Canada holds off Germany, will face Russia in semifinals

May 18, 2017 - 5:28 pm
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The top team in Group B of the 2017 IIHF World Championship is moving on to the semifinal round.

Team Canada holds off a late push from host nation Germany with a 2-1 win and a trip to the semifinals to face offensive juggernaut Russia.

Canada grabbed the lead late in the first period off a powerplay goal from Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele. The goal was generated when Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly recovered a bouncing puck on him alongside the net and fed a backhand pass to the inside of the faceoff circle for Scheifele. It was O'Reilly's sixth point of the tournament (four goals, two assists), which is tied for seventh on the team.

Canada added to their lead late in the second period with a goal from Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner. Skinner cleaned up a rebound in front of Germany netminder Philip Grubauer off a point shot from Florida Panthers defenseman Michael Matheson. It was Skinner's fourth goal and ninth point of the tournament to put him third in team scoring.

The pressure continued into the third period by the Canadians until Germany found the back of the next with a goal from Yannic Seidenberg. While on the penalty kill, former Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff made a fantastic spinning pass out to center ice to find Seidenberg for a breakaway. Seidenberg then deked Colorado Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard for the goal and to cut the deficit in half.

While Germany pushed to tie the game, Canada shut down the Germans in the final two minutes of play to hold on for the win.

Pickard stopped 19 of 20 shots in the game to preserve the win for Canada. Grubauer was tested throughout the game, facing 50 shots on goal and turning away 48. The Washington Capitals goaltender was named Germany's Best Player of the Game.

Scheifele was voted as Canada's Best Player with his goal and an assist on Skinner's second period goal.

The Canadians will now face Russia on Saturday in the semifinals. In 2015, Canada beat Russia in the gold medal game with a dominating 6-1 win.