The quarter-finals at the 2012 World Hockey Championships began Thursday with Canada being eliminated after suffering a 4-3 loss to Slovakia. It was the third straight season that Canada has been bounced during the quarter-final.
Canada led 3-2 with just over seven minutes to play when Milan Bartovic tied the game at 13:25. As Canada was killing off a penalty to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Getzlaf was given a kneeing major with 17:28 gone in the period. It took Slovakia four seconds to score the winning goal.
Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf ended the tournament with a +8 rating to lead Canada during the tournament. He also added two goals in just less than 20 minutes of ice time per game.
Luke Schenn had one assist in the eight games with a +3 rating while averaging 12:24 per game which was sixth among the eight defenceman that played for Canada.
One of the Maple Leafs who has advanced to the semi-finals is Nikolai Kulemin and Team Russia who crushed Norway 5-2 Thursday. Kulemin was held pointless and with the additions of Alex Ovechkin and Alexnader Semin he saw less ice-time (12:44) than he had been.
Team USA suffered a heartbreaking loss to host Finland. Leading 2-1 in the third period, Finland tied the game with just over six minutes remaining before scoring the winner with nine seconds remaining. Joey Crabb recorded one assist in the loss and he finished the tournament with three assists and a +2 rating.
That leaves just one Leafs player going for Gold in Nikolai Kulemin. Prospect Leo Komarov is playing for Finland and he also has a chance to win the Gold medal.