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Four Wild Players Advance To Semis At Worlds

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Forward Mikael Granlund had two goals, linemate Mikko Koivu had two assists, and Finland won its quarterfinal game against Denmark, 5-1, at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Granlund scored Finland's first and last goal. He broke a scoreless tie 14:29 into the first period when he snuck a shot just inside the far post and under the crossbar. Koivu picked up the primary assist.

Finland led 2-0 before Denmark cut its deficit back to a goal midway through the second period.

It would be all Finland over the final 30 minutes of regulation though, and Koivu added his second assist on an empty-net goal with 2:14 remaining in regulation to make it 4-1.

Granlund scored his second, also an empty-netter, with 1:53 to play in the third period.

In eight games this tournament, Granlund has four goals and seven assists. Koivu has four goals and five assists.

Finland advances to face Russia in the semifinal round on Saturday (8:15 a.m. CT).

United States 2, Czech Republic 1 (SO)

The top ranked skater for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Auston Matthews scored the United States' lone goal in regulation, and the only goal in a shootout, and the United States upset Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round at the IIHF World Championship.

After losing its final two games of the group stage, the United States entered the knockout round with the fewest points among any of the eight remaining teams, and matched up against the winners of Group A.

The United States trailed Czech Republic 1-0 after the first period on Thursday. The Americans had two shots on goal over the first 20 minutes, and Czech Republic took the lead when it scored a shorthanded, penalty shot goal in the first period.

Matthews tied the game 87 seconds into the second period when he took a pass from Boston Bruins forward Frank Vatrano, broke in behind the defense, and scored on a breakaway.

Neither team scored over the next period-plus, and overtime, sending the game to a shootout. Matthews scored on his attempt in the second round, and New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid stopped all three Czech Republic attempts. Kinkaid made 31 saves on the game.

Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Schroeder had two shots on goal for the United States. He was back in the lineup, skating on the fourth line after being scratched in the United States' final group game.

The Americans will now face Canada in the semifinal round on Saturday (12:15 p.m. CT).

Canada 4, Sweden 0

Wild defenseman Matt Dumba had a goal and an assist, his first points at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, and Canada won its quarterfinal game against Sweden on Thursday.

Dumba, who had played in all seven prior games for Canada, scored on the power play 6:05 into the second period against Sweden to give Canada a 2-0 lead. His shot from the point made it through a screen, beating Sweden and Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

Later that period, Dumba helped Canada extend its lead to three. He picked up the primary assist on a Brad Marchand goal, his first assist of the tournament, also marking his first multi-point game at the World Championship.

Canada advances to the semifinal round, and will play the United States on Saturday.

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