Ryan O'Reilly went to the World Championship because he wanted to feel like a winner again. He delivered a huge victory Thursday.
The Buffalo Sabres center scored midway through overtime, lifting Canada to a 5-4 win over Russia during the quarterfinals in Denmark. It was the fourth goal of the tournament for O'Reilly.
O'Reilly joined Connor McDavid as the forwards for Canada's four-on-three power play, and the combination paid off. After O'Reilly won a faceoff in the Russia zone, the Canadians worked the puck to McDavid in the right circle. The Edmonton star put a pass between the legs and under the stick of a crouching Russian defender, and O'Reilly redirected the puck home from the top of the crease.
"It was unbelievable," O'Reilly said on IIHF.com. "I don’t know how he got it through. Honestly, I didn’t do too much on the play. I just stood there with my stick."
O'Reilly had a team-high seven shots for Canada.
The center, who made headlines during locker cleanout by saying he lost his love of the game in Buffalo this season, is playing in his sixth World Championship. He has two gold medals and a silver. He'll try to add another medal after Canada plays Switzerland in Saturday's seminfinal.
"It feels good," O'Reilly said of the goal. "I hope I’ve got a few more in me for sure."
Ryan O’Reilly scores the overtime power-play winner as Canada beats Russia to advance to World Championship semifinals. pic.twitter.com/S1P22k0U2J
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) May 17, 2018
The other semi will feature Buffalo-born Patrick Kane and the United States. Kane scored twice Thursday as the Americans beat Czechia, 3-2. The U.S. team will play either Sweden on Saturday.
Kane leads the World Championship with 19 points, recording eight goals and 11 assists in eight games.