David Kampf and Czechia Upset United States, Pontus Holmberg and Swedes Win Overtime Thriller; Both Advancing to Semifinals of Men’s World Hockey Championship

Kampf (Czechia) and Holmberg (Sweden) join John Tavares (Canada) in reaching the semifinals at the Men’s World Hockey Championship.

All three Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2024 Men’s World Hockey Championship have advanced from Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups to the semifinals with a shot to medal.

After John Tavares and Canada advanced Thursday morning with a convincing 6-3 victory over Slovakia, both David Kampf and Pontus Holmberg took care of business in the latter matchups.

Kampf and Czechia pulled off an upset on home turf over the United States – a roster bolstered with NHL talent. As the third seed in Group ‘A’ with a record of 4-1-2-0 in seven preliminary games, host nation Czechia was set to face off against a formidable opponent in the United States, who finished second in Group ‘B’ with a 5-0-1-1 record scoring the most goals for a team in the tournament with 37.

Scoreless until the 6:39 mark of the second period, late addition Pavel Zacha scored a powerplay goal that would stand to be the decider in the quarterfinal matchup – booking their ticket to the semifinals on Saturday.

Kampf did not register a point while logging 15:13 of total ice time in the quarterfinal. Throughout the tournament thus far, he has four assists in seven games played while netting a +4 rating.

With the late additions of David Pastrnak, Martin Necas, and Zacha, Czechia poses itself as a deeper team with more offensive firepower.

Czechia will play in the semifinal at either 8:20 a.m. ET or 12:20 p.m. ET on Saturday as their next opponent is yet to be decided.

Pontus Holmberg and Swedes win overtime thriller against Scandinavian rivals

Two days removed from the end of the preliminary round, Sweden sat atop Group ‘B’ with an impressive 7-0-0-0 record and the best goal differential (35:9), earning themselves a matchup with Finland (3-0-1-3), the fourth seed from Group ‘A’.

Sweden still had yet to trail throughout the entire tournament, winning in regulation in every game, that was until Thursday’s semifinal game against Finland – which required overtime. After Rasmus Dahlin opened the scoring 15:02 into the final frame, Hannes Bjorninen and Finland responded in the final minute of the third period to send the game to overtime.

When rewarded with a powerplay in the opening minutes of the extra frame, Sweden made no mistake, capitalizing on the opportunity to send them to the semifinals on Saturday off a point shot from Victor Hedman deflected in front by Joel Eriksson Ek – avoiding a potential major upset.

In his 18:39 of total ice time and 22 shifts, Holmberg recorded a shot on goal but did not tally a point in the Swedes’ 2-1 victory on Thursday. Despite this, the centerman has made his mark throughout eight games at his first-ever World Hockey Championship, putting together six assists and a staggering +9 rating for Sweden.

Sweden will play in the semifinal at either 8:20 a.m. ET or 12:20 p.m. ET on Saturday as the matchups have yet to be announced.

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