The Americans recorded one convincing performance but did have to rebuff the rival’s surge in the third once Slovakia came down to 3-2.
Midway through the same, Dominik Sojka scored a goal that moved Slovakia to 3-2, and the US side had to react. For a brief moment, it looked as if they might choke and allow the rivals to make a complete comeback, but John Farinacci’s second goal of the game put an end to this match. Matthew Beniers added one more until the final buzzer. Bobby Brink assisted on both occasions.
Previously, the USA looked confident and unstoppable, taking a 3-0 lead with Arthur Kaliyev, Farinacci, and Cole Caufield all scoring a goal apiece over the opening two frames. In the last minute of the middle sequence, Slovakia cut the lead to 3-1 through Matej Kaslik.
One of the reasons why the American team didn’t have a bigger lead coming into the final period was Slovakia’s goalie Simon Latkoczky, who showed extraordinary quality, making 38 saves on 42 attempts. It needs to be added that two of the USA’s opening three goals came following power-play situations. Many agree that if it weren’t for the same, the result would be different.
Trevor Zergas had two assists, taking over the no.1 place in tournaments point-list, having 15.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 3, 2021
The next opponent for Nate Leaman’s guys will be Finland, the team who made a massive surprise and eliminated Sweden. This side eliminated the USA in last year’s world championship. Eight players from this team participated in that quarterfinal match that saw the Fins making one of the biggest upsets in the tournament. This year they defeated Finland in the quarterfinals, 3-2.
The match takes place on Monday at 9:30 pm ET.
In other matches of the quarterfinals, the reigning champions, Canada, easily jumped over the Czech Republic, beating the Europeans 3-0. Unlike the group matches, the Canadians faced some resistance, but they would still notch a routine triumph. The hosts of the championship face Russia in their semifinal contests.
Sbornaya eliminated Germany, 2-1 after a tough battle. They inflicted the USA its only loss of the tournament, with that happening in the opening match, 5-3.
The match between them and Canada is also on Monday, only at 6 pm ET.