Team Canada is one step closer to a third straight title at the IIHF World Championship after defeating Germany 2-1 in their quarterfinal on Thursday.
They now move on to face Russia in their semifinal on Saturday. The other semifinal will feature Finland and Sweden.
After playing their preliminary rounds in Paris, Canada had to travel to Cologne, Germany, site of all of this weekend games, meaning they were up against the crowd favourites.
The Canadians played an offensive game in the first, outshooting Germany 15-7. But despite their powerhouse nature in that department, as seen in the preliminary round of the tournament, they were unable to find the back of the net until late in the first. With less than three minutes to go on the clock, Mark Scheifele opened the scoring on the power play after German forward Patrick Reimer took a penalty for hooking. On a backhand pass from Ryan O’Reilly, Scheifele snapped one past German netminder Philipp Grubauer to put Canada on the board 1-0.
Canada’s power play has been a predominant force so far in this tournament, clicking at 48 per cent heading into the quarterfinal game.
The Canadians continued to outshoot the Germans in the second period, hammering another 20 shots at Grubauer. But again, it wasn’t until late in the frame that the Canadians were able to put another one on the board, this time on a goal from Jeff Skinner off Mike Matheson’s rebound with less than two minutes to play. Meanwhile the Germans fell victim to Canada’s strong defensive play, registering just one shot on goal despite having two power plays.
But the Germans refused to quit in the third and made it interesting with less than seven minutes to play. Short handed after taking a penalty for too many men on the ice, Christian Ehrhoff sent Yannic Seidenberg in on the breakaway. He went to his backhand to tuck it past Pickard, cutting the lead to 2-1, but that was as close as they would get.