Team Canada and Team USA will face off in the semifinals of the Ivan Hlinka Tournament on Friday, with the other semifinal pairing set as Sweden versus the Czech Republic squad. Meanwhile, Finland and Switzerland will compete for fifth place, while Russia and Slovakia duke it out for seventh place.
Team Canada comes into Friday’s Ivan Hlinka semifinal with a perfect record in the 2014 Ivan Hlinka, including a 5-1 win over Slovakia on Wednesday. Canada outscored their opponents by a margin of 15-to-3 and is looking for their seventh straight Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament win. They’ve captured the championship for the past six years.
Filip Lestan had the lone goal for Slovakia in Wednesday’s loss. For Canada, Ethan Bear, Lawson Crouse, Mitch Marner, Travis Konecny and Tyler Soy each put up a goal. Callum Booth had 12 saves for Canada, while Adam Huska had 31 saves in net for Slovakia.
The United States comes into today’s matchup on the heels of a 9-4 victory over Finland. Team USA is second in Group A standings behind the Czech Republic, with two wins and one loss.
Jonne Tammela, Petrus Palmu, Vili Saarijärvi and Sebastian Aho scored for Finland, but four goals – including two power-play tallies – and 31 shots on net weren’t enough to beat out the American squad.
Team USA put up 44 shots and had one power play goal and one shorthanded goal to help capture the win.
For the Americans, Thomas Novak led the way with a four-point game (2g, 2a). Troy Terry had a hat trick, with Karch Bachman, Robert Jackson, Dennis Yan and Brock Boeser each putting up a goal.
Evan Sarthou had 27 saves, while Veini Vehviläinen had 35 saves in the loss.
Both Sweden and the Czech Republic head into their semifinal matchup coming off big wins on Wednesday. Czech beat Russia 11-2, while Sweden defeated Switzerland 7-2.
For the Czechs, fifteen players had at least a point in Wednesday’s win over the Russians. Filip Dvořák, Jakub Zbořil and Šimon Stránský all had two goals each. Roman Dymáček, Filip Suchý, Jan Dufek, Roman Dymáček and David Kaše also scored for the Czech Republic in Wednesday’s win.
Russia’s goals came from Kirill Kaprizov and Dmitrij Zhukenov.
In the Sweden-Switzerland game, fourteen players had at least a point for the Swedes.
Jonathan Dahlen had two goals to lead the team. Jonathan Davidsson, Oliver Erixon, Anton Kalte, Joel EK Eriksson and Lucas Carlsson also scored for Sweden.
Fabio Hollenstein and Damien Riat had the goals for the Swiss.
Heading into the Ivan Hlinka semifinals, Sweden sits second in Group B standings behind Canada, while the Czech Republic is the top team in Group A.
Today’s game schedule kicks off with the seventh-place meeting of Slovakia and Russia, then the fifth-place game between Finland and Switzerland.
Later in the day will be the Canada vs. USA game, with the Czech Republic/Sweden semi-final capping off the night.
The winners of the Canada-USA and Sweden-Czech Republic matchups will go on to face each other tomorrow in the finals to determine the winner of the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. You can find box scores of all the games at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, including today’s semifinal games, on the tournament’s official website.