Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and his former Colorado teammate, Ryan O’Reilly, had goals 111 seconds apart late in the third period as Canada stormed back to beat Russia 4-2 in the semifinals of hockey’s world championships Saturday in Cologne.
The win advanced Canada to Sunday’s gold-medal game. Sweden, with Avalanche forwards Gabe Landeskog and Carl Soderberg, was playing Finland, with Colorado winger Mikko Rantanen, in the second semfinal Saturday.
In the opening semifinal, MacKinnon tied it up at 2-2 at 15:07 of the third period, scoring after stripping the pick from Russian defenseman Vladimir Tkachyov in the slot, and O’Reilly put the Canadians ahead 3-2 at 16:58 before Sean Couturier added an empty netter at 18:53 to clinch it.
Russia led 2-0 after two periods on the strength of goals from Nikita Gusev and Yevgeni Kuznetsov before Mark Scheifele — with MacKinnon getting the setup assist — scored only 17 seconds into the third to get Canada within hailing distance.
Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard had 26 saves in the Canada net. Colorado forward Matt Duchene didn’t have a point.
MacKinnon has six goals and eight assists in nine games in the tournament, and the 14 points leave him tied for second in scoring, along with Russia’s Nikita Kucherov. Russia’s Artemi Panarin leads with 16 points, on four goals and 12 assists. The Russians will play in the bronze-medal game Sunday against the Finland-Sweden loser.