Sensation from Finland, the fourth finals of Canada for five years and Russia and the Czech Republic in the match for the bronze: the results of the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup
The gold of the World Hockey Championship in Slovakia will be played by the teams of Finland and Canada. This became known on the basis of semi-final matches. Finnish hockey players, thanks to Marco Anttila's only puck, interrupted Russia's eight-match winning streak. The Canadians, in turn, defeated the Czech Republic team with a score of 5: 1. For the founders of hockey, this will be the fourth final of the world championships in the last five years.
Frustration of the day
If judged only by name, the Russian national team in the World Cup semi-finals got the easiest opponent. The Finns have not collected such a star composition, as Canada or even the Czech Republic. However, the Scandinavians, in their first match with the Canadians, showed that they could easily beat the opponents in the class. They again showed their ability to crush favorites in the game with Ilya Vorobyov's charges.
Although the Finns tried to adhere to the defensive style and play as reliably as possible, they were often able to visit the Russian zone, especially during and after the removal of Nikita Kucherov. The Finnish hockey players did not show something outstanding, but produced a large amount of work - 15 shots hit the gate of Andrey Vasilevsky in the first period. The Russian goalkeeper coped with all, although for this he sometimes had to perform miracles. In one of the episodes, he was lying on the ice and stopped with a foot a puck lying on the goal line.
It was hard for Russian attackers to go beyond the middle zone, and in the starting third not a single puck was abandoned. The zero score remained the same for the second break - for the first time in this world championship, the current Olympic champions failed to distinguish themselves in the first two periods. The Finns, too, could not boast of performance, but they didn’t follow her. Judging by the way the semifinal meeting developed, they expected to bring the match to a state where only one puck would decide everything.
The players of Suomi made their way. In the third period, the Russians still tried unsuccessfully to break through the Finnish defense, and even the only one rally of the majority did not help. When the Vorobiev wards somehow reached the front of the goal, they were stopped by the goalkeeper of the AHL Rockford Ayshogs club Kevin Lankinen. The Finns had fewer opportunities to open an account, but they appeared from time to time. At the 51st minute, Henri Yokiharju struck a normal throw from the blue line, and Marco Anttila finished off the puck after a poor rebound. Forward, who plays in the fourth link "Yokerita", was rewarded for numerous attempts to throw Vasilevsky.
With each following minute it became clear that the Russians were no longer recouping, and the exit of the sixth field player also did not affect the course of the game. The Finns continued to defend in an exemplary manner and kept the winning score. Now it remains for the Scandinavians to win one match in order to repeat the achievement of 2011 - then they won gold under the guidance of the current coach Yukko Yalonen, and the world championship was also held in Slovakia.
Rout of the day
The second semi-final duo made teams of Canada and the Czech Republic. If in the history of their confrontation there are only play-off matches at world championships, then Europeans will have a clear advantage - the Czechs won six out of nine games. However, now these statistics are not entirely correct. In the knockout games and for the medals, teams began to meet extremely rarely, and over the past decade, this happened only once - in 2015, Canada took over just in the semi-finals.
The current match began for the Czechs is not the best way. The hero of the quarterfinal battle with Switzerland, Mark Stone closed the pass to Troy Stecher in touch and became the best sniper of the tournament with eight goals. The Czechs deserved to even the score, but they lost the first period.
After a short respite, they hoped to recoup in the second third, but already at the tenth second in the possession of Patrick Bartoshak the puck again flew. Sean Couturier dispersed her on the left flank, and defender Darnell Nours scored from behind the gate. Five minutes later, the Czech goalkeeper capitulated again after the throw of Pierre-Luc Dubois and was replaced by Pavel Franzouz, who shortly before the match signed a new contract with Colorado Avalanche.
Goalkeeper replacement is not much help the Czechs. Although the Canadians actually secured a way to the final, they continued to increase the difference in the score. In the third period, Kyle Turris and Tom Shabo, who had just served two minutes, scored fourth and fifth goals. Czechs for one goal of prestige played away - due to the loss of the same Shabo, Tomasz Zagorn rolled out into a foreign area and deprived Matt Murray of the “cracker”, who celebrated his 25th birthday that day.
Canada returned to the final of the World Cup after an annual absence and will challenge the gold with Finland, as it was in 2016 in Moscow. Russia and the Czech Republic will hold a match for bronze - the last game of this level between the two teams ended with the victory of the Czechs in 2011.
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