Mark Stone on Saturday scored his tournament-leading eighth goal and Matt Murray made 39 saves to lead Canada in beating the Czech Republic 5-1 to advance and face Finland in the world hockey championship final.
“I think we can beat anybody in this tournament,” Stone said. “It’s just a matter of whether we play well or not. We’re going to have to bring our best game to beat [Finland], but I’m comfortable with the team that we have.”
In the first semi-final, Marko Anttila scored midway through the third period in Finland’s 1-0 victory over Russia.
Darnell Nurse, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Turris and Thomas Chabot also scored for Canada.
“I think that as a team, we’re just thankful for the opportunity,” Murray said. “One, to be here and play for our country, and now to get this opportunity to play for gold. It’s very exciting and that’s what we’re here for.”
Tomas Zohorna scored for the Czech Republic.
“The score was 5-1, but it felt closer than that,” Dubois said. “The Czechs played a really good game. They did a lot of good things. I thought we defended well as a unit of five. We didn’t give them a lot. Murray was really good when we made mistakes and that’s what made the difference.”
Canada has won eight straight games since opening with a 3-1 loss to Finland.
The teams last met in the final in 2016 in Moscow, with Canada winning 2-1. The title game was yesterday.
In the first semi-final, Anttila grabbed the loose puck after Henri Jokiharju’s point-shot bounced off defenseman Nikita Zaitsev’s leg and he fired it through goalie Andrei Vasilevski’s gaping five-hole.
“He took a stick in the face and came back and scored the game-winning goal,” Finnish goalie Kevin Lankinen said. “That shows a lot of character. He’s a good leader and a really nice guy to be around.”
Lankinen made 32 saves for his second shutout of the tournament.
“We’ve believed in ourselves all tournament,” Lankinen said. “I don’t know if anybody else has, but the way we’re playing, we can beat any team in this tournament. I like to think we’ve got one more win left in us.”
‘HISTORIC’ MOMENT: ‘ Matsuyama Masters’ was trending on Twitter in Japan, as TV stations ran breaking news flashes and golf-related shares rose on the stock market Japan on Sunday sucked in its breath as Hideki Matsuyama almost blew his chance to win the Masters, but the golfer’s one-shot victory at Augusta National sparked a joyous reaction back home as the country celebrated another sporting triumph in testing times. Matsuyama, 29, became the first man from Japan to win one of golf’s major titles, a feat that drew praise from government and Olympics officials with the Tokyo Games just three months away. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato expressed “congratulations and respect from the heart” for Matsuyama’s “historic” win, which came as ray of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It
FIFTY YEARS ON: ‘Don’t be afraid of competition, we can compete peacefully,’ said Yao Zhenxu, a Chinese player who was there when ‘ping-pong diplomacy’ began It was 50 years ago, but Zhang Xielin remembers vividly how a shaggy-haired US table tennis player stepped onto the Chinese team’s bus, a chance encounter which would shape history. It was the world championships in Nagoya, Japan, and Glenn Cowan mistakenly hopped in with Zhang and his teammates — an awkward moment because the US and China were then deeply at odds. “We were on the bus and were talking and laughing,” said Zhang, now 80. “But when we realized that an American had come onto the bus, we fell silent.” The Chinese triple world champion Zhuang Zedong eventually came forward and
The Taiwan Mulan Football League begins today, with the spotlight on a “clash of the giants” of the women’s game in Taichung, where defending champions Hualien City are to be visitors for what is expected to be a fierce contest against Taichung Blue Whale. Hualien City head coach Chu Wen-pin and team captain Wang Hsiang-hui on Thursday said at the Mulan League launch event in Taipei that they are confident of repeating their championship-winning form, but other clubs have strengthened their squads, so improved teamwork and performance would be needed in every match. “The other teams made signings during the off-season, boosting
After several humbling losses to the West Division leaders, the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday sent quite the message to the Colorado Avalanche in their last of eight regular-season matchups. Eight was more than enough for the Wild to slow the Avalanche. Kevin Fiala notched his first career hat-trick, while Kirill Kaprizov had two of Minnesota’s three power-play goals as the sharp-shooting Wild beat Colorado 8-3 to hand the Avalanche their first regulation loss in 16 games. “We can play against you guys,” Fiala said. “If we’re going to meet them in the playoffs.” Luke Johnson, Ryan Hartman and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored as