World Championships - Day Five

Wednesday, 10th May 2006


Latvia desperately needed a win today to avoid the relegation round. A sell out home crowd cheered every move they made in their game with Slovenia, who had to play in the relegation round last year.

The host team made a very nervous start and with 5.35 gone, the Slovenians silenced the crowd with the first goal. Sivic dug the puck out of traffic to Zagar, who made his way along the boards and to the front of the net and returned the pass to Sivic who put it past Naumovs. 1-0 Slovakia. Despite having the best of the chances, Latvia went to the break a goal down.

Latvia started the second strongly and the crowd went wild after 24.15 as Nizivijs made the zone and the puck was picked by Redlihs who slid a cross ice pass to Semjonovs who tapped home at the far post. 1-1. It was all Latvia now and Tambijevs came close soon after. 28.20 and the go ahead goal from Latvia came as Sprukts took the puck into the zone and tried to pass cross ice. The puck came back to him off Kranjc and he put the puck past a totally wrong footed Kristan. 2-1 Latvia. 29.51 and Latvia have a 2 goal cushion. Jerofejevs took a pass across the crease from Tambijevs to score on the powerplay. With just under 5 mins left in the period Latvia, having killed off a 3 on 5, went 4-1 up. Tambijevs scored after rushing down the left and towards the net and tried a shot which Kristan saved. The rebound came to Nizivijs who got the puck back across the crease for an open side tap in by the veteran Tambijevs. A brilliant period for the home side and the crowd nearly lifted the roof at the end of the 2nd.  4-1 Latvia.

Latvia took the foot off the gas in the 3rd but still managed another goal after 40.06. Vasiljevs scored on a 5 on 3 after a nice combination move.
A great win for the hosts and they take their place in the qualification round. Slovenia must play in the relegation round for the second year in a row.


Norway started strongest but dogged defence by the Danes kept the scorer quiet for most of the period. That was, until 16.36 and Trygg scored with a shot from the point. 1-0 Norway. Denmark came more into the game and equalised on the powerplay on 17.30. Daniel Nielsen scored with a harmless shot past Gundersen, who was totally screened. 19.57 and completely against the run of play, Denmark made it 2-1. Kim Stall hit a speculative shot as the clock ran down and beat Gundersen. End of 1st 2-1 Denmark.

There must have been plenty of tea cups flying around the Norway dressing room at the break as they came out like rockets. 28:41 and the scores were level at 2-2. Powerplay goal scored by Hansen from just outside the crease. 90 seconds later and it was 3-2 Norway. Another powerplay goal, Thoresen passed to Sroder on the rush and he one timed it through the 5 hole. Timed at 30.02. 33.34 and Norway had a 2 goal lead, again on the powerplay and Vikingstad shot from the corner and the puck was deflected in by Thoresen. End of 2nd 4-2 Norway.

Into the 3rd and Norway looking comfortable, scored a 5th with only 1:08 played in the period. Holtet went on a lazy skate down the right wing and just threw the puck at the net. Hirsch made a hash of it and the puck squeezed past the short side for the goal. Denmark pulled one back 2 mins later when Hansen blasted one from the circle past a helpless Gundersen. Vikingstad finished the scoring with an empty netter on 59:18 and Norway ran out comfortable 6-3 winners.  Denmark must now play in the relegation round to try and keep their elite status. Wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.



In the battle of the Group A heavyweights, the first penalty of the game came at 48 secs as Miettenen went for boarding. The Czechs punished Finland by going ahead as the powerplay ended. Erat got the goal with an assist from Balastik. 24 seconds later and the Czechs have a 2 goal lead. This time Balastik got the goal and goalie Hnlicka was awarded the assist. Finland pulled one back after 8:19 on the powerplay, Kukkonen got the mark with assists from Lehtonen and Hentunen. A rash of penalties , including two 5 on 3 spells for Czech Republic failed to add to the score and the period ended 2-1 to Czech Republic.

Once again it’s the refereeing we are talking about as he dishes out 22 mins in penalties in the first 11 minutes of the 2nd period. However its an even handed goal for Czech Republic after 34:41 that gives them a 2 goal lead. Hlavac scoring, assisted by Vyborny. The Czechs look in total control of this game and are outshooting the Finns by 22-10 as the period draws to a close.

Finland start the period with 35 seconds of powerplay and after 30 of them, they pull a goal back. Aki-Petteri Berg scored assisted by Nummelin and Jokinen. Great period by Finland as they pin the Czechs in their own zone for long periods. Massive pressure finally pays off at 58.48 as Petteri Nummelin scores assisted by Jussi Jokinen.  Period ends and it’s the Finns who look the more satisfied. They outshot the Czechs 14-5 in the third. Final score 3-3 and Finland top the group, Czech Republic qualify in second spot.


No goals early on as both teams sussed each other out. Alex Auld, Canada’s goalie took a 2 min tripping minor after 10.14. USA failed to convert a couple of chances but went ahead on 13:53 with a goal from Phil Kessel assisted by Slater and Stafford. That was it for the period and USA lead 1-0.

The second period started as the first ended with more penalties. Canada survived a long 3 on 5 after 28mins . 29:01 and Canada are level. Goal scored by wonderkid  Sidney Crosby and assisted by Bergeron. The final 10 minutes of the period are again littered with minor penalties and the teams go into the break level at 1-1. USA had to survive a long 3 on 5 as the period ended. Canada are outshooting USA  by 21-14 but cannot get that elusive go ahead goal.

Into the third and a tight game between the teams. Canada go ahead for the first time after 47:44. Goal scored on the powerplay  by veteran Brendan Shanahan assisted by Cammalleri and Williams. Nothing else to report as Canada close out the game for a 2-1 win and top the group. USA qualify in second spot.

That completes the preliminary round for Groups A and D and the standings are as follows.


Group Preliminary A
1 FIN 3 2 1 0 13:6 7 5
2 CZE 3 1 2 0 9:8 1 4
3 LAT 3 1 1 1 6:7 -1 3
4 SLO 3 0 0 3 8:15 -7 0
 Group Preliminary D
1 CAN 3 3 0 0 14:5 9 6
2 USA 3 2 0 1 7:3 4 4
3 NOR 3 1 0 2 8:13 -5 3
4 DER 3 0 0 3 6:14 -8 0

The top 3 in each group go forward to the qualifying round and Slovenia and Denmark go into the relegation group.

Tomorrow sees the last of the preliminaries in the other two groups with Russia playing Slovakia and Belarus taking on the disappointing Kazakhstan in group C. Italy play Ukraine with the loser going into the relegation round. Sweden play Switzerland for top bragging rights in the group.

Till tomorrow!


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