Germany’s ice hockey players surprisingly eliminated Switzerland 3:1 in the quarterfinals of the Elite Division World Championship and will meet the USA in Saturday’s semifinals. The Americans eliminated the Czech Republic 3-0. Latvia beat Sweden 3:1 in Riga and will play Canada.
Switzerland played excellently in the first part of the World Cup and won a series of victories. They eliminated Slovenia 7-0 in the opening round, and in the last round they suffered their first defeat against Latvia, but they still took first place in Group B. The Germans started the championship very poorly and for a long time trembled for elimination fights. After three defeats, they won four and placed fourth in Group A.
The Germans are hoping for their first medal since 1953In a hard and nervous match in Arena Riga, in front of 2,800 spectators, they showed their best performance and made it to the semi-finals. They hope to build on it with their first medal since the distant year of 1953, when they won silver.
The game penalty for Seider only fueled the GermansThey laid the foundation for the victory with a good defensive game, even though they played without their best defender Moritz Seider from the 32nd minute, who received a match penalty for a deliberate hit on a rival. Switzerland had the advantage of one more player for as long as five minutes, but was unable to score. It was a crucial moment of the match.
Sturm shocked the Swiss less with the playerThe Germans took a 2:1 lead with equal strength on the ice, Buffalo forward John-Jason Peterka scored in the 38th minute. The period in the last minutes of the second period was the key to the unfolding of the semi-final. After the German goal for 2-1, the Swiss had another numerical advantage, but instead of equalizing, they experienced a cold shower, as Nico Strum escaped on the counter-attack and scored to make it 3-1.
The last third passed in the superiority of the Swiss, but they were really ineffective. The fighting Germans, led by goalkeeper Mathias Niederberger, did not hesitate and looked forward to a great success. The final ratio of shots on goal was 30:23 for Switzerland.
The Czechs managed only 15 shots on goalIn the Nokia Arena in Tampere, the Americans proved that they will be a tough nut for all rivals at this World Cup, as the only team to finish the preliminaries undefeated (six wins after regular time and one after extra time), and they continued in this style in the first elimination match and beat the Czechs without any major problems.
The Czechs fell to fourth place after a loss to the Canadians and Latvia’s win against Switzerland in the last round, giving them the best team in the group in Finland.
The Americans were a much better competitor. The final ratio of shots on goal was 34:15. Goalie Casey Desmith was reliable but didn’t have much to do.
Matt Corontto gave the Americans the lead in the 13th minute. Midway through the second period, Tampa Bay defenseman Nick Perbix made it 2-0. The final result was set by 19-year-old Cutter Gauthier in the 50th minute. This was already his seventh goal at the WC.
The Czechs were not helped by two “power-plays” during American penalties, and they were also ineffective at the end, when they pulled goalkeeper Karl Vejmelka off the ice.
Americans want to end the “Bronze Age”The Americans thus indicated that they were ripe for a leap from the “Bronze Age”. They took third place in 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2021. After last year’s third place at the same venue, the Czechs were left empty-handed this time.
The Canadians easily eliminated the defending champions FinnsIn front of 11,500 spectators in the sold-out Nokia Arena, Finland failed to raise the level from the preliminaries, Canada was better with 4:1.
In the second quarter-final match in Tampere, two old acquaintances from the final matches of recent years faced off. In 2019, 2021 and 2022, Canada and Finland decided on the gold medal (in 2020 there was no WC due to the corona crisis). The Finns won in 2019 and last year, and the Canadians in 2021.
Jack Quinn fired past goalkeeper Emil Larmi in the 7th minute, while the home team besieged Samuel Montembeault’s goal in vain. After half an hour of play, Samuel Blais made it 2:0. Michael Carcone was accurate at the start of the final period.
A glimmer of hope was brought to the defending champions by a risk without a goalkeeper as early as four minutes from time when Teemu Hartikainen brought down. But in the very next attack, when the Finns again risked without a goalkeeper, Canada scored the fourth goal into an empty net. The final score was set by Tyler Toffoli, who now plays for Calgary and was a long-time teammate of Anžet Kopitar in Los Angeles. The final ratio of shots on goal was 31:28.
Great euphoria in Riga – Latvia for the first time in the semi-finals of the WCThe Latvians boosted their confidence with the victory over Switzerland in the last round of the preliminaries. In front of full stands of loud fans in Riga, they were not afraid of the favored Swedes and reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time.
Thanks to the skillful Dans Ločmelis, they took the lead in the eighth minute. Despite Sweden’s superiority on the field, they kept the lead after the first period, and later the yellow-blues put a lot of pressure on them. In the second half, they completely squeezed the home team in front of their goal (shot ratio 13:1) and also equalized through Timothy Liljegren. At the end of this part of the game, the home team was left without Martinš Dzierkals, who received a game penalty, but in five minutes of numerical advantage, the Swedes did not score a goal.
In the 46th minute, Miks Indrašis played between the Swedish defenders and scored precisely for 2:1. The Swedes did not find a solution to the solid and combative Latvian defense. After a shot by Janis Jaks in the 54th minute, the puck went into the net for Swedish goalkeeper Lars Johansson, and the big celebration began.
The Swedes were very disappointed as they had a great advantage. The final ratio of shots on goal was 41:15. Vancouver Canucks goaltender Arturs Šilovs had an outstanding night.
QUARTERFINALS, table: USA – Czech Republic 3:0 (1:0, 1:0, 1:0)7400; Coronato 13th, Perbix 29th, Gauthier 50th.
Switzerland – GERMANY1:3 (0:1, 1:2, 0:0)2800; Siegenthaler 21st; Kastner 7th, Peterka 38th, Sturm 39th.
Sweden – LATVIA1:3 (0:1, 1:0, 0:2)9200; Liljegren 30.; Locmelis 13., Indrašis 46., Jaks 54.
CANADA – Finland4:1 (1:0, 1:0, 2:1) 11,500; Quinn 8th, Blais 31st, Carcone 43rd, Toffoli 58th; Hartikainen 57.
Semi-final, Tampere, Saturday at 1:20 p.m.:CANADA – LATVIA
At 17.20:USA – GERMANY
The match for 3rd place (2:20 p.m.) and the final (7:20 p.m.) will take place on Sunday.