Hockey biggest international rivalry gets reignited on Saturday night as unbeaten Canada takes on Russia in the semifinals of the World Cup in ice hockey as a heavy -385 favorite with bookmakers monitored OddsShark.com.
Canadians drove their way to the top of the standings of Group A with three straight wins, extending their current winning streak in best-on-best tournament to 13 heading into Saturday night’s matchup at the Air Canada Centre Games.
Canada uses the cool efficiency while sweeping through the group stage, averaging over 43 shots on goal per game while outscoring opponents 14-6 through margin overall, and emerged as the clear favorite at -250 chance to win the World Cup.
The Russians needed a victory over Finland in their final Group Stage competition to advance to the semifinals, and take on their old enemies as +270 underdogs on the betting lines. The two rivals last met at the 2010 Winter Olympics when Canada gave the Russians an embarrassing 7-3 quarterfinal loss.
Russia was also bounced back from the Olympic tournament in 2014, bowed to the quarterfinals after losing to Finland, and failed to claim victory in the best-on-best international event since routing Canada 8-1 in the final of the 1981 Canada Cup.
Faced with the challenging task of stopping the Canadian juggernaut, Russia also fits well back on the World Cup of Hockey courses pegged at +600.
In the second semifinal Saturday’s Group B winner Sweden hit the ice against surprise Team Europe as a healthy -235 chalk. Swedes posted victories over Russia and Finland before wrapping up the group stage with 4-3 overtime loss to Team North America in arguably the best game so far in this tournament.
Sport Odds +400 claim his first major tournament victory since winning gold at the 2006 Olympics, Sweden would welcome a final matchup against Canadians who are blind Sweden 3-0 to take home the gold medal in Sochi.
However, the Tre Kronor can not afford to ignore a Europe that stung heavily favored Team USA with a 3-0 win in their tournament opener and enters Saturday’s clash contrary +1000 to win the World Cup.
Runs on two-goal performance side New York Rangers Mats Zuccarello, Europeans followed up their opening win in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Czech Republic.