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Canada thrash Russia to reach ice hockey semi-finals

Canada celebrate

Canada stun Russia in men's ice hockey

Canada produced a blistering display to sweep aside Russia 7-3 and reach the semi-finals of the men's ice hockey.

The host nation looked to have well and truly put last week's group stage loss to the United States behind them as they thrashed the Russians.

A rematch against the Americans in the final remains a possibility after the US beat Switzerland 2-0.

They go on to face Finland in the semi-finals, while Canada will meet Slovakia, who defeated Sweden 4-3.

The shock result of the evening was undoubtedly reserved for the final quarter-final match as Slovakia knocked out the defending champions in convincing fashion.

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Marian Gaborik, Andrej Sekera, Pavol Demitra and Tomas Kopecky scored for the Slovaks, who had defeated Russia earlier in the tournament.

Sweden's Nicklas Lidstrom, who scored the winning goal in Turin back in 2006, had a shot stopped by Jaroslav Halak as time expired to end Swedish hopes of a comeback.

"It's the biggest achievement so far in the short history of Slovak Republic," said Slovakia forward Miroslav Satan.

"We definitely are going to enjoy it for a while and then focus on the next game."

Meanwhile, Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said his team were "energised" by the patriotic support.

"You want to do well because you're proud and because you think hockey is Canada's game," said Babcock.

Switzerland v USA ice hockey

USA squeeze past Switzerland in Ice Hockey

"Now it's pretty obvious it's the world's game but we still think it's ours and I'm a bit of a redneck so I like to think it's ours."

A tight match had been predicted between two of the sport's giants in the second quarter-final, but Canada blew away Russia in the opening period.

With a packed crowd behind them, the hosts went ahead after two minutes through Ryan Getzlaf before goals from Dan Boyle, Rick Nash and Brenden Morrow made it 4-1 at the end of the first period.

The shell-shocked Russians could not respond at the start of the second and a humiliation looked on the cards when Corey Perry and Shea Weber made it 6-1 to Canada.

Finland celebrate scoring against the Czech Republic

Finland end goal drought against Czechs

Maxim Afinogenov and Sergei Gonchar stopped the rot for Russia but they went into the second break trailing 7-3 and could not make further inroads in a scoreless third period.

"I saw a team that wants to win and play smart hockey and another team that didn't play smart hockey and didn't play with passion," said reserve goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who replaced the struggling Evgeni Nabokov in the second period.

In the third of the quarter-finals, Finland saw off the Czech Republic 2-0 in a dour encounter.

Slovakia celebrate scoring against Sweden

Slovakia surprise Sweden in Ice Hockey



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see also
US stun Canada in hockey showdown
22 Feb 10 |  Ice hockey
Winter Olympics weather
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010


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