Friday, May 14, 2010

IHWC Qualfiying Round Group F: Canada crushes Norway, Sweden Controls Latvia

Canada used a 7 goal 2nd period turned what was a decent effort by Norway and into an absolute blowout as Canada used that to springboard them to a 12-1 win. Bettering Denmark's 6 goal 1st period earlier in the day.

Meanwhile between Sweden and Latvia had little issues to deal with Latvia with 3 first period goals by 3 different players gave them a 4-2 win over Latvia who's still looking for their first points of the 2nd Round. So far, their only win came against Kazakhstan which got them to the 2nd Round.

From the International Ice Hockey Federation Website:

From Andrew Pondieks

Sweden 4 Latvia 2 (3-1, 0-0, 1-1)

Sweden VS. Latvia Game Photos:

From Mannheim, Germany: Sweden had little trouble defeating Latvia, 4-2, tonight at SAP Arena. Four different goalscorers contributed to the victory while Martins Karsums had both Latvian Goals.

The win gives Sweden six points and a place in top spot of Group F with Switzerland and Canada, although the Swiss have a game in hand. Latvia remains in 6th and last place with no points in three games.

"We let the game slip away," Latvian defensemen Janis Sprukts said. "We made it easy for them. They have a lot of speed from their forwards, and we couldn't shut them down."

"It was a pretty good game for us," Henrik Peterson suggested. "We got the three points and have time to work on a few things now."

The game started out with a feverish pace, the first minutes packing more action into it then most of the rest of the game. It began with Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson picking up a rebound in his own end to open the scoring. He simply blew by defensemen Georgijs Pujacs and slid the puck along the ice to Edgars Masalskis fell sideways to give Sweden a 1-0 lead just 37 seconds into the game.

On the ensuing faceoff, the Latvian's replied. This time Sprukts made a nice pass from the side of the net of to net to Karsums, and his quick shot to the far side surprised Markstrom. Only 56 seconds from the opening faceoff the game was tied, 1-1.

Four minutes later, the Swedes took the lead again when Olivier Ekman Larsson's harmless-looking wrist shot from the point made its way through traffic in front past a screened Masalskis.

Tre Kronor upped its lead to 3-1 at 14:30 on a beautiful three-way passing play off the rush. The attack ended with a great pass by Rickard Wallin bring to the trailer on the play, Mikael Nylander, who walked in and drilled a great shot to the side of Masalskis. The play started with a pass coming over the blue-line from Christian Backman.

The Swedes dominated the 2nd period and Markstrom had previous few difficult saves to make in the middle 20 minutes. At one point, Tre Kronor had the puck in the Latvian end for about four minutes straight.

During this time, Fredrik Pettersson enlivened the proceedings when he had the puck behind the net and tried to score a lacrosse style goal. That is, he flipped the puck onto the blade of his stick and tried to stuff the puck in the short side. Masalskis got his shoulder and head over to the near post in time to keep the puck out, but full marks to Pettersson for originality and entertainment.

"It's something I've tried before, but tonight the goalie saw me I think and was able to get over. But I was in a good position to do it, and if I see the chance I'll try again."

The Swedes were on a constant to puck-possession hockey, and the Latvian's had no seeming answer to cut into the lead. But five minutes into the third period, Markstrom muffed a routine play allowed Latvia back in the game. Karsums came off the left side and barged in on goal, jamming the puck between Markstorm's pads.

The puck trickled down behind the goalie who then knocked the puck over the goal line in trying to squeeze his pads. This made for a move interesting finish then what Sweden had hoped for given their significant territorial and shots advantage in the game.

Tony Martensson finished the scoring late in the game with a bullet slapshot just inside the blueline that caught Masalskis napping.

Both teams play on Sunday. Latvia plays Norway in the afternoon followed by Sweden-Canada.

"We played a pretty good game tonight," Pettersson said, "but we still have a lot of little things we have to work on. We're much better as a team today then we were a week ago, but we can still improve."

Canada 12 Norway 1 (1-1, 7-0, 4-0)

Canada VS. Norway Game Photos:

From Andrew Podnieks

In Mannheim, Germany: Canada scored an easy 12-1 win victory over Norway this afternoon at the SAP Arena. Jordan Eberle, the 19 year old activated to the roster because of injuries, had a goal and 3 assists. Evander Kane had two goals and an assist, and the third member of the line, Rich Peverley, chipped in with a goal and two assists. It was Eberle's international debut at the senior level. He had played at the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships.

John Tavares had a hat trick for the winners in the tournament's leading total to six. Canada wore retro jerseys to honor the 2009 U20 U20 team, a fitting tribute that four of the players in today's game wore a year and half ago.

"The game almost gets a little easier when you're playing with such good players, Eberle observed. "Passes are always right on the tape, and you can do things you can't do in juniors. The guys are always talking to you."

The win puts Canada into first place tie with Switzerland in Group F of the qualifying round although the Swiss have a game in hand. Norway remains in 5th place with three points.

Canada's defensive trouble's cost the team the opening goal. Chris Mason made a save off a harmless shot, but the clearing in front of him was poor and the puck ended up on the stick of Jonas Holos at the top of the circle. His quick shot went under the blocker arm of Mason just 1:35 into the game for an early and surprising 1-0 lead for Norway.

"It's not the start that we wanted," Marc Staal said, "and it happened to us in the last game as well. It wasn't a good thing for our confidence, but we knew there was a lot of time left and we could score."

The period was mostly an unmitigated disaster for Canada and team was as flat as the crowd was small and quiet. The low point came midway through when defensemen Kris Russel and got the puck and at the same moment Corey Perry broke out of his end.

All Russell had to do was put the puck on his stick and Perry had a 40 meter breakaway. Instead, he drilled a too-hard pass easily three to four meters wide of his teammate, and instead of a breakaway, it was an icing call.

Canada tied the game at 13:09 off the rush. Marc Staal's original shot was stopped by Ruben Smith, but Evander Kane backhanded the rebound between the goalie's pads to tie the game. Smith was playing because number one goalie Pal Grotnes was serving an automatic one game suspension for a match penalty in the team's last game.

Later in the period, on a power play, Mac Zuccarello Aasen hit the post, but the period ended 1-1.

Canada found a bit of its mojo at 3:51 of the 2nd period on the power play. Ray Whitney's point shot was nicely tipped by Perry in front past Smith to give Canada a 2-1 lead.

"We didn't control the game in the first period," Marc Staal admitted, "but we were patient and then got some shots some time on the power play and got some goals."

Jordan Eberle made a fine little play to key Canada's third goal later in the third period. He made a nice back pass off the boards at the Norway blue-line to Matt Duchene. Duchene took the puck to the net and passed off the trailing defensemen, Marc Giordano made no mistake with his shot from the slot.

The 19 year old Eberle was called into action with injures to Ryan Smyth and Steve Stamkos and was a solid if unspectacular player. He didn't dominate the game by any means, but he also played smart, shifted well, and gave the team some valuable minutes.

And then the roof fell in for Norway. Canada scored three late goals in the period to make it 6-1. That last goal, by Steve Downie, resulted in two penalties for Norway. Ole-Kristian took a roughing minor and Captain Tommy Jakobsen took a five minute major and match penalty for bumping a ref. during discussions.

On the ensuring 5-on-3, Ray Whitney made it 7-1 and with the major penalty still in effect, Kane got his second of the game standing to back side and drilling a delicate and perfect pass from Eberle past the beleguered Smith.

In all, Canada scored 5 goals in a span of 3:06 at the end of the 2nd period. It had 7 goals in the period, four of which were on the power plays.

"We had a good first period, but then we took some stupid penalties and let them play their game," Mathis Olimb said. "We didn't follow our game plan, and then we got a couple of goals and then it just fell apart."

Eberle got his first goal of senior play early in the third period on a nice shot from in close. Tavares added two goals later to finish his hat trick performance and Duchene got the 12th goal on a pretty shot from in tight.

"I knew before the game i'd be on the power play with the second unit, but our line played very well early on and he (Coach Mactavish) kept playing us. It's nice to earn your playing time like that."

Canada's next game is Sunday Night against Sweden while Norway plays Latvia earlier in the day.

Group F Schedule

5/14: Canada 12 Norway 1 (1-1, 7-0, 4-0)

5/14: Sweden 4 Latvia 2 (3-1, 0-0, 1-1)

5/15: Switzerland VS. Czech Republic

5/16: Latvia VS. Norway

5/16: Sweden VS. Canada

5/17: Norway VS. Switzerland

5/17: Czech Republic VS. Latvia

5/18: Canada VS. Czech Republic

5/18: Sweden VS. Switzerland

Group F Standings as of 5/14

1. Canada 2-0-0-1 6 PTS 19-3

2. Switzerland 2-0-0-0 6 PTS 7-2

3. Sweden 2-0-0-1 6 PTS 10-5

4. Czech Republic 1-0-0-1 3 PTS 4-4

5. Norway 1-0-0-2 3 PTS 6-19

6. Latvia 0-0-0-3 0 PTS 4-13

No comments:

Post a Comment