Updated: 5/22/2014 4:04 pm
Minsk, Belarus (SportsNetwork.com) - Sweden and Finland survived Thursday's late contests and secured places in the semifinals of the 2014 World Hockey Championship.
Mattias Ekholm's penalty shot in the latter stages of the third period provided the Swedes with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over host Belarus, which was looking for a similar upset as the one staged in the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Sweden advances to take on Russia, still undefeated after a 3-0 victory over France, in one semifinal on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Finland escaped with a 3-2 decision over Canada thanks to a marker by Iiro Pakarinen with 3:08 left in regulation. The Finns have a Saturday date with the Czech Republic, which eliminated Team USA by a 4-3 count.
That game's turning point occurred 6:41 into the second period, with the score tied 1-1. USA captain Justin Abdelkader received a five-minute charging penalty and was ejected from the contest for a big hit on forward Vladimir Sobotka. Tomas Hertl and Roman Cervenka scored during the five-minute power play.
Ondrej Nemec added a power-play goal late in the middle stanza to make it 4-1.
The USA got a pair of goals from Tyler Johnson within a 13-second span late in the third, but the Americans failed to get the tying goal past Czech goaltender Alexander Salak.
Salak made 31 saves for the Czechs, who will play Canada or Finland in the semifinals on Saturday.
Tim Thomas stopped 29-of-33 shots for the Americans, who won a bronze medal at last year's tournament.