Team Canada picked up a thrilling 5-4 overtime victory in Copenhagen, Denmark over the Russians Thursday morning, punching their ticket to a semifinal matchup with either Finland or Switzerland Saturday.
Led once again by team captain Connor McDavid, the Canadians collected goals in regulation on Thursday from Colton Parayko, Kyle Turris, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Colton Parayko, before McDavid fed Ryan O’Reilly with a perfectly place cross-ice pass for the power play overtime winner.
Special teams made the difference Thursday, as the Canadians successfully scored on three of four power plays, while the Russians were unable to convert on their only opportunity. Toronto’s Nikita Zaitsev collected three assists in the loss, while Pavel Datsyuk was held without a point.
The lone Manitoban representatives, Ryan Pulock and Joel Edmundson continue to provide a reliable defensive presence on the backend, while putting up the occasional point here and there.
Edmundson has a goal, three points, a plus four rating and eight penalty minutes in seven games played, while Pulock is a plus two, with no registered points.
With the win, Canada will face off in the semifinals, in hopes of capturing their fourth straight medal in the IIHF World Championships. The Canadians placed second in 2017, and first in 2016.
Canada will play the winner of Switzerland vs. Finland in the semis on Saturday mid-day, while the Americans (who beat the Czechs 3-2 Thursday) will go up against Sweden or Latvia in the other semifinal. The finals go Sunday afternoon in Copenhagen. All games are available to watch on TSN.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Andre Ringuette