World Cup in Riga – The semi-finalists at the World Cup in Riga are USA – Canada and the title holders Finland – Germany. Canada beat Russia 2–1 after extra time.
Russia will no longer win the World Cup against Canada. The record world champion conceded a fourth consecutive defeat with 1:2 after extra time against the North Americans in Riga. Andrew Mangiapen scored the winning goal for Canada in the 63rd minute after a brilliant performance from Troy Steicher.
The favored Russians clearly dominated in the early stages, but after that it was a similar game, drawing a 25:24 shot ratio in favor of the Eastern Europeans. The Russians took the lead through Yevgeny Timkin (35th), with Adam Heinrich equalizing the Canadians in the 46th minute in the power play.
So the Russians will have to wait for their first World Cup title since 2014. Three years earlier they had failed in the quarter-finals in overtime over Canada (4-5). In 2015 they lost in the final (1: 6), in 2017 in the semi-final (2: 4). The last win against the North Americans in the World Cup, 2–1 in the quarterfinals, was ten years earlier. The Canadians, who started the tournament with three losses, are now in the semi-finals for the sixth time in a row and can continue to dream of a 27th World Cup title, which will put them on par with the Russians.
America on the road to early victory
The quarterfinals between the United States and Slovakia were utterly dramatic. The Americans took a 3–0 lead in the first section and won 6–1.
Since initially losing to Finland (1:2), the Americans have celebrated seven consecutive victories. He scored only nine goals in his eight matches.
Colin Blackwell and Conor Garland scored two goals each against the Slovak. The tournament’s most successful scorer (with five goals and six assists) fell short in the second section for Peter Sehlerik, the Slovak, who had to leave the World Cup without a medal for the ninth time in a row.
The United States, on the other hand, is only two wins short of its first world title since 1933. Since the turn of the millennium, Americans have won four bronze medals (2004, 2013, 2015, 2018). Justin Abdelkader, who recently became Swiss champion with EV Jug, also wants this medal. Abdelkader will no longer be seen in Riga due to a lower body injury. But he remained isolated in Latvia and swore his team to the task with an impressive speech before the game.
stay on the fins course
Two years after winning the title in Slovakia with three narrow victories and only two NHL reinforcements, Finland looks set to successfully defend its title. The Finns won in Riga just like they did in Bratislava in 2019. They beat Czech Republic 1–0 in the quarterfinals.
The only goal of the game was scored by Jere Inala after 33 minutes. In addition, goalkeepers Simon Hrubeck (23 saves) and Jussi Olkinuara (28 saves) dominated the game. Olkinuara was part of the Finnish goalkeeper trio in Slovakia two years earlier, but then played only one preliminary round game in which he managed a shutout. In Riga, Olkinuara scored the first shutout against the Czechs.
The Finns will face Germany in the semi-finals on Saturday. It is worth noting that only teams from preliminary Group B made it to the semi-finals. The Swiss group teams finish the World Cup in 5th (Russia), 6th (Switzerland), 7th (Czech Republic) and 8th (Slovakia).
Quarterfinals: Switzerland – Germany 2:3 (1:0, 1:1, 0:1, 0:0) NP USA – Slovakia 6:1 (3:0, 1:1, 2:0). Russia – Canada 1: 2 (0: 0, 1: 0, 0: 1, 0: 1) NV Finland – Czech Republic 1: 0 (0: 0, 1: 0, 0: 0).
Semifinals (on Saturday): USA – Canada, Finland – Germany.