The Americans will be challenged by the Germans in the semi-finals of the World Cup, Canada will face Latvia

The Americans will be challenged by the Germans in the semi-finals of the World Cup, Canada will face Latvia

The Americans will be challenged by the Germans, Canada by the Czech Republic and Latvia< /p> Hockey World Championship match – quarter-finals: Czech Republic – USA, May 25, 2023, Tampere. Americans celebrate a goal, goal scorer Matt Coronato, second from left.

Tampere (Finland) – Overseas powerhouses clash with two surprise semi-finalists on Saturday at the World Ice Hockey Championship, which culminates in Tampere this weekend. The Americans, who defeated the Czech team, who have won all eight games so far, will challenge the Germans, who managed to surprise the Swiss who played brilliantly in the group. The Canadians will face the Latvians, who are among the top four for the first time.

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The Americans, who have been third four times since 2013, confirmed their strength in the quarterfinals against the Czech hockey players and remained the only undefeated team at the championship. Not counting the gold from 1960, when the results of the Olympic tournament in Squaw Valley were included in the World Cup, the USA has been waiting for the most valuable medal from the World Cup since 1933.

The team feels they have a great opportunity to end that wait. “We are confident, we believe in ourselves as much as possible. But we also know how difficult it is to win this tournament. How difficult it is to win any of the medals. Whoever is playing against us is a World Championship semi-finalist. We have to focus on our game. Just as we have focused mainly on ourselves in the eight games so far,” US captain Nick Bonino told the International Ice Hockey Federation website.

The Germans have been waiting for the precious metal from the World Cup since 1953, when they reached silver . After knocking out the favored Swiss, they are certain to finish the worst fourth, as they managed to do two years ago in Riga. However, they believe that they can boldly think about premiership gold as well. “Why can't we win two more games? Everything is possible,” says striker Nico Sturm.

The German team is growing match by match. He entered the tournament with three defeats, after which he did not have a single point. Subsequently, however, the Germans won five times in a row. “We play hard and try to make it difficult for the opponent. Every player – even if it's an offensive player – defends well, blocks shots and does everything for the team. We've already played one tough game here against the USA, we know they skate a lot. We will be ready,” forward Dominik Kahun said. The Americans won the group 3:2.

The Canadians have played in three consecutive finals, each time against the Finns. They made it to the winning end once – two years ago in Latvia. In the two remaining cases, the Northerners celebrated, which this time was defeated by the selection of the cradle of hockey already in the quarterfinals. “I feel like we've taken on a bit of an outsider role this year. Each of us is excited and everyone has contributed to the success. We're constantly changing four formations, everyone has space on the ice, and that's what gives us a huge portion of energy,” highlighted captain Tyler Toffoli .

He is on his second World Cup. In 2015, he was part of an extremely strong Canadian team that won the gold in Prague without a single faltering. “This time it's a bit of a different experience. The team we had in Prague was incredible. It's much younger here. We had a lot of fun together and we're getting better and better every day,” praised Toffoli.

< p>The Latvians created a first-class sensation by eliminating the Swedes. Until now, they have never made it to the top quartet. “I think we've believed for a few years that we're capable of it and we can do it, but we've always had a little something missing. But we kept believing, we kept going for it, and the character that this team has brought the result. Now it we're taking it step by step. And we'll see what happens next,” said captain Kaspars DaugavinÅ¡.

The Canada-Latvia match will start at 1:20 p.m., the USA-Germany match will start four hours later. On Sunday, the final medal matches will conclude the tournament, from which a new world champion will emerge, who will come to Prague and Ostrava in a year's time as the defending champion. The defeated semi-finalists will start the match for bronze at 14:20, the final is scheduled from 19:20.