Face-off: 1620 BST, 28/05/2022
Arena: Tampere Deck Arena
Canada produced an amazing comeback to beat Sweden at the IIHF World Championship and will be hoping for a smoother passage past Czech Republic.
Czechia have not reached a final since lifting the trophy back in 2010, so the holders should have a psychological advantage in Tampere.
We’re taking 2.25 for Claude Julien’s side to get the job done in regular time for our first Canada vs Czech Republic prediction.
Canada were far from convincing during their Group A campaign, suffering two defeats in seven outings and being sloppy at the back on several occasions.
Those defensive frailties looked set to prove their undoing when Sweden stormed into a 3-0 lead after two periods of their quarter-final clash.
However, New Jersey Devils defenseman Ryan Graves, Winnipeg Jets ace Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders hit back.
Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson then struck in overtime to give us a trio of successful selections in our match preview.
“It’s just the Canadian way; never give up,” Batherson declared. “We’ve seen it throughout the years. We never gave up and just stuck to our game.
“Their goalie played great but we just kept putting pucks on net, managed to get a few bounces late and then win it in overtime.”
Canada outshot their opponents 42-19, so nobody can say they didn’t deserve to secure a semi-final spot for the seventh straight renewal of this tournament.
Having lost only one of the past six, we like Canada vs Czech Republic odds.
Czech Republic Odds
Czechia finished third in a tough Group B, beating Team USA 1-0 among four wins but losing to Sweden and Finland, as well as going down in a shootout versus Austria.
Three power play goals helped them to brush aside Germany 4-1 in the quarter-finals, with evergreen skipper Roman Cervenka again on song.
The 36-year-old had a goal and an assist and is the leading points scorer at this tournament with 14.
Fellow veteran David Krejci netted and had a pair of assists, while former Boston Bruins teammate David Pastrnak picked up a couple of points.
“Our coaches prepared us very well for this game and I think we deserved to win,” said defenceman David Sklenicka.
“We had a really good power play, so that was the key, especially in the beginning.
“And we kept them to one goal, which was also good. We kept pushing the whole game.”
He added: “Our style of play is like Finland. We have a Finnish coach and we try to play that way because they have had such a successful system.”
This has all the makings of a close encounter, but we still fancy the holders to draw on their proven pedigree in the crucial moments.
Let’s add 16.0 for a 3-2 scoreline in regular time to our Canada vs Czech Republic betting tips.
Sweden 3-4 CANADA (OT)
Germany 1-4 CZECH REPUBLIC
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