World Championships - Days Two and Three

Sunday, 7th May 2006

Day Two - Saturday

Time for the other 8 teams to make their debuts in Latvia.  First up we have the Group B game between Switzerland and Italy and the Group C game between Belarus and Slovakia.
Evening games are Russia Kazakhstan from group C and Ukraine versus the Olympic champions Sweden in Group B.

Group B

Switzerland V Italy

Italy shocked Switzerland with a 3-3 draw in the Olympics but I cannot see this happening today.

Game on and a minor penalty to either side after only 47 seconds.

15 mins played and no goals but 14 minutes in minor penalties

End of the first and no goals Penalty count stands at 14 to Italy and 10 to Switzerland. Shot Count 9 by Switzerland and 3 by Italy. Glad I am not at this one!

Second period much the same as the first with countless penalties. Switzerland had the chance to take the lead on 27.59 as Martin Pluss missed a penalty shot. Italy were again on the powerplay and this one counted as Anthony Iob put the underdogs in front assisted by De Bettin. Goal timed at 30.18. Switzerland really hit penalty trouble and just killed the first part of a 3 on 5 when the referee awards a penalty shot to Italy. John Parco ex Ayr Scottish Eagle misses at 34.31. Still 1-0 to Italy.

End of the 2nd and the outsiders Italy are ahead 1-0.

Into the third and Switzerland get an equaliser. Goal on 44.56 by Ruthemann assisted by Jeannin and Pluss. Switzerland outshooting Italy by 39-14 and it pays off at 52.31 as Patric Della Rossa puts the Eidgenossen in front . 2-1 Switzerland. Italy pull goalie Muzzatti at 59.28 and Switzerland score an empty netter through Ruthemann at 59.40. Game over and Switzerland score 3 unanswered 3rd period goals to win the game 3-1. Penalty count of 26 to 24 for Italy and only around 8 mins of 5 on 5 hockey played during the game.

Group C

Belarus V Slovakia

Slovakia are without Bondra, Gaborik, Demitra and Satan but should still have too much for an aged Belarus side. Man to watch will be Hossa, who had a career best 92 points in the NHL this season.

Absolutely nothing to report here. No live TV again and 0-0 at end of 1st. Slovakia seem to have the upper hand leading shot count by 13 to 4.

Second period much of a muchness. Penalties all over the place. Belarus make it count on 34.18 through Meleshko assisted by Zhurik. 1-0 Belarus. 37.29 and Slovakia equalise through Ciernik assisted by Kovacik and Kapus. Equality lasts less than 2 mins when, yet again on the powerplay Belarus go ahead through Antonenko assisted Skabelka and Grabovsky. End of 2nd Belarus lead 2-1

Slovakia start the 3rd period on a 90second powerplay and start by changing their goalie . 3 mins to go and Slovakia are outshooting Belarus by 37 to 15 but cannot get the winning goal. Game over and a shock as Belarus beat the favoured Slovakia 2-1.

Russia V Kazakhstan

Russia should be too strong for Kazakhstan but the latter are a sticky side but will likely fall foul of the picky refereeing we have seen so far in the tournament. Cannot wait to see Ovechkin and Malkin in action again.

Russia get off to a blistering start on the powerplay after 1.36 with a goal from Ovechkin assisted by Malkin and Sushinsky. Second powerplay for Russia after 2.24 and second goal after 2.44 with a blistering shot from right point by Arkhipov assisted by 19 year old Nikulin. Russia running riot and just as they return to 5 skaters Grigorenko sets Gorivokov free on the right to put the puck past the goalie 3-0. 12.32 gone and the competition gets its first major penalty when Blokhin of Kazakhstan goes for 2 plus 10 for checking from behind. Just seen the replay and after all the petty penalties that have been called today this goon gets away with an horrendous check to the head of Ovechkin. Should have been a game penalty IMHO. 18.41 and on the powerplay again, Russia make it 4-1 with a goal from Bykov assisted Kruchinin and Yemeleyev.

End of 1st 4-1 Russia.

Second period underway and more pressure from Russia. 24.13 and its 5-1 . Great work from Malkin behind the net. Picked out his mucker Ovechkin in front of goal and its behind the goalie before he could react.

26.41 and the goal of the tournament from Malkin. Russia short handed, Malkin forces turnover on the red line and bore down on the keeper. Goalie comes out and takes his legs from him. As he was falling , Malkin somehow got his stick on the puck and drove it into the empty net. 6-1 and it’s the Ovechkin and Malkin show.29.39 and its 7-1 yep its Ovechkin assisted by Malkin. 32.24 and its 8-1 as Semin flashes the puck past theTambulov after good work from Arkhipov and Nikulin. Russia continued their pressure and could have had a couple more as the period ended. End of 2nd 8-1.

Quiet start to the third but the mean red machine just marches on and on 44.38 the third line broke free and a 1,2 3 pass from Kruchinin to Nikulin and finally to Semin to score. 9-1. 53.52 and Russia go double nap with another powerplay goal from Semin. Wide open play as Nikulin fed Zaripov on the right and he whipped a pass to Semin to score his third and Russia’s 10th. Final score 10-1.

This Russian team is going to take some stopping. Ovechkin, Malkin, Semin, Nikulin, all under 25 and playing like old pros. Brilliant to watch, cant wait till the later stages.

Day 3 - Sunday

Today’s games kick off with match ups between Czech Republic and Slovenia and USA v Denmark.

Group A

Czech Republic V Slovenia

The Czech Republic take on Slovenia in a must win game after their disappointing draw against Latvia. They won’t want to have to take something from their last game against Finland to build up points for the knockout stages. Slovenia surpassed themselves in the narrow defeat to the Finns and will be out to surprise their illustrious neighbours.

The Czechs wasted no time in asserting their authority and went 1-0 up after 1:09 with an unassisted goal by Plakanec. 3.20 on the clock and it was 2-0 as the Czechs on the powerplay scored a simple goal. Erat passed from the right to Kaberle who blasted the puck goalwards and it was tipped past the goalie by Balastik. 10.35 and its 3-0 again on the powerplay as a superb cross ice pass from just inside the blue line found Erat all on his own on the left of the goal and he made no mistake. 4-0 as Michalek lets one go from centre blue line. Its becoming a bit of a procession here. 13.23 on the clock. That was enough for Slovenian goalie Glavic and he is replaced by Kristan. Slovenia pulled a goal back on 14.30. Terrible mix up in the Czech defence and Muric shot past Hlinicka. The puck appeared to hit both posts and bounce clear. After review, the ref gave the goal 4-1. End of 1st 4-1 to the Czechs.

Slovenia start the second strongly and deservedly get a 2nd goal. Pass across ice from Kopitar and Sotlar drives the puck home. Only 24 seconds gone in the period. 24.28 gone and its 5-2 to the Czechs. On the powerplay Balastik passes the puck behind the net to Erat who finds Michalek steaming in at centre to place the rubber past Kristan. 34.54 and another goal for Slovenia. Great stick work on the right by Kopitar who centred for Kranjc to hit one from the point past a screened Hnlicka. 5-3 and game on as the Slovenians take the game to the Czechs. End of 2nd 5-3 to Czech Republic but this game is far from over.

Great end to end 3rd period with Hlincka superb in the Czech goal. Slovakia finally break through to make it 5-4 . Unfortunately its at 59.59 and the game ends 5-4 to the Czechs. Slovenia’s 4th scored by Razingar with an assist from Vidmar.

Superb game of hockey, Slovenia lose again but they are fighting hard for everything and should give the hosts a tough game in the final group game.

Group B

USA V Denmark

USA meet Denmark for the 3rd time in this competition and with one win each, the young American guns will want to add to their good win against Norway. Sidney Crosby should be too good for the Danish defence. Denmark surprised Canada with 3 second period goals and could make things difficult for some time for the USA.

First period passes with absolutely nothing to report, mainly as it is not on telly. 0-0 and 4 mins of penalties each.

USA blast out of the traps and Albert puts them in the lead after only 20 seconds of the period starting. 26.32 and its 2-0 to the Americans. Yan Stastny scoring with assists from Ryan Suter and Ryan Kesler. End 2nd 2-0 to USA and they will have a 90 second powerplay to start the 3rd .

USA go 3-0 ahead on 52.52, goal scored by Kessel assisted Hilbert.

No further action and USA win comfortably 3-0.

Group A

Finland V Latvia

Nyttimaki will start in goal for Finland as they will try to silence the crowd early tonight against hosts Latvia. Latvia will be trying to keep out of the penalty box to contain the Finns.

Its Finland who have penalty trouble when after 6.57 Tuomo Ruutu is given 5 plus game for charging. 8.59 and they have to kill a 3 on 5 as Lehtonen hits the box for roughing. 14.33 gone and a 10 minute misconduct for the other Ruutu as Finland struggle with the refereeing.

End of a feisty first period with the scores level at 0-0.

Finland take the lead early in the 2nd with a goal from Viuhkola assisted by Hentunen and Lehtonen, timed at 24.32. Finland go 2-0 up short handed after a horrendous turnover on the blue line lets Kallio in one on one on the goalie and he scores with ease. Timed at 35.02. Second period ends with Finland defending a full minute of 3 on 5 and will start the third with a minute of 4 on 5. End of 2nd Finland 2 Latvia 0

Into the third and Finland all but wrap up the game with a powerplay goal by Peltonen at 48.42. Powerplay goal as Numelin worked the puck from centre blue to the point and Peltonen “pelted “ the rubber past the goalie for 3-0.Finland make it 4-0 with a goal on 51.52. There looked like a man in the crease as the puck was shot but after a review the goal stood. Goal scored by Aki Berg assisted by Numelin and Jokinen. 55.10 and Jani Rita makes it 5-0 when he poked the puck in past Naumovs from an acute angle. Assist by Pirnes. Game over and the Finns have an easy 5-0 win over the hosts.

Group D

Canada V Norway

Canada will have 4 more skaters in their line up tonight than they did in their first game, including Brendan Shannahan who will take over as captain. They should be far too strong for Norway. Best chance for the Norwegians to get anything from this game appears to be to defend and keep the score down.

Canada take the lead on the powerplay on 8.09 with a goal from Bergeron from Robidas and Crosby. Less than 30 seconds later its 2-0 with a mark from Brad Boyes assisted by Sidney Crosby. 13.35 and its 3-0 Canada with an unassisted goal by Mike Comrie. End of the 1st and Canada are in easy street at 3-0, just as they were in their first game against Denmark!

Canada go further ahead 1:05 into the 2nd period with a goal from Sidney Crosby assisted by Bergeron and Hamhuis. 23 mins gone and Canada go nap . Goal scored by Jason Williams assisted by Mike Comrie and Dan Hamhuis, on the powerplay. 31.56 and the next goal for Canada through Bergeron with assist from Crosby and Schultz. That’s enough for goalie Grotnes and he is replaced by Gunderson at 32.55. Not much of a difference as 19 seconds later he too is picking the rubber out of the net. Goal timed at 33.53 and Canada lead 7-0 through a powerplay goal from veteran Brendan Shanahan assisted by Cammalleri. Both guys only joined the team yesterday. End of the 2nd and its 7-0 to Canada.

Norway pull a goal back after 47.42 on a 5 on 3 powerplay.Goal scored by Thoresen assisted by Ask and Vikingstadt. Canada take their foot off the pedal and run out time for an easy 7-1 win.


Ok that’s it for Sunday, no surprises today and we move into the third matches in the preliminary round tomorrow!


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