Canada Eliminates Russia in Wild Quarterfinal Battle

Canada Eliminates Russia in Wild Quarterfinal Battle

Steven Ellis17 May 2018Steven Ellis»
 

It required them to take four separate leads on Thursday, but Team Canada is off to the semifinals after eliminating the 2018 Olympic champions, Russia, with a 5-4 victory in the quarterfinals.

 
 
 
 

It required them to take four separate leads on Thursday, but Team Canada is off to the semifinals after eliminating the 2018 Olympic champions, Russia, with a 5-4 victory in the quarterfinals.

An early power play gave Canada the 1-0 lead just a few minutes into the legendary matchup. At 4:45, Connor McDavid would leave a drop pass for Colton Parayko after Jordan Eberle did some good work along the boards. Parayko would unleash a hard slap shot on the one-timer, blowing the puck over Igor Shestyorkin, giving Canada the early advantage.  

The game's pace was really slow until the halfway point of the second period, and that's when the game really started to get good. At 11:51 on the power play, McDavid would get his second point of the game after finding Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at the side of the net. Nugent-Hopkins would score on the wrist shot, giving Canada the 2-0 lead after a slow start to the Russians.

But then Russia turned things around. After just taking four shots in the opening period, Russia exploded for 15 chances in the second, scoring twice. At 12:53, Ilya Mikheyev would get his third goal of the tournament after Darnell Nurse was standing in the Canadian crease looking the wrong way. Canadian goaltender Darcy Kuemper was unable to get back into his net to make the stop, with Mikheyev was able to jam the puck in.

Five minutes later at 17:32, the Russians scored again. This time, Alexander Barabanov's shot went through Kuemper's legs on a delayed penalty, with the floater just getting over the goal line to not the contest up at two heading into the final period of play.

Canada got a bit more desperate to start the third period, and they were rewarded with their second lead of the game. At 7:11, Kyle Turris would score his first goal of the tournament after one-timing Jaden Schwartz's pass, capitalizing on a play that saw Pavel Datsyuk put himself out of position with a big hit.

But just a minute later, Russia answered back. Sergei Andronov would deflect a shot from Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Nikita Zaitsev from the point, just getting over Kuemper's shoulder to make it 3-3 at 8:44.

For the third, and final time, on Thursday, Canada would take the lead. At 12:26, Pierre-Luc Dubois and would push away a Russian defender to take a Tyson Jost rebound after Shestyorkin put the puck back into the slot, with the Columbus Blue Jackets forward getting a shot off just in time to make it 4-3.

But Canada's weak goaltending made things tough for them again. At 14:34, Artem Anisimov somehow got the backhander over Kuemper's glove, with the Arizona Coyotes goaltender not getting his glove up in time as the puck floated over for the 4-4 goal.

The wild affair required overtime, with Russia's four-year streak of playing for a medal coming to an end. Ryan O'Reilly would put an end to Russia's tournament after Ryan O'Reilly scored on the power play following a pass from McDavid, giving Canada the goal and a spot in the semifinals

Canada will be looking for their fourth straight medal thanks to the spot in the final four, with Canada set to play against the winner of Switzerland and Finland on Saturday, while the Olympic champions from Russia will head home early with two straight losses to end the tournament.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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