U.S. loses to Czech Republic in quarterfinals of men’s hockey worlds

Czech Republic's players celebrate after the quarterfinal match between Czech Republic and United States at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP/Petr David Josek)

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic eliminated the United States at the ice hockey world championship with a 1-0 win to reach the semifinals on Thursday.

Boston Bruins forward Pavel Zacha scored a power-play goal in the second period and Anaheim Ducks goaltender Lukas Dostal stopped 36 shots in front of the home fans at Prague Arena.

Zacha and Bruins teammate David Pastrnak were playing in just their second game at the tournament. They joined the Czech team after Boston was eliminated from the NHL playoffs by the Florida Panthers.

Seeking an equalizer, the U.S. pulled goalie Charlie Lindgren, but the Czechs held firm and will meet Sweden in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Americans had killed off all 13 power plays they faced in the preliminary round.

“It was a great hockey game and terrific atmosphere. Unfortunately we came up short, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort,” U.S. coach said John Hynes said.

In the other quarterfinals Thursday, Nick Paul scored two goals as defending champion Canada beat Slovakia 6-3.

Canada will play Switzerland in the final four on Saturday.

“We had a great start, and just from there, we were building,” Paul said. “We were winning our battles, putting pucks to the net, and winning our second chances.”

Dylan Guenther had a goal and an assist and Jared McCann, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Brandon Tanev also scored for 28-time champion Canada.

McCann and Dubois scored in a 90-second span early in the opening period, before Peter Cehlarik made it 2-1 when Brandon Hagel deflected the Slovakian’s pass into his own net.

Canada extended its lead to 5-1 with Paul’s second-period goal followed by two goals within 20 seconds in the third — Guenther first and then Tanev.

Milos Kelemen and Marek Hrivik scored to reduce Canada’s lead to 5-3 before Paul’s second into an empty net.

In Ostrava, Joel Eriksson Ek scored a power-play goal 5:54 into overtime for Sweden to beat Finland 2-1.

Hannes Bjorninen tied the game for Finland at 1-1 with 58 seconds left in regulation — four minutes after Rasmus Dahlin gave the Swedes a 1-0 lead.

Earlier, Switzerland eliminated Germany by edging last year’s runner-up 3-1, also in Ostrava.

Christoph Bertschy led the Swiss with two goals. He gave the Swiss a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal before New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier added the second.

Dominik Kahun reduced the lead to 2-1 midway through the middle period on a power play before Bertschy added his second into an empty net in the third.

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