Canada, United States hockey teams eliminated from Worlds

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Minsk, Belarus (4E Sports) – Favorites United States and Canada were eliminated from the 2014 IIHF World Championship after losing their quarterfinal assignments.

Iiro Pakarinen scored with 3:08 remaining as Finland eliminated Canada with a 3-2 win Thursday at Chizhovka Arena.

Olli Palola and Juuso Hietanen also scored and Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators) stopped 36 shots for Finland, which will face the Czech Republic in one of two semifinals scheduled for Saturday.

“We got a good start in the first period, but in the second period Canada was very strong,” Finland coach Erkka Westerlund said. “In the third period we found the mental strength. We call it ‘sisu’ [in Finnish]. I am very proud of my team.”

Kyle Turris of the Ottawa Senators and Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets scored second-period goals for Canada, which lost in the quarterfinals for the fifth straight year. Canada last won a medal at the Worlds in 2009 and hasn’t won gold in the tournament since 2007.

Canada won gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and was bidding to become the second team, following Sweden in 2006, to capture gold in the Olympics and the World Championship in the same year.

Meanwhile, Tomas Hertl and Roman Cervenka scored power-play goals 1:15 apart in the second period as the Czech Republic ousted the Americans, 4-3, at Chizhovka Arena.

The loss eliminates the U.S., which was looking to follow up on a bronze medal won at the Worlds last year, while the Czech Republic moves into the semifinals Saturday against Finland.

The United States last won consecutive medals at the World Championship in 1933 (gold) and 1934 (silver).

In the other quarterfinal game, Russia blanked France, 3-0, to advance to the semifinal against Sweden, which beat Belarus 4-2 in another quarterfinal game.

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