Canada humble hosts Germany to reach world ice hockey semis
Paris (AFP) – Reigning champions Canada set up a semi-final clash with Russia after seeing off co-hosts Germany 2-1 in Thursday’s quarter-finals at the ice hockey world championships
Canada were always in control, with 50 shots to the hosts’ 20, but were made to work for the win in Cologne by good German defending.
With Germany’s Patrick Reimer off the ice for hooking, Canada took the lead when centre Mark Scheifele scored on a power play with just under three minutes left in the first period.
With Canada’s Mitch Marner (high sticking), then Claude Giroux (delaying the game) off the ice in the second, Germany wasted their chance to equalise in back-to-back power-plays.
Canada doubled their lead when the Carolina Hurricanes’ Jeff Skinner scrapped the puck home with less than two minutes left in the second.
Germany had to work hard not to concede more with David Wolf ordered off for 12 minutes of the third after checking an opponent in the head with his stick.
Yannic Seidenberg gave Germany hope for the final six minutes when he broke free and beat Canada’s goalkeeper to make it 2-1, but it was too little, too late.
Russia had earlier booked their berth for Saturday’s semi-finals by making easy work of the Czech Republic 3-0 in Paris.
The Russians sealed the win thanks to strikes from Dmitri Orlov, a great individual play from Nikita Koutcherov and Chicago Blackhawks star Artemi Panarine who consolidated his position as the tournament’s top scorer.
The biggest shock of the day came when Finland stunned the mighty United States 2-0 in Cologne, a victory which came out of the blue after the Scandinavians suffered three group stage defeats.
But indiscipline hurt the Americans with twelve penalty minutes to Finland’s four and they conceded the opener during a power play as Colorado Rapids star Mikko Rantanen hit the target.
Finland then doubled their lead in the third period through Joonas Kemppainen.
Finland, the runners up at the 2016 world championships, will face Sweden in the other semi-final after the Swedes’ 3-1 quarter-final win over Switzerland in Paris.
Washington Capitals centre Nicklas Backstrom, Toronto’s William Nylander and Vancouver Canucks’ Alexander Edler scored for Sweden.
Swiss Centre Gaetan Haas had make it 1-1 in the first period with an individual effort before Sweden pulled ahead.