• RSS

Czechs edge United States to advance at worlds

Jagr assists on winning goal to set up date with winner of Canada-Finland

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 12:03 PM ET / News
New Jersey Devils
Share with your Friends

Czechs edge United States to advance at worlds

Jaromir Jagr and the Czech Republic are headed to the semifinals at the IIHF World Championship in Belarus. 

The Czechs survived a late U.S. rally and held on for a 4-3 win in Thursday’s quarterfinal. They now prepare for a Saturday meeting with Finland, which upset Group A top seed Canada, 3-2.

Special teams proved pivotal for the Czechs in the second period when they erupted for three power-play goals. Tomas Hertl and Roman Cervenka each converted after Team USA captain Justin Abdelkader was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging Vladimir Sobotka.

Jagr set up the third tally of the period – Ondrej Nemec’s eventual game-winner – at 16:19 with Brock Nelson in the box for cross-checking. The assist extended his point streak to six games (3g-4a) and kept him atop the Czech scoring list with eight points (4g-4a) in eight contests.

The U.S. battled back late in the third. With Tim Thomas pulled for an extra attacker, Tyler Johnson scored twice in 13 seconds to get Team USA within a goal with under a minute to go. The Czechs held on for the final 57 seconds to advance.

Nelson opened the scoring on the power play, giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead at 6:54 of the first period. Tomas Rolinek answered with an unassisted marker that tied the game, 1-1, at 9:25.

Russia and Sweden will faceoff in Saturday's other semfinal. The Russians blanked France, 3-0, while Sweden edged Belarus, 3-2. Albany (AHL) defenseman Raman Hrabarenka registered one shot in the game for the tournament hosts, and was plus-6 with two assists in eight games.

Team Canada, whose coaching staff included assistant Peter DeBoer, exited in the quarterfinals for a fifth straight year. The Canadians last medaled at the worlds in 2009, when they claimed silver.