Canada to meet Russia in semis at hockey worlds after close win over Germany
Finland and Sweden to play in other semifinal
Canada had to overcome a vocal partisan crowd and a fired-up Germany squad to keep its chances of a third straight world hockey championship title alive.
Mark Scheifele and Jeff Skinner scored as Canada survived a scare with a tight 2-1 win over the co-host Germans in quarter-final action Thursday. The game was played in front of a deafening sold-out crowd at Cologne's Lanxess Arena.
"It was a phenomenal environment," said Canada's coach Jon Cooper after the game. "The chants, the singing, and they were very respectful to both teams. They really cheered for their team. I'll always remember being part of that."
"It's definitely pretty cool but honestly, you don't really hear it during the game," added Travis Konecny. "It's just like playing another hockey game. Definitely during the breaks when they're doing their chants and their drums, you hear them."
Canada vs. Russia, 9:15 a.m. ET Saturday
Canada will face Russia in Cologne in the first of Saturday's two semifinals, at 9:15 a.m. ET.
Both teams traded chances in a high-tempo first period as the Germans, who beat Latvia in a shootout Tuesday to qualify for the medal round for a second straight year, weren't afraid to play a physical game against Canada.
"They were able to really slow us down with clutching and grabbing," said Matt Duchene, "but other than that, we carried that game. Give them a lot of credit. They battled hard and the home crowd got them going."
Scheifele finally put Canada on the board on a power play with 2:49 to play in the opening frame when he roofed a Ryan O'Reilly pass from behind the net over sprawling German netminder Philipp Grubauer.
Finland, Russia, Swedes advance
Finland defeated the United States 2-0 Thursday in the quarter-finals to knock Jeff Blashill's young roster out of the men's world hockey championship in Cologne, Germany.
Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Kemppainen scored for Finland to end the Americans' six-game winning run as the Finns advanced to Saturday's semifinals.
Strong defense and a shut-out from Harri Sateri on his fourth start helped Finland surprise the U.S., which had beaten Russia to finish top of its group. The Americans outshot Finland by 26 to 20.
Jimmy Howard, who finished with 18 saves compared to Sateri's 26, produced a save block to deny Valtteri Filppula, but he was beaten by Kemppainen midway through the final period.
"We didn't give up any goals so we feel we performed our game plan pretty well," defenseman Juuso Hietanen said. "We didn't give them any easy chances and we scored an important goal on the power play. Our defense was pretty good all night."
Russia beat the Czech Republic 3-0 in Paris thanks to goals from Dmitri Orlov, Nikita Kucherov and Artemi Panarin.
The Swedes advanced with a 3-1 win over Switzerland.