MOSCOW – The U.S. meets Canada in semifinal play of the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship here tonight. Opening faceoff is 8:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m. ET) and the game will be broadcast live on all Comcast Regional Sports Networks in the U.S. and also streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra.
“We’re excited to play,” said U.S. Head Coach John Hynes. “Our guys will be ready. It’s great for our country that we’ve reached the semifinals of the world championship again this year.”
Russia and Finland will meet in the first semifinal at 4:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m. ET).
Team USA is in the semifinals for the second straight year, which marks the first time the U.S. has made it to semifinals in the world championship in back-to-back years since 1933-34. It should be noted that the world championship has used many different formats over the years and true semifinal games have not always been played. In many years, the medals in the world championship were determined by results from round robin play. Semifinals have been played in most years since 1992.
Keith Kinkaid is expected to get the call in goal tonight. He was outstanding in Team USA’s 2-1 shootout victory over Czech Republic Thursday in the quarterfinals, making 31 saves, including all three in the shootout.
Team USA had an upbeat pre-game skate from 11-11:30 a.m. this morning and then had a brief meeting at the hotel upon its return.
U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Coach Lou Vairo was at practice this morning to wish players and coaches well. Vairo was accompanied by long-time friends Jorma Valtonen from Finland, an IIHF Hall of Fame goaltender and Yuri Karmanov, former NHL scout and Russian League player.
NOTES: The U.S., Finland and Russia are the three teams that have reached the semifinals of the men’s world championship in three of the last four years. No team has been in the semifinals for each of the last four seasons …. Team USA is the youngest team in the tournament. The average age of the four remaining teams is USA-23, Canada-24, Russia-26, Finland-27 … Team USA’s youngest player – 18-year-old Auston Matthews -- is its top scorer with five goals and eight total points. Dylan Larkin, age 19, is second in points with 2-5—7 … Team USA is 2-7-0 in nine previous semifinal games. It has never faced Canada in the semifinals. The last U.S. semifinal victory was a 3-0 shutout of Germany on Feb. 10, 1934. Team USA has lost its last seven semifinal appearances in the world championship, including a 4-0 setback to Russia last year.
U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Coach Lou Vairo (center) with IIHF Hall of Fame goaltender Jorma Valtonen (left) and former Russian League player and NHL Scout Yuri Karmanov (right).
|May 3||Finland (exhibition)||L, 2-3 OT|
|May 6||Canada||L, 1-5|
|May 7||Belarus||W, 6-3|
|May 9||Finland||L, 2-3|
|May 12||France||W, 4-0|
|May 13||Hungary||W, 5-1|
|May 15||Germany||L, 2-3|
|May 17||Slovakia||L, 2-3 OT|
|May 19||Czech Republic (quarterfinal)||W, 2-1 SO|
Bronze Medal Game
Tag(s): 2016 World Championship