MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Reigning World Champions Canada defeated Russia 4-2 in the semifinal match of the 2017 IIHF World Championship on Saturday night in Germany’s Cologne.
Both teams seemed to test each other in defense throughout the opening period, but the reigning World Champions had an obvious advantage over their opponents showing a better record of shots-on-the-goal in the first 20 minutes before the squads retreated to their locker rooms ahead of the match’s middle stretch.
The Russian squad, dubbed the ‘Red Machine,’ idled for the most of the first part of the middle period due to Canada's solid defense, but then it surged to a solid 2-0 advantage with Yevgeny Kuznetsov.
Kuznetsov, who plays for the NHL's Washington Capitals, broke the deadlock less than 10 minutes remaining in the 2nd period and his teammate Vadim Shipachyov’s cannoned another puck into the net of the Canadians.
Nikita Gusev It's 2-0 Russia and this place explodes. #CANvsRUS #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/X1Ktx2FzaC— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) 20 May 2017
The second period also saw a total of six power-play attempts with both teams sitting out most of the period in the penalty booth.
Canada came back only seconds shy in the opening time of the third period with Mark Scheifele scoring a goal to bring the intrigue in the score to 1-2.
Five minutes into the closing period Canada’s Nathan MacKinnion cornered another shot into the Russian goal to tie the score at 2-2 and two minutes later Ryan O’Rilley notched the score up to 3-2.
WATCH: From no goals in the 1st and 2nd periods to 3 goals in the 3rd, Ryan O'Reilly's goal changed the tides for @HC_Men. #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/gLQqs2WZQ5— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) 20 May 2017
Russian national team Head Coach Oleg Znarok went for six-player option in the closing minutes of the closing period of the game, but Canada used this chance to finish the national Russian team with another goal upping the score to 4-2, which remained unchanged flashing on the scoreboard until the final siren.
The Canadians will now face on Sunday in the final match of the championship the winner of another semifinal encounter between Sweden and Finland. The match will be held later in the night at 6-15 GMT (21-15 Moscow time) in France.