Canada advances to world hockey semis
Matthew Lombardi scored a pair of goals on Thursday to help pace unbeaten Canada to a 5-1 win over Switzerland in the quarter-finals of the men's world hockey championship in Russia.
Canada advances to a semifinal game against Sweden on Saturday.
Lombardi has five goals in his last two games, and six overall to lead all Canadian scorers.
"It's just going in the net right now," said Lombardi. "Different guys contribute at different parts of the tournament… we're playing the Swedes and it doesn't matter who's scoring the goals as long as we get a big game from different guys."
Jamal Mayers, Rick Nash and Shea Weber also scored for the team, now unbeaten in seven games.
The Swiss again proved a pesky foe. The game at Moscow's Khodynka Arena was 2-1 until late in the second, with netminder Jonas Hiller making 39 saves in an outstanding effort.
Martin Gerber,nowwith the Ottawa Senators,stunned Canada in last year's Torino Olympics with 49 saves in a 2-0 win.
Paul DiPietro, the one-time NHLer born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., had two goals on that day and scoredSwitzerland's only goal on Thursday as well.
Canadian goaltender Dwayne Roloson made 21 saves for his fourth win.
Murray's move pays
Lombardi opened the scoring late inthe first period when he pounced on a bad pass by the Swiss defence.
"We played a pretty good game until then," said Hiller. "It was a bad mistake and I think we only have a chance against Canada if we do everything right.
"We can't (make) that kind of mistake."
Canada outshot the Swiss 18-8, but there was more scoring in the second.
Soon after Roloson stopped Patric Della Rossa on a 2-on-1to preserve the lead, Mayers scored his fourth of the tournament.
The St. Louis Blues forward took control of the puck in the corner and made a power move to fend off defenders in front of the net for the goal at 9:05 of the period.
"That was a great goal," said Nash. "I haven't seen him do that before, but that was really impressive."
DiPietro replied just 38 seconds later, however, finding a seam in a passive Canadian zone and firing a slapshot on the short side.
"We just accept that that's part of international hockey that he's going to score against us," Canadian captain Shane Doan said. "We were kind of smiling about it. You can't stop him, so obviously you just hope to contain him."
Canadian coach Andy Murray called a key timeout to rest his No. 1 power-play unit in the midst of a two-man advantage late in the period, and the move paid off.
Soon after Hiller robbed Nash with a pad save, the big Columbus Blue Jackets forward got his revenge from the slot, potting therebound from a Dion Phaneuf point shotat the 14:40 mark.
Phaneuf instigated again in the third, snapping a shot that Hiller couldn't handle and allowing his Calgary Flames teammate Lombardi an easy put-in for a 4-1 lead.
Phaneuf now hassix assists despite not joining the team until its third game of the tournament.
Weber's blast on a beleaguered Hiller rounded out the scoring late.
The 25-year-old goaltender is reportedly set to leave the Swiss League to pursue opportunities in North America next season.
Canada moves on to the semifinals for the fifth consecutive time, but will need a stronger effort againstSweden. The defending world champion has lost just once in the tournament, to Russia.
The Russians will take on Finland, which outlasted the United States in a 5-4 shootout win on Thursday.
Jere Lehtinen scored the winner after the first nine shooters could not beat Kari Lehtonen or American John Grahame.
With files from the Canadian Press