Russia survived a late surge from the United States to reach the 2019 IIHF Hockey World Championship semifinals with a 4-3 win Thursday at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Canada's own comeback bid against Switzerland was successful as New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson scored with less than a second left in regulation to force overtime. Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone found the net just over five minutes into OT to advance the Canadians.
Finland and the Czech Republic also earned victories in Thursday's quarterfinals.
May 23 Quarterfinal Results
(B1) Russia 4, (A4) United States 3
(A1) Canada 3, (B4) Switzerland 2 (OT)
(B2) Czech Republic 5, (A3) Germany 1
(A2) Finland 5, (B3) Sweden 4 (OT)
May 25 Semifinal Schedule
(B1) Russia vs. (A2) Finland
(A1) Canada vs. (B2) Czech Republic
Russia 4, United States 3
Nikita Gusev, who signed with the Golden Knights in April, opened the scoring for Russia just over a minute into the first period, and the Red Machine went on to never trail in the contest.
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, Kirill Kaprizov and Mikhail Grigorenko also lit the lamp for the tournament's only undefeated team. Gusev and Sergachev chipped in two assists each.
The United States, which trailed by two during three separate stretches, trimmed Russia's advantage to one with just under three minutes remaining on an Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks) goal. Despite a late push, the Americans could never find an equalizer.
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers) and Noah Hanifin (Calgary Flames) also scored for the U.S.
Although the American offense showcased medal potential, the defense was too porous throughout the tournament, as illustrated by allowing three goals to a weak Great Britain squad earlier in the event. The weakness in their own zone led to their elimination Thursday.
Canada 3, Switzerland 2 (OT)
Canada took being on the brink of elimination to the extreme as Severson unleashed a blast in the final seconds that trickled across the goal line with 0.4 seconds left to tie the game.
Switzerland did well to bounce back from the shock, outshooting the Canadians 4-3 in overtime, but Stone came through in the clutch to keep the Group A winner alive. It was his second tally of the contest after scoring the team's first goal in the second period.
Sven Andrighetto (Colorado Avalanche) and Nico Hischier (Devils) had found the net to put the Swiss within moments of completing a massive upset.
Switzerland netminder Leonardo Genoni also shined with 39 saves in the hard-fought loss.
Czech Republic 5, Germany 1
The Czech Republic scored four unanswered goals in the third period to pull away from Germany.
After a physical first period that saw no goals and four penalties, the teams both got on the scoreboard in the second. Jan Kovar netted his fourth of the tournament for the Czechs before Frank Mauer leveled the game for the Germans shortly before the intermission.
It was all Czech Republic in the third, though. Captain Jakub Voracek (Philadelphia Flyers) started the barrage just over four minutes into the period. Dominik Kubalik and Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay Lightning) followed before Kovar added his second of the night to wrap up the win.
Patrik Bartosak made 21 saves, including a couple of key stops in the first 40 minutes, to earn the victory in net for the Czechs.
Finland 5, Sweden 4 (OT)
Sakari Manninen played the role of hero for Finland as he scored 97 seconds into overtime to eliminate the two-time defending champion Swedes.
It was a wild battle between the Nordic rivals with seven goals over the first two periods.
Sweden entered the third period with a 4-3 lead thanks to markers from John Klingberg (Dallas Stars), Patric Hornqvist (Pittsburgh Penguins), Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks) and Erik Gustafsson (Blackhawks).
Marko Anttila tied the game for Finland with 1:29 left in regulation, however, which opened the door for Manninen to punch the team's ticket to the semis.
Niko Mikkola, Petteri Lindbohm and Jani Hakanpaa also scored for the Finns.