Canada falls to Finland at worlds
MINSK, Belarus -- Canada lost in the quarterfinals at a fifth consecutive ice hockey world championship when Finland scored late to win 3-2 on Thursday.
Mattias Ekholm didn't allow another upset and scored for defending champion Sweden in the final period to edge Belarus 3-2 and set up a semifinal against Russia.
Winner of the last two Olympics, Canada looked good for its first world medal since the 2009 silver. It topped its group and was on a five-game winning streak. Finland, meanwhile, needed help to make the quarters.
But Iiro Pakarinen netted the winner, a wrist shot between the pads of goaltender Ben Scrivens with 3:08 remaining in the final period. Juuso Hietanen had a goal and an assist, Olli Palola also scored and Jori Lehtera had three assists for Finland.
"We controlled long portions of the game but we made a couple of mistakes that cost us," Canada coach Dave Tippett said.
Canada captain Kevin Bieksa added, "It's very disappointing, the expectation was to get a little bit further."
Finland will play the Czech Republic in the other semifinal on Saturday.
"We feel really great now, and we know that we can still play better against the Czechs," Palola said.
The Czechs scored three second-period, power-play goals in beating the United States 4-3, while Russia blanked France 3-0.
Czech captain Tomas Rolinek answered Brock Nelson's power-play goal in the opening period, and Tomas Hertl, Roman Cervenka and Ondrej Nemec all beat veteran goaltender Tim Thomas on power plays in less than 10 minutes in the middle period.
Czech coach Vladimir Ruzicka didn't give details about his injury but said he hoped Sobotka will be available for the semis.
Tyler Johnson reduced the deficit to 4-2 with 1:10 left in the game, and added his second 13 seconds later, but it was too late and the U.S., bronze medalists last year, came up short.
"I wish they (the goals) would have come a little sooner," Johnson said.
Hertl and Cervenka scored from rebounds during Abdelkader's penalty, and Jaromir Jagr set up Nemec to drive a slap shot past Thomas.
"We scored three power-plays goals and that decided the game," Jagr said. "But we messed things up in the last two minutes. It was a lesson for the young players, and for those who never experienced that the game ends only after the final whistle."
Russia star forward Evgeni Malkin made his presence felt in his second game at the worlds as he scored a power-play goal and added an assist, and Artyom Anisimov and Alexander Kutuzov also scored at France's expense.
"I felt much better today, I had the time to get acclimated," said Malkin, who arrived late from the NHL playoffs. "It was a good win but we could have played better and been more effective."
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovski stopped 16 shots for the shutout.
Another Russian star, forward Alex Ovechkin, returned after he missed a game due to a right leg injury.
"It was a bit awkward to skate in the brace," Ovechkin said. "But I'll play without it the next game, and everything will be OK."
Less than a minute after Sweden goalie Anders Nilsson saved a penalty shot against Belarus, Ekholm skated around the goal to net the winner with a backhand with 6:22 remaining.
"They have those two superstars of course, but also a great team," Sweden forward Gustav Nyquist said of Russia. "But we're good, too, and have shown what we can do."
Nicklas Danielsson and Magnus Nygren also had a goal each for Sweden, while Geoff Platt and Alexei Efimenko scored for Belarus.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press