Features

World Championships 2008: Gold Medal Game

Monday, 19th May 2008

Canada vs Russia

Canada play Russia in a gold medal game for the first time in over 40 years.

Russia got off to the best of starts when at 1.23 Alexander Ovechkin centred the puck from behind the net and Semin fired it past Cam Ward.

It was all Canada after this and at 3.54 they deservedly equalised. Brent Burns collected the puck just inside the Russian zone, dragged it away from a Russian defender and wristed a low shot past a screened Nabokov. Canada nearly went 2-1 up on 7 minutes when Martin St Louis thought he had scored as he hit the puck goal-wards but it hit the post and Nabokov managed to drag it away from the goal line with his skate. Canada did go 2-1 up at 9.17 as Kunitz blasted a rocket over Nabokov’s glove. In my opinion, the goal should not have been allowed as Sushinsky was blatantly tripped by Stahl prior to Kunitz picking up the loose puck. It was 3-1 as Burns got his second goal of the evening, taking a pass from St Louis on a 5 on 3 powerplay and shooting through Nabokov’s legs. Canada end the period on another powerplay and Russia will have to stay out of the box from now on to have any chance of stopping Canada winning its second straight gold.

Alexander Semin scored early in the second to cut the deficit to 3-2.Konstantin Korneyev hit a shot from the point that came off the end boards straight to Semin and he whipped the puck past Ward before he could get across his goal. Russia had more chances and Ovechkin almost equalised as he took a long pass from Semin but he could not lift the puck over the pads of an outstretched Ward. Halfway through the period Canada restored their 2 goal advantage as Heatley scored with a wrister from the point. This was Heatley’s 12th goal of the tournament to take the record from the great Eric Lindros. Russia more into the game in the second as they stayed out of the box but they have some work to do in the final period.

Russia upped the ante in the third period and took the game to Canada, who seemed content to sit back and let Russia come at them. Dangerous tactics when facing the free scoring red machine. With 8.55 gone in the third Tereshenko came off the bench and was not picked up in the slot and he scored through the five hole to make it a one goal game. Russia were all over Canada and an equaliser came with 5.14 left in the game. Ilya Kovalchuk, who had not scored in the tournament picked up the puck down the left side and sent a pin point wrister through Ward’s legs to tie the game 4-4 and take the gold medal match to overtime for the first time since 2003.

Rules have changed this year and the teams will play 20 minutes sudden death overtime with penalty shots if necessary.

Into overtime and with 1.55 of the four on four overtime gone, Rick Nash flipped the puck directly over the plexi for a delay of game penalty. 47 seconds later Russia won the gold medal. Russia sent out four forwards on the powerplay, Federov, Semin, Ovechkin and Kovalchuk and it was Kovalchuk who scored with a ripper from the left hand side high into the roof of the net.

Overall a deserved win for a Russian side that were totally outplayed in the first period. Canada paid the ultimate penalty for sitting back on their lead in the third period.

An outstanding tournament with definitely the two best teams contesting the final. Russia win their first gold since 1993 and tie Canada with 24 medals each in WC history.

All star team for the tournament was as follows:
G: Nabokov (Russia)
D: Kaberle (Czech Republic)
D: Green (Canada)
F: Heatley (Canada)
F: Ovechkin (Russia)
F: Nash (Canada)

Most Valuable Player went to Dany Heatley of Canada with 12 goals and 8 assists.

That’s it for this years championships and its on to Switzerland in 2009.

See you soon

Jim "Tambo" Piper

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2008 IIHF World Championships logo

The 2008 World Championships have reached the final, between Canada and Russia.


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