Men’s World Championships recap: Canada, USA win, Latvia and Germany pull off stunning upsets
The IIHF World Hockey Championship held its quarterfinals today and, boy, was it spicy. Canada and the United States both advanced with convincing wins over Finland and Czechia, respectively, two solid teams still in the hunt for the medal.
But it was the other two games that really shocked fans. In the afternoon, Germany beat Switzerland 3-1 after killing Moritz Seider’s five-minute middle finger and scoring two goals soon after. Switzerland never lost in regular time in the round robin, but slumped with defeats to Latvia and Germany to close things out.
The biggest shock came in the evening. In front of 9,200 people in a packed arena in Riga, Latvia scored twice in the third period to build a 3-1 lead over Sweden, winning the game and advancing to the quarter-finals. It was the first time Latvia had made it to the last four of an IIHF Premier League tournament, and they did so by narrowly winning with a win on the final day of the preliminary round .
We are down to two days of play, with Saturday hosting two semi-final matches in Tampere, Finland.
Canada v. Latvia – 7:20 a.m. ET
United States vs. Germany – 11:20 a.m. ET
USA beat Czech Republic 3-0
- Can Gauthier cutter (PHI) to be arrested ? He’s second with seven goals after scoring 3-0 today, with a good buddy TJ Tynan (LAK) the helper. The pair combined for 19 points and certainly aren’t finished as the Americans are ready to move on. But in Gauthier’s case, you can tell he’s got a shot ready for the pros.
- who knew Nick Perbix (TBL) could shoot like this? His wrist at 28:53 went just under the bar and inside, giving Karel Vejmelka nightmares. Perbix isn’t known for racking up a ton of points, but it was a shot-stopper.
- Matt Coronato (CGY) And Lane Hutson (MTL) continue to look like experienced veterans. The pair combined for the first base when Hutson’s shot was saved, only for Coronato to catch the rebound and fire it onto a pair of skates in front. The two students combined to score a goal in the tournament and continue to show that NHL experience doesn’t always matter. Coronato already has a few games with the Flames under his belt and will go full-time next year, while Hutson will return to Boston University.
Canada knock out Finland in 2022 gold medal rematch
- Jack Quinn (BUF) eventually scored his first of the tournament, and that was a neat one too, beating a Finnish defender before slipping him under Emil Larmi’s pad to make it 1-0 early in the first. Sabers fans love him for a reason, and he’s showing up in front of the world right now.
- Samuel Montembault (MTL) was one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament. He made some big saves late in the game and 27 total saves to get the train going. Do the Canadiens have a legitimate long-term No. 1 here? It’s been a spectacular season for the guy Montreal caught on waivers two years ago.
- One of the few AHL players in the tournament, Michel Carcone (ARI) scored a well-deserved goal at 42:54 to make it 3-1, putting the game out of reach. He was the team’s 13th striker today, but he played on multiple lines and seemed to fit in pretty much everywhere. It is versatile.
- St. Louis Blues fans had to love seeing Jake Neighbors (STL) And Samuel Blais (STL) connect for the 2-0 goal. Blais’ struggles with the Rangers are well documented, but he finished strong with St. Louis and was a good spark plug for Canada. For Neighbors he started as the 13th striker, progressed through injuries and looked good in spurts.
Germany stuns Switzerland to advance
- Kai Wissman (BOS) excellent tournament continues. He put in place Maximilian Kastner for the 1-0 goal, a lead that will last around 14 minutes for the Germans. His willingness to rush from the point has made Germany so dangerous lately.
- Jonas Muller had a pair of secondary assists, including one that helped set up the 2-on-1 goal that made it 3-1. The king of stretch passes and smart plays. He was underestimated for the Germans.
- JJ Peterka (BUF) scored again, placing him third with 10 points. Peterka’s play lately is one of the main reasons why Germany managed to get this far. Sabers fans should be thrilled with his and Quinn’s play.
- It was the only goal of the match for Switzerland, but Jonas Siegenthaler (NJD) marker just 47 seconds into the second really sparked his team. It didn’t result in a win, but considering he joined the current tournament, he looked good for Swiss.
Latvia surprises Sweden
- Arthur Silovs (VAN). Enough said. He argues for the tournament MVP.
- Talk about a confidence booster for In Locmelis (BOS). The 19-year-old scored his first World Championship goal, and it was the one that left Latvia leading until the halfway mark. It must have been good for someone who hasn’t played much. He will be a mainstay for Latvians in the long run.
- Even though he took a penalty which led to a goal against, Timothy Liljegren (TML) a goal in consecutive matches. It was nice, closing in after taking a wire from Lucas Raymond and pulling it past Silovs. It was Sweden’s only goal, but it was great to see Liljegren become so efficient with the puck.
- Miks Indrasis, National Hero? He scored the game-winner and then assisted Janis Jaks’ 3-1 goal which put things away. The 32-year-old veteran scored just two goals in his last World Championship in 2021, but with five points from eight games it was one of the best performances of his career. He chose a good day to play a good game.