World Championships - Day Four

Tuesday, 9th May 2006

Today’s early games see Russia take on Belarus with the winner guaranteed a place in the next round. Russia have been awesome but do not discount the plucky Belarussians who surprised Slovakia in the first game. Switzerland should be too strong for Ukraine in the other afternoon matchup. In the evening Slovakia must beat Kazakhstan to progress any further and the Swedes should be too strong for Italy.

Group C

Russia V Belarus

Russia started strongly and missed a penalty shot after 5.16 when Ovechkin failed to beat the Belarus keeper. They took the lead on 10.57 on the powerplay with a goal from Yemeleyev assisted by Bykov. That was it for the first period. Russia leading 1-0.

Belarus shocked the decent crowd with two goals inside 90 seconds of the restart. Firstly, on the powerplay Kostitsyn found Antonenko free on the left and he scored easily. Timed at 21.40.  On 23.28 Belarus swept down the ice and Makristsky fired a shot high over the goalie’s left shoulder to make it 2-1. Great screening by the Belarus forwards on this one. Constant pressure by the Russians for the rest of the period but they had nothing to show for it. End of 2nd 2-1 Belarus.

Russia equalise after 23:52 when Kulyash blasted a rip snorter from left point. Grigorenkov may have got a tip but did a great job screening the goalie. Russia on top now. Belarus have not been without chances but it’s the Red Machine that takes the lead after 53.19. Good play by Yemeleyev who sent the puck left of the goal to Kharitonov. He spun round and sent a clipped shot that Mezin never even saw. Good screening again by the Russians.

Into the last minute and Belarus press and try to pull the goalie but Russian pressure forces him back. He finally gets off the ice with 20 seconds to go but they are unable to penetrate. End of game  Russia win 3-2.

Slovakia V Kazakhstan

Game begins with Slovakia pressing early and once again zero tolerance rears its ugly head and after only 4 mins, Kazakhstan have to survive a 3 on 5. Ogureshnikov in goal( wont be typing his name again) brought off 3 brilliant saves during the penalty kill. 11 mins gone and its all Slovakia who have outshot their opponents 14-1. A goal has to come soon. 12 mins and its Slovakia’s turn to defend a 3 on 5. Comfortably defended and after 15 mins its still 0-0. End of the period and 0-0. 24 mins of minor penalties here. Petty, over officious refereeing spoiling the game.

41 seconds into the 2nd and Slovakia take the lead. Kapus scored after assists by Marcel and Marion  Hossa. Slovakia continued to dominate and went 2-0 up after 32.42 when Tomas Surovy shot past the brilliant Kazak goalie . Assisted by Pavlikovsky and Bartovic. Slovakia wrapped up a superb 2nd period when Bartovic scored. Hossa skated down the right and sent a superb pass to the far corner, Pavlikovsky hit the return across the face of the goal for Bartovic to score. End of 2nd 3-0 and the Slovaks looking good for the 2 points.

50 seconds into the 3rd and a possible problem for Slovakia as influential captain Marion Hossa leaves the ice after being kneed by Litvinenko. The Kazak player actually looked pleased with himself in the box as he smiled at the cameras and pointed to himself and smiled. 2 mins for this was a travesty, should have been attempt to injure. 49.05 and its 4-0 to Slovakia after a beautiful cross ice move between Ciernik and Zalesak ended with the puck thrown in front of goal and Pavlikovsly was right on hand to score along the ice past the goalie. 55:06 and its 5-0. Lots of activity in front of the Kazak net and after another good save the puck fell nicely for Kovacik to send it straight back into the net. 1 minute 16 seconds later and its 6-0 as Jurcina scores assisted by Surovy.  End of the game and it finishes 6-0. Slovakia outshot Kazakhstan by 52 to 8. Ogureshnikov in the Kazak goal had a blinder.

Group B

Switzerland V Ukraine

Not a lot to write about in the first. Switzerland looked at ease and took the lead after 9.57 with a goal from Bezina assisted by Jeannin. Shortly before the break at 18.06 they scored a second goal. A terrible turnover let Ambuhl in free on the goalie and he scored to make it 2-0. End of the first and no further scoring.

In a second period littered with penalties, Ukraine pulled a goal back after 33.54 scored by Mikhnov assisted Materukhin and Sryubko. Good end to end period and Ukraine are right back in this game. End 2nd  2-1 Switzerland.

Third period much like the second with many penalties. Ukraine falling foul of the referee with 2 ten minute misconducts. No further addition to the score and Switzerland make it 2 wins out of 2. Final score Switzerland 2 Ukraine 1

Sweden V Italy

10 mins gone in this one and although its all Sweden , the shot count is only 4-0 in their favour. Not a lot else happening. 14.02 and Sweden take the lead on the powerplay.  Kronwall had two shots from centre blue line well saved by the goalie but the second one fell nicely to Karlsson right side of the goal and he scored. Assists by Kronwall and Mattsson. Another quick powerplay and its 2-0. Lundqvist scored by taking a pass from Zetterberg and blasting the puck past the goalie. Timed at 16:00.

End of the period and its 2-0 to Sweden.

Tre Krone made it 3-0 after only 2.36 of the 2nd as Kenny Jonsson scored assisted by Holmqvist and Franzen. Not a lot of action after that as the Swedes reverted to their usual holding game forcing the Italians on to them and hitting them on the counter. Period ended with the score 3-0 to the Olympic champions.

Third period begins with Italy changing their goalie, giving Thomas Tragust his first game in the Championships replacing regular goalie Jason Muzzatti. 47.19 and Sweden go further ahead with Kenny Jonsson’s 2nd goal of the evening, assisted by Kronwall. End of the game and a comfortable win for Sweden 4-0.

After 2 of the 3 Preliminary games the tables look like this.

Group A

Pos Team GP W T L GF GA GD Pts
1 Finland 2 2 0 0 10 3 +7 4
2 Czech 2 1 1 0 6 5 +1 3
3 Latvia 2 0 1 1 1 6 -5 1
4 Slovenia 2 0 0 2 7 10 -3 0

Group B

Pos Team GP W T L GF GA GD Pts
1 Sweden 2 2 0 0 8 2 +6 4
2 Switzerland 2 2 0 0 5 2 +3 4
3 Ukraine 2 0 0 2 3 6 -3 0
4 Italy 2 0 0 2 1 7 -6 0

Group C

Pos Team GP W T L GF GA GD Pts
1 Russian 2 2 0 0 13 3 +10 4
2 Slovakia 2 1 0 1 7 2 +5 2
3 Belarus 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 2
4 Kazak 2 0 0 2 1 16 -15 0

Group D

Pos Team GP W T L GF GA GD Pts
1 Canada 2 2 0 0 12 4 +8 4
2 USA 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 4
3 Denmark 2 0 0 2 3 8 -5 0
4 Norway 2 0 0 2 2 10 -8 0

No real surprises and the final match ups will determine the number of points each team takes to the Qualifying round. Bottom team in each group go into a relegation round with the bottom two teams from that round being relegated to Pool B and a possible meeting with GB next season. If I was to put a quid on relegation I would say Kazakhstan and Italy.

More tomorrow!



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