O'Reilly the hero as Canada beat Olympic champs Russia

Copenhagen (AFP) –


Canada knocked Olympic champions Russia out of the world championships following an overtime thriller in Copenhagen on Thursday.

Ryan O'Reilly of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres scored the overtime winner after Russia had three times fought back to level the scores in a 4-4 draw in normal time.

The afternoon's other quarter-final saw the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in Herning.

Two goals from Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks proved decisive after the Czechs had bounced back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to level at 2-2 by the end of the second.

The US will play Sweden in the semi-finals after the reigning champions edged out Latvia 3-2 as Arizona Coyotes defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the Nashville Predators' Viktor Arvidsson struck in the third period.

Canada will face Switzerland who stunned Finland 3-2.

Canada have won the gold medal 26 times since the first world championships in 1920.

The Soviet Union dominated the event from the start of the 1960s until its dissolution, winning it 20 times in 25 editions.

Since then, Russia have won gold five times, bettered only by Sweden and the Czechs with six and Canada with seven.

Switzerland, who were not regarded as one of the title favourites, built the foundation for their surprise win over a strong Finland team with their goals coming in a four-minute blitz in the middle of the match.