(Reuters) – Ryan O’Reilly struck Canada’s winning goal as they edged Russia 5-4 in an overtime thriller and Finland crashed to a shock 3-2 defeat by Switzerland in the Ice Hockey World Championship quarter-finals in Copenhagen on Thursday.
Patrick Kane scored twice for the United States as they beat the Czech Republic 3-2 and Sweden held off a spirited challenge from Latvia to win by the same scoreline.
Featuring many players who won Olympic gold under a neutral flag at the recent Pyeongchang Games, the Russians continually pegged back a slick Canadian side who were very effective on the powerplay.
They had to come from behind twice in the third period, with Artem Anisimov’s goal with a little over five minutes left throwing Russia a lifeline as they forced an extra period.
However, they had no answer to the pinpoint passing of Connor McDavid, who picked out O’Reilly in front of goal at the 4:57 mark in overtime for his third assist of the game and what proved to be the winning goal.
In the evening’s biggest shock, Finland took the lead against Switzerland after seven minutes but three goals in four minutes by Enzo Korvi, Joel Vermin and Gregory Hofmann were enough to sink the Finns, despite Mikko Rantanen pulling a late goal back.
With time running out and his side desperately in need of a goal, Latvia’s Ronalds Kenins smashed his stick in frustration after missing a golden chance to equalize following a battling performance against reigning champions Sweden.
The Swedes will face the Americans in the semi-finals on Saturday while Canada take on Switzerland.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor in Stockholm, editing by Ed Osmond)