the kind of second period we needed and I think we kept it a lot more simple tonight and we executed better."
After Roman Josi steamrolled past Jake Gardiner and Anders Lee to give Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the first period, Ben Smith and Charlie Coyle scored a minute apart midway through the second frame to make it 2-1. Team USA wouldn't look back.
"The momentum went our way very quickly after that and we kind of rode that wave until the end of the game. We didn't give them much offensively and we played solid and protected the front of our net for the most part," defenseman Seth Jones said.
U.S. goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was a big factor yet again. The goalie virtually no one knew anything about two weeks ago has certainly made a name for himself on this international stage and leads the tournament with a 1.32 goals against average and a .944 save percentage.
"He's been great all tournament and when we've really needed him he's stood tall. We tried to keep everything to the outside, but anything that managed to get to him, he made great saves on. He's been outstanding,” Lewis said.
"He's been unbelievable and been a rock back there for us," said Jones. "He's made some incredible saves and he's a major reason why we're advancing to the semifinal."
Russia defeated Sweden 5-3 in a game that saw more twists and turns that Lombard Street. First, Russia scored on a 5-on-3 midway through the opening period. They added another late in the period and then another just 48 seconds into the second. Ten minutes later, the Swedes found some life when John Klingberg scored on the power play to pull within two. They got another one early in the third and kept battling until Loui Eriksson tied the game at 3 and 5:15 left in regulation.
But then a shot by Evgeni Malkin deflected off a defender’s skate and through Jhonas Enroth’s five hole just 26 seconds later. It was a heart breaker and Swedes didn't have time to recover before Vladimir Tarasenko scored the empty net goal to make it a 5-3 final.
The Czech Republic beat Finland 5-3 thanks to two power play goals in the second period and sent around 20,000 of their fans home happy - the 17,000-plus at O2 Arena in Prague, plus the thousands watching on the big screens at the Fan Zones outside and in Ostrava.
The Czechs got on the board first with a snipe from the circles by Jan Kovar nine minutes into the opening period, but the Finns would tie it at one with less than four minutes to go in the frame. They'd take the 2-1 lead early in the second off a slippery little goal by Jussi Jokinen that found a hole under Ondrej Pavlec.
Ten minutes later, while on the power play, Jaromir Jagr's backhand on the doorstep tied the game at 2. A minute later, Finland would score off a scramble in front of the net, but the referee waived it off and called a penalty for goalie interference. On the ensuing power play, Kovar got his second of the night to put Czech Republic in the lead once again.
Four minutes into the third, Aleksander Barkov wired one past Pavlec and all was even once again.
With 4:30 left in regulation, Jagr did what Jagr does and pounced on a loose puck and put it past Pekka Rinne to take the lead for the third and final time as Vladimir Sobotka got the empty net insurance goal for the 5-3 final.
With an off day for travel, the tournament resumes on Saturday with two semifinal games. Ennis and Canada will drop the puck against the Czech Republic at 9:15 a.m. ET, while Team USA and Russia face-off at 1:15 p.m. ET. Both games will air live on TSN and stream live on NBC Live Extra. Neither game will air on NBCSN.