Canada beat Czechs 2-0 to set up final against Russia

Sat May 16, 2015 5:21pm EDT
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By Michael Kahn

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Canada shut out the Czech Republic 2-0 in the ice hockey world championship on Saturday to set up a final against Russia, who rode four late goals to a 4-0 win over the United States.

The Russians will take on a NHL-stocked Canadian squad on Sunday night that has led all nations in scoring and did not lose a game at the group stage.

Against the Czechs, Canada only mustered two goals due in large part to Czech goaltender Ondrej Pavelec who faced 41 shots and made a number of big saves to keep his team in the game.

The Czechs, playing in front of a boisterous crowd, were energized at the start and tested Canadian goalie Mike Smith a number of times.

Canada opened the scoring midway through the first period when Jordan Eberle held off a defenseman before sweeping it to Taylor Hall, who tapped into the net for his seventh goal of the tournament."It's been a while since Canada has been in the finals and we are aware of that," Hall said. "There are a lot of guys on this team looking for their first world championship."

Jason Spezza doubled the lead in the second period when he whipped in a wrist shot from just over the blue line.

The Czechs appeared to have cut the advantage minutes later when a long slapshot floated into the net but the officials ruled out the goal.

Canada were also able to limit 43-year-old Czech great Jaromir Jagr in what could be his last tournament for the national team.   Continued...

Canada's Sean Couturier (L) challenges goaltender Ondrej Pavelec of the Czech Republic during their Ice Hockey World Championship semifinal game at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic May 16, 2015.    REUTERS/David W Cerny