Russia makes it to Hockey World semis after beating Germany 4-1

© Alexey Kudenko
Russia has made the final four of the Hockey World Championships after overcoming Germany 4-1 at Moscow’s Ice Palace on Thursday.

A blockbuster semi-final clash with the only undefeated team left in the tournament, Finland, now awaits for Oleg Znarok’s men.

Russia finished second in Group A and faced Germany in the first knockout stage, with a partisan crowd cheering on the home side in Moscow.

However, initially everything didn’t go quite to plan, as an early Patrick Reimer goal gave the Germans a 1-0 lead after the first period.

Russia came out fighting in the second 20 minutes and scored three unanswered goals to take the lead, with a strike by Evgeny Dadonov separating a Vadim Shipachyov double.

The hosts needed one more goal to make sure of victory and duly got it when Alex Ovechkin netted early in the final period to send the crowd into raptures.

Since losing their opening game to the Czech Republic, Russia have been in excellent form and have now won seven games in a row.

However, facing Finland will be a step up in quality, with the undefeated Finns winning Group B and making light work of Denmark in their first knockout clash, 5-1.

The Finns were always in the lead following Mikael Granlund’s opener, with another clinical display from Kari Jalonen’s side.

North American rivals Canada and United States will clash in the other semifinal after they overcame Sweden and Czech Republic, respectively.

The Canadians were beaten by Finland in their last group game, but possess an array of talent that should get them to the finals.

Bill Peters’ men made no mistake against the Swedes, winning 6-0 to get their campaign back on track and make the last four.

A powerful second period where Canada scored three goals was critical to victory and the winners will be glad to shut their opponents out.

In the earlier clash at Yubileiny, United States overcame the odds to beat Czech Republic 2-1 in a penalty shots shootout.

John Hynes’ men scrapped into the knockout rounds after being beaten by Slovakia in their last game and fell behind here after 15 minutes when Tomas Zohorna scored for the Group A winners.

However, Auston Matthews squared things up in the second minute of the second period, with the game going all the way to a shootout.

Matthews was his side’s hero in the life-or-death element of the game, scoring again to send the US into a clash with Canada in the semis.

The pair have already met in the tournament, with Canada prevailing 5-1, but the semifinal should be a lot closer as a spot in the final is to play for.

Both semifinals take place on Saturday, with the tournament wrapping up with the final on Sunday.

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