Features

World Championships 2011 - Day 9

Sunday, 8th May 2011

Day 9 was the busiest day of the Championships with 6 games played. The relegation round played 2 games and there were also 2 games in each of the qualifying groups.

Group E

Denmark 4-3 Germany (Penalty Shots)

Denmark were first to break through at 8.09 with a powerplay goal from Mads Bodker. The d man made his way up ice to the far post and one timed a perfect Mads Christensen pass into the German net with Endras posted missing. Two minutes later Christensen turned the puck over on centre ice where Marcel Mueller sent the puck to John Tripp on the right wing and his slapshot from the top of the circle beat Andersen high on the stick side for the equaliser at 10.51. Germany dominated the rest of the period but the score stayed at 1-1 at the end of 20 minutes.

With 1.39 gone in the second period the younger of the Bodker brothers, Mikkel, grabbed a loose puck at the side of the German net and beat Endras with a wraparound to put the Danes 2-1 in front. Germany hit back again, this time after only 26 seconds when Barta, all on his own in the slot, took a Marcus Kink pass to score. Germany had a chance with 2.24 left in the period with a 5 on 3 powerplay but the Danish defence stood strong and the second period ended 2-2.

Germany took the lead for the first time in the game with just 1.32 gone in the third period when Lavallee shot from the blue line and caught Andersen unawares and the puck flew into the net high on the stick side. Germany seemed content with the lead and were not in too much trouble, even on a Danish 5 on 3 powerplay. However the Danes equalised with 2.27 left in the game. Morten Green sent the puck cross ice to Hardt in the German zone and he sent a backhander to the net and it went in through Endras’s five-hole for 3-3. The German goalie had been having a superb tournament but would have liked that one back.

Denmark pulled their goalie with just under a minute and a half left as they needed to win in regulation to have any chance of making the knockout stages, but to no avail and the game finished 3-3 after regulation. The 5 minute overtime was end to end with chances for both teams but ended scoreless and the game would be decided by penalty shots.

Madsen for Denmark and Mueller for Germany both missed in the first round and Christensen and Reimer both scored in the second. Young Mikkel Bodker scored for Denmark in the third and with Michael Wolf missing the target, Denmark took the extra point but still bowed out of the tournament.

Finland 2-1 Slovakia

The game of the day was the clash between Finland and hosts Slovakia, the latter needing to win to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. The game was a classic encounter between East European skill and Nordic tenacity.

Slovakia opened the scoring on the powerplay with 3.39 left in the first period. With Finland sitting out a too many men penalty, Demitra sent the puck cross ice to Gaborik who snapped a shot under the crossbar on Vehanen’s blocker side for 1-0.

The second period was scoreless despite Finland having most of the play but without actually having many clear cut chances. In the third, Finland upped the tempo and pegged the Slovaks back in their own zone for long periods. They finally got a deserved equaliser on 47.14 when captain Mikko Koivu won a draw and sent the puck back for Ruutu to blast the puck past the excellent Halak for the game tying goal. Three minutes later Ruutu bagged his second goal as he blasted down the left wing and sent a slapshot on net that beat Halak on the blocker side. Slovakia pulled Halak for the extra skater with 1.40 left but a too many men penalty right at the death spoiled any chance of making use of the extra man.

The win for Finland decided the four qualifiers from the group with Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Russia moving forward to the quarter finals. Denmark and Slovakia will play on Monday night for pride only to close out their tournament.

GROUP F

Norway 2-3 Canada

In a game much closer than most pundits anticipated, Canada scored the only goal of the first period with 15.26 on the clock. A 4 man melee in front of Haugen ended with the puck finding its way onto Jason Spezza’s tape and he snapped it home for 1-0. Both teams had 5 on 3 chances in the period but good chances were few and far between in the first 20 minutes.

In a more open second period, Canada doubled their lead at the half way mark when Tavares controlled a loose puck on his own blue line and took off down ice leaving two Norwegian defenders chasing. He managed to fend off their checks and hit the perfect shot through Haugen’s legs to make it 2-0. Canada then sat back, inviting Norway onto them and hitting on the break. Norway had a few chances of their own but Bernier, making his debut in the competition held firm and the period ended 2-0 to the North Americans.

Canada appeared to have put the game out of reach with a well worked third goal with 11 minutes left in the third. Rick Nash found Neal who roofed a beaut past Haugan for 3-0.

Norway pulled one back 90 seconds later as the tournament’s top scorer Ken Olimb scoring from right in front of Bernier and less than a minute later it was 3-2 as Holtet tried a long shot that beat Bernier low to the stick side. Canada had to survive a Norwegian powerplay chance on 54 minutes and six outskaters for the last 1.33 but held out for the win and qualification to the next round.

USA 3-2 France

USA coasted to victory against France despite the close scoreline and the result eliminated France from the tournament’s final stages.

The first period was a strange affair with both teams scored while playing 4 on 4 and the stanza was littered with minor penalties. France took the lead on 5.25 when Sacha Treille scored with a harmless looking wrist shot from the blue line that beat Ty Conklin on the far side. USA tied the game on 16.06 with Derek Stepan finishing a neat passing movement when he drilled a one timer past Cristobal Huet.

America took control in the second period and two goals in the first 5.24 of the period gave them a 3-1 lead. Firstly, captain Mark Stuart trailed behind an odd man rush, taking the perfect pass from Porter to smash the shot past the goalie. 4 minutes later Kreider was on his own in the slot to take a pass from Andy Miele to make it 3-1. This was Meile’s first ever point in his first ever game at any level for USA. Laurent Meunier made it an interesting end to proceedings with a one timer from the top of the circle that found its way through Conklin’s pads with 4.30 left in the game. That was the end of the scoring and unfortunately the end of France’s participation in the competition.

Canada are the only team guaranteed qualification to the next stage but Sweden and the USA should follow, leaving Norway and Switzerland battling out for the final quarter final slot.

Group G

Austria 3-2 Slovenia

Austria had struggled to score all week in the championship and it looked like the same problem for most of the first period in this game. However, with 19.03 on the clock, captain Gerhard Unterluggauer wristed a shot from the blue line to beat Robert Kristan. The period ended 1-0 to Austria, who outshot Slovenia 15-8 despite serving 3 minor penalties.

4.15 into the second, Austria doubled their lead as Kristan was beaten again with a wrister, this time from the right hand hash marks. Slovakia were down but not out and tied the game with two goals in 3 minutes near the end of the period. Firstly captain Tomaz Razingar drove the net and deflected a Marcel Rodman slap shot past Weinhandl in the Austrian net and with 19 seconds left in the period, the other Rodman, David, faked a shot to send Weinhandl to the ice and scored with a wraparound.

Austria regained the lead with 5.52 gone in the final period when Lukas found Rotter in front of Kristan. Rotter killed the puck with his skate and slammed the biscuit into the net to make it 3-2. Slovenia lost a bit of discipline in the final stages and never gave themselves a chance to pull the game out of the fire and the game ended 3-2 to Austria.

Belarus 3-6 Latvia

The first period of the game belonged to Latvia as they utilised their powerplay to good effect. Powerplay goal number 1 came at 9.26 six seconds into a Mezin delay of game penalty. Arvids Rekis fired a wrist shot from the right point that sneaked past Mezin when it was tipped in front by Cipulis. Two minutes later on another powerplay, Pujacs made it 2-0 when he jumped on a loose puck during a scramble in front of Mezin’s crease and smashed it into the corner. 13.23 gone and Latvia had doubled their lead. Pujacs scored his second of the game at 17.19 when Redlihs spotted him trailing the rush and found him with a cross ice pass. Pujacs hammered the puck home from the top of the right circle. Belarus had the last say in the first period when Kostyuchyonok hit a shot from left point to beat Masalskis with 29 seconds left to end the period 3-1.

Belarus came out for the second believing they could turn the game around and when Pujacs went to the penalty box with 23 seconds gone in the period, took only 30 seconds to make it a 3-2 game as Grabovski re directed a Korobov shot behind Masalskis. Belarus had back to back power plays mid way through the period but could not even the score. Latvia took the wind out of their sails at 36.17 with a 4th goal. Nizivijs fired a low wrist shot from the slot that found the inside corner behind Mezin to make it 4-2. The second ended 4-2 Latvia.

Just as the second period belonged to Belarus, it was Latvia that controlled the third and put the game beyond a spirited Belarus side.

Cipulis’ second goal of the game on the powerplay at 49.44, ended any lingering hopes of a Belarus come back. He was alone in front of Mezin and took a pass from Nizivijs and fired the puck past the goalie to make it 5-2. Saulietis converted a Redlihs pass from behind the net on 57.29 to make it 6-2 and Meleshko struck a final consolation for Belalrus with 10 seconds left in the game. Final score 6-3 Latvia.

These results mean that there is all to play for in the final matches on Sunday night when Slovenia take on Belarus and Latvia play Austria with the two winners retaining their World Group place and the losers heading for Division 1 next season.

The penultimate round in the qualifying groups are also completed on Sunday afternoon when Sweden play Switzerland and the much awaited clash between last years finalists Czech Republic and Russia.

Tambo

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World Championships 2011 - Day 9


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