Turku, Finland – Team Canada advanced to the semi-finals of the 2003 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship for the first time since 2000 after beating Germany 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday, bringing Canada’s record to 6-0-1 at this year’s event.
Eric Brewer scored a power-play goal 37 seconds into overtime with a point shot that launched Canada into the semi-finals in Helsinki, Finland on Friday, May 9th.
The official broadcaster of the CHA, TSN/RDS, will have live TV coverage of Canada’s semi-final game on Friday, May 9th from Helsinki, Finland. Canada will face the Czech Republic in the semi-finals on Wednesday. The Czech Republic advanced to the semi-final with a 3-0 win over Russia. Canada’s game time on Friday is TBD – check local listings.
A late penalty to Germany’s Daniel Kunce in the third period carried over to the four-on-four overtime which gave Canada a 4-on-3 power play. Brewer's wrist shot from the point went between Ryan Smyth's legs in front of the net and past the screened German goalie Robert Muller for the victory.
Canada held a 2-0 lead going into the third period of play in the sudden-death quarter-final match-up against the Germans, with goals by Team Captain Ryan Smyth and Daniel Brière of the Buffalo Sabres. Smyth scored on the power play at 3:04 of the first period with a wrap around goal, and Brière scored at 12:43 of the second period after deflecting Cory Cross’ shot from the point.
Germany scored on Canadian goaltender Sean Burke on a rebound at 14:31 of the third period to make the score 2-1, and then Germany’s Daniel Kreutzer beat Burke with a shot to the top right corner to tie it at 2-2 with six minutes left in the third period.
Wednesday’s quarter-final game between Canada and Germany marked the third time that these two teams have played against each other over the last 16 months. Canada beat Germany 3-2 at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, and also beat the Germans 3-1 at last year’s World Championship in Sweden. Germany had 12 players on it’s roster on Wednesday that played at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
Wednesday's game also saw Ryan Smyth tie James Patrick's record of most games played all-time by a Canadian at the World Hockey Championship, playing in his 40th career game against Germany in the quarter-finals. Patrick broke the record last year in Sweden, a record of 37 games previously set by Kevin Dineen, Marcel Dionne and Kirk Muller.
Smyth is currently playing in his fifth straight world championship for Canada and entered this year's event tied for ninth all-time in games played with Jeff Friesen at 33 games.
Smyth will set a new all-time games played record for Canada in the semi-final against the Czech Republic on Friday.
Canada won two gold medals in the 1990's at the World Hockey Championship - 1994 and again in 1997. Canada finished sixth last year at the Men's World Hockey Championship in Sweden, but is now assured of finishing in the top four of this year’s championship following Wednesday’s win.