Canada beats Russia in overtime of World Championships quarter-final

May 17 2018, 10:56 pm

Canada-Russia rarely disappoints, and that was the case again at the IIHF World Championships on Thursday.

An overtime goal by Ryan O’Reilly put his team through to the semi-final, giving Canada a 5-4 win in the quarter-final played in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Connor McDavid made a tremendous play on the game-winner, threading a pass through the defender’s legs on the tape for O’Reilly, who tipped the puck in from in front of the net.

“Connor made an unbelievable pass,” O’Reilly told TSN after the game. “I’m amazed at how he got that through. It just hit my stick and went in.”

McDavid was checked closely by the Russians all game, and they successfully held him off the scoresheet at even strength. But they couldn’t do anything about him on the power play. Canada’s captain set up teammates for goals on three occasions with the man advantage, earning the primary assist each time.

Canada was the better team and certainly deserving of the win, but their play in goal was once again a concern. Team Canada is without a bonafide No. 1 goaltender in this tournament, with NHL backups Darcy Kuemper and Curtis McElhinney sharing duties between the pipes. Kuemper did enough to earn the victory, but let in a short-side backhand goal from a bad angle late in the third period that levelled the game 4-4.

Canada is loaded up front and should be able outscore anyone in the tournament, and that’s what happened against Russia.

The Canadians carried the play in the first period, taking the lead on a power play goal from defenceman Colton Parayko and outshooting Russia 12-4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ power play goal midway through the second period gave Canada a 2-0 lead, but that’s when things got interesting.

Ilya Mikheyev cut the lead in half 1:02 later, before Alexander Barabanov tied the game up for Russia before the end of the second period.

The third period was a back-and-forth affair. Canada took the lead on two occasions, with goals from Kyle Turris and Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Russia had an answer each time, with goals from Sergei Andronov and Artem Anisimov.

Kuemper got the win in net, making 26 saves on 30 shots.

Canada will face the winner of Finland/Switzerland in the semi-final on Saturday. The gold medal game is scheduled for Sunday.

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