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Niederreiter's Swiss knock out Granlund's Finns to move on to semifinals

Kaprizov, Russia also fall in World Championship quarterfinals

by Kayleigh Jackson /

At the start of the day, it was known one Wild player would be done at the 2018 IIHF World Championships, thanks to Finland and Switzerland meeting in the quarterfinals. But certainly not many people expected the Swiss, seeded fourth in Group A, to take down the dominant first-place Finns from Group B.

The Mikael Granlund-captained Finnish team started out strong, getting on the board just 7:01 into the first period. It took the lead into the second period, but that was where it would get away from them. 

After a strong penalty kill, Switzerland's Enzo Corvi evened things up. The Wild's Nino Niederreiter notched an assist on the goal. 

Then, in quick succession, the Swiss not only took the lead but widened the gap, scoring twice in a span of 36 seconds. While Finland battled back to within one goal on a late power-play goal, Niederreiter and Switzerland held out to move on to the semifinals.

Tweet from @IIHFHockey: .@swissicehockey IS ON TO THE SEMIS

Granlund exits the tournament with two goals, seven assists, two penalty minutes, and a plus-4 rating, good for fourth in scoring among the Finns. 

Meanwhile, Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov's Russian team was eliminated by Canada in an overtime thriller. Overcoming an early 2-0 deficit, Russia struck back in the second period to tie it up after 40 minutes. 

The third period would be a back and forth battle as Canada scored and Russia quickly responded, twice over. Canada, which ultimately scored on three of its four power plays, eked out the win with an overtime power-play goal from Ryan O'Reilly. 

Kaprizov concludes the tournament with six goals, two assists, two penalty minutes and a plus-8, the second-highest scoring Russian behind linemate and captain Pavel Datsyuk. 

Semifinals are slated for Saturday, as Switzerland will take on Canada at 12:15 p.m. CT in Copenhagen. The United States and Sweden make up the other semifinal game, as the puck will drop at 8:15 a.m. CT. Both games can be seen on NHL Network.


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