Buffalo fans are going to root against Auston Matthews in the coming years, but the patriotic Sabres backers had reason to cheer Thursday.
Matthews tied the game for the United States then scored the only goal in the shootout as the Americans upset Czechia, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the world championships. The U.S. team went 3-3-1 during the preliminary round while Czechia was 5-1-1.
The United States will play in the semifinals Saturday in Moscow.
Goaltender Keith Kincaid got the Americans into the shootout with 31 saves in the game. He stopped all three shooters during the breakaway challenge, with the last save making Matthews' goal stand up as the winner.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) May 19, 2016
Matthews scored during the second period to even the game after Czechia opened the scoring on a penalty shot.
Matthews goal pic.twitter.com/PmvrVRaOyX
— Stephanie (@myregularface) May 19, 2016
Matthews is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs when the NHL Draft is held June 24 in First Niagara Center.