CANADA EARNS SEMIFINAL BERTH WITH OT WIN OVER RUSSIA
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo NHL) scored on the power play in overtime to send Canada’s National Men’s Team into the semifinals with a 5-4 victory over Russia on Thursday in the quarter-finals at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
Canada will take on the winner of Switzerland-Finland in the semis Saturday in Copenhagen.
O’Reilly set himself up at the top of the crease and redirected a gorgeous feed from Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) past Russian goaltender Igor Sheshtyorkin to put the Canadians into the final four for the fourth year in a row.
McDavid finished with three assists, and sits third in tournament scoring with 16 points. He’s only four points back of the all-time Canadian record of 20, co-held by Steve Yzerman (1990) and Dany Heatley (2008).
Colton Parayko (St. Albert, Alta./St. Louis, NHL) had a goal and an assist in the win, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, B.C./Edmonton, NHL), Kyle Turris (New Westminster, B.C./Nashville, NHL), and Pierre-Luc Dubois (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que./Columbus, NHL) also scored for Canada.
Parayko got Canada on the board five minutes into the opening period on the power play, taking a no-look drop pass from McDavid and hammering it home from the point for the 1-0 lead.
Nugent-Hopkins stretched the lead to two midway through the second period off a cross-ice pass from McDavid, going off the post and in for another goal with the man advantage.
Russia cut into the lead just over a minute later when Ilya Mikheyev converted a scramble in front of Canadian goaltender Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Arizona, NHL), and Alexander Barabanov got the equalizer for Russia at 17:32, snapping a shot under the arm of Kuemper to send the game to the intermission tied 2-2.
Canada took the lead twice in the third period, only to have the Russians tie it within two minutes.
Turris put Canada up 3-2 at 7:11, finishing a set-up from Jaden Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask./St. Louis, NHL), but Sergei Andronov tipped in a shot from Nikita Zaitsev 1:33 after that.
Dubois was next, outmuscling a defender to chip Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./Colorado, NHL) rebound past Sheshtyorkin, but Artyom Anisimov got a shot up and over Kuemper with 5:26 left to force overtime.
Canada finished with a 41-30 advatage in shots on goal.