Jun. 4—Troy Stecher put the Canadians in the semifinals at the Men’s World Championship in style Thursday morning.
Stecher, the former UND alternate captain, had the puck on his stick in the high slot in overtime. He faked a shot, dragged the puck between his own legs to beat a Russian defender, dangled around a second defender and sent a pass to Andrew Mangiapane, who was wide open on the back doorstep.
Mangiapane finished it and Canada beat the Russians 2-1 in the quarterfinals in Riga, Latvia.
THEY DID IT!!!
Canada wins in overtime!!
Andrew Mangiapane is the hero in OT to defeat Russia! @HockeyCanada #IIHFWorlds #ROCCAN @NHLFlames pic.twitter.com/xeIcJBUTzV
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) June 3, 2021
Stecher’s play sets up a showdown in the semifinals between Canada and the U.S.
The Americans, behind two assists from former UND defenseman Christian Wolanin, hammered Slovakia 6-1 in another quarterfinal Thursday.
The Canadians, featuring a pair of UND blue liners in Stecher and Jacob Bernard-Docker, will play the Americans and Wolanin at 6:15 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals. NHL Network will air the game. Finland and Germany play in the other semifinal.
The bronze-medal game is set for 7:15 a.m. Sunday. The gold-medal game will follow at 12:15 p.m.
The only UND players to win gold at the Men’s World Championship are Jonathan Toews and Mike Commodore, who were teammates in 2007.
Last month, the Americans lost their opening game of the tournament 2-1 to Finland. Since then, they’ve won seven games in a row, beating Canada 5-1, Kazakhstan 3-0, Latvia 4-2, Norway 2-1, Germany 2-0, Italy 4-2 and Slovakia 6-1.
Wolanin, who was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Los Angeles Kings this season, has three assists and a plus-6 rating for the Americans.
Canada lost its first three games of the tournament to Latvia, the United States and Germany, but gained traction after that, beating Norway, Kazakhstan and Italy en route to the quarterfinals.
Stecher, who played for the Detroit Red Wings this season, has a goal, two points and a plus-4 rating for Canada. Bernard-Docker, who helped UND to a Penrose Cup and an National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoff championships before signing with the Ottawa Senators, has no points and is minus-3.