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Men's World Championship Roundup: Semifinal Matchups Set

Canada, USA, Czechia and Finland will compete for medals after advancing to the semifinal of the men's World Hockey Championship.
2022 IIHF World Championship

Canada Completes Late-Game Comeback Over Sweden

After trailing 3-0 for much of the game, Canada managed to erase the deficit to beat Sweden 4-3 in overtime off the heels of a Drake Batherson goal.

Batherson, who drew a penalty off of William Nylander, capitalized on a one-timer from Matt Barzal, who scored the game-tying goal just minutes beforehand.

Canada will play Czechia on Saturday in the semifinal, with Canada looking to make the final for the sixth time in the past seven tournaments.

From the get-go, Sweden found itself in charge. Carl Klingberg scored on Sweden's first good scoring chance just 1:27 into the game, and Nylander scored on a breakaway at 7:04. 

Canada outshot Sweden 19-1 in the second period, but Sweden's one shot from Erik Gustafsson was tipped by Max Friberg and past Chris Driedger for the 3-0 goal -- a lead that would last until the 41-minute mark. 

At that point, Ryan Graves' blast from the point gave Canada some momentum. Sweden tested Driedger often in the third, but Canada's sustained pressure eventually slowed Sweden down. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois' power-play goal at 18:07 brought Canada within one, and Barzal's shot on his 25th birthday at 18:37 forced overtime in a game Canada seemingly looked out of. 

Nylander's costly penalty 25 seconds ended up being the difference-maker, as Batherson's one-timer 45 seconds in won the game for Canada -- the team's fourth consecutive quarterfinal overtime victory.

Czechia Runs Over Germany 4-1

Three power-play goals set the tone for a 4-1 Czechia win over Germany to advance to the quarterfinal.

Czechia will meet up with Canada in the semifinal on Saturday with hopes of a gold medal berth on Sunday.

The Czechs scored just before the expiration of the opening power play to start off hot. David Krejci found his old pal David Pastrnak to the right of the German net and wasted no time making it 1-0. 

At 10:04, Roman Cervenka sent a wrister in for Czechia's second power-play goal, a lead that ultimately proved to be too much for the Germans.

The same masterminds combined for the third goal, with Krejci getting one of his own at 32:10 to make it 3-0. The score remained the same until Moritz Seider's point shot made it through traffic and past Karel Vejmelka for the 3-1 goal with the empty-netter.

Unfortunately for Germany, a late goal from an empty-netter with 1:50 to go from Jiri Smejkal squashed any chance of a Germany comeback, advancing Czechia to the final four for the seventh time since 2010. 

USA Shuts Out Switzerland

Switzerland's first loss of the World Championship comes at a bad time after losing 2-0 to the United States. 

Switzerland had a perfect record in Group A play, but couldn't find their mojo against a young, speedy United States team. USA has gone 6-2 up until this point and will face Finland in the semifinal.

At 11:59, Ben Meyers opened the scoring for the United States after making a deke past a Swiss defender and banking the puck off another opponent to beat Leonardo Genoni. 

Five minutes later, Adam Gaudette scored a highlight-reel goal while diving for the puck to make it 2-0. Little did anyone know that that would be it, with Switzerland unable to beat Jeremy Swayman in a 2-0 loss. Meyers scored his second of the game late in the going to put the contest well out of reach, securing USA's spot in the final four.

Finland Wins in Comeback Effort Over Slovakia

Canada wasn't the only team to pose a comeback effort on Thursday, with Finland erasing a 2-0 deficit to beat Slovakia 4-2.

The Finns will play for a medal for the ninth time since 2010, winning gold last in 2019 and silver in 2021. Finland also won gold at the Winter Olympics in Beijing and sit first in the IIHF rankings.

Slovakia's first goal was as accidental as it gets. At 9:17, Mario Lunter's shot bounced off a defender in front and hit off Adam Sykora's stick for the 1-0 goal. Pavol Regenda's goal at 15:16 was a bit more deliberate and gave Slovakia a 2-0 lead against a Finnish team using Jussi Olkinuora in net after his fourth shutout in five games. 

Marko Anttila has made a name for himself as one of the most clutch players in Finnish hockey history, highlighted by his two goals during the 2019 gold medal game. At 18:27, he scored to make it 2-1, and he added another 3:44 into the second to tie things up.

One of Finland's other clutch players, Sakari Manninen, came up huge at 44:01. He grabbed a rebound off of a Jere Sallinen chance, beating Adam Huska left side to make it 3-2. Saku Maenalanen scored on an empty-netter with one second left to finish things off, a tremendous effort at home for the Finns.


Three Stars

1. David Krejci, F (CZE): With a goal and two assists, Krejci brought his A-game to this one.

2. Marko Anttila, F (FIN): The Finnish giant doesn't score often, but when he does, he only scores big ones. His two goals tied things up for Finland.

3. Mathew Barzal, F (CAN): Barzal scored the game-tying and set up the game-winner to lead Canada to the comeback victory.


Semifinal Schedule

Finland vs. USA
Canada vs. Czechia 



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