The quarter-finals of the World Hockey Championships took place today and four teams will be moving on to the Semi-Finals. Three of the six Buffalo Sabres players that were left are now going home but three will be playing in Quebec City on Friday. The matchups will be Canada versus Sweden and Russia against Finland.
Derek Roy led the way for team Canada getting his first hat trick of the tournament, he also added an assist in an 8-2 win over Norway. The game was close for awhile when Norway tied the game at two in the second period. It was just over four minutes later when Derek Roy assisted on a goal scored by Jonathan Toews that gave Canada the lead for good. Derek Roy scored two goals two and a half minutes apart to start the rout. As mentioned before Canada will take on Sweden who beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime earlier in the day. Ales Kotalik looked like a superstar on the ice but he was unable to beat Henrik Lundqvist on numerous quality scoring chances. Kotalik had an assist in the game.
Max Afinogenov stayed hot for Russia scoring twice in a 6-0 win over Switzerland. Afinogenov had a disappointing season for the Sabres this year, scoring 10 goals in 58 games but his two goals today gave him five in six games for Russia in the tournament. It will be intersting how this affects the Sabres decision to try and trade Afinogenov. His great play in the tournament should help increase his value if the Sabres decide to trade him away in the off-season.
The United States had trouble getting to Minnesota Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom all night but they scored twice in the final five minutes to tie the game at two. They tied it on a wrist shot from Buffalo Sabres forward Drew Stafford with 3:39 left in regulation. That was Stafford's first goal of the tournament and it came at the right time for the United States. The Stafford goal wasn't enough as Finland scored 3:59 into the overtime period to send the U.S. packing.
The tournament will resume on Friday with Russia-Finland at one o'clock and Canada-Sweden at five o'clock. The two winners will play for the gold medal on Sunday at 1PM and the losers will compete for the bronze medal on Saturday at three o'clock.