World Championships - Day Six

Wednesday, 10th May 2006

Today sees  the last of the preliminary round match ups. Slovakia play Russia to decide group C. This could be the best game of the championships so far. Kazakhstan play Belarus to try and avoid the relegation round. In Group B Italy play Ukraine , again to try and avoid the relegation group and Sweden play Switzerland for 1st place in the group.


Russia took the lead on 3.56 on the powerplay. Kulyash slapped one from the left side past a kneeling Krizan. Slovakia hit back after 6 mins. A two on one break with Cibak and Surovy broke free on the blue line and Surovy scored from a Cibak pass with a one timer. Russia had another powerplay on 8.41 as Ciernik went to the box for tripping. But it was Slovakia who scored short handed 22 seconds later. Kollar picked up a loose puck on the blue and fired a slapshot from left point under Zvyagin for the go ahead goal. Russia were stung into action and hammered the Slovak defence relentlessly but could not get the equaliser, even on a long 5 on 3 when Semin had two goes at goal. Ovechkin nearly scored short handed soon after but Krizan made a good pad save. The breakthrough came on 17.26 when Malkin grabbed a loose puck to fire past Krizan for 2-2. End of 1st and its all square.

7.23 gone in the second and the red machine took the lead. Khomitsky controlled the puck on the blueline and flicked it goalwards. Zaripov got a tip as he crossed the crease to score. Russia were well on top but things changed on 36:19 as Koltsov was ejected from the game for alledgedly pushing a linesman. On 36:45 Ciernik picked up a rebound from a Milo shot and backhanded the puck past the goalie for 3-3. Slovakia had another 5 on 3 as Zvyagin was called for delay of game for shooting the puck out of the rink but couldn’t take advantage and the period finished at 3-3.

The third was all about numerous penalties and powerplays and the Russians had a series of 4 on 3, 5 on 3 and 5 on 4 and pressed the Slovaks for the first 5 minutes. It paid off on 46:02 when Semin centred the puck to Mikhnov who snapped a high puck home past Krizan’s stick side. 4-3 Russia. Russia held out for the win. Slovakia played well but took far too many penalties and paid the price. They badly missed influential captain Marion Hossa, who may be back for the next game.


This game would decide who plays in the relegation round. But the game will be talked about for the disgraceful scenes near the end rather than the hockey.  Goals from Kasianchuk,Salnikov,Gunko and Dyanchenko for Ukraine countered by Busillio and Borgatello for Italy accounted for the scoring and a 4-2 win for Ukraine.

With about 8 mins of the game left, Denis Isayenko of Ukraine had to leave the game on a stretcher after being hit along the boards. Just after reaching the bench he collapsed and was given a protective brace around his neck as he waited to go to hospital. Possible neck injury and broken jaw was the first diagnosis.

With 39:26 gone Shakraychuk and Iob were given double minors and misconduct penalties for throwing down their gloves. As Iob was leaving the ice Klimentieve followed him and a fight broke out in the hallway. They were followed by Strazzabosco and Helfer heading for the Ukrainian players. All very unsavoury as the Italians lost their discipline. We might hear more of this tomorrow. 
As a result Ukraine make it to the next round and Italy must trade off in the relegation round to keep their Elite status.


Belarus totally dominated this game against the hapless Kazakhs and ran out easy 7-1 winners. A hat-trick from Zadelenov, 2 from Grabovskiand one each from Chupris and Dudik marked for Belarus and Spridonov scored Kazakhstan’s only goal. Belarus will pick up a few more points in this competition but Kazakhstan must regroup if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop to pool B.


The day’s top game between two unbeaten sides would decide the pecking order at the top of group B.

After a rash of early penalties, Sweden took the lead on 13:43 with a goal from Henrik Zetterberg, assisted by Johansson and Kronwall. Not a lot else happened in the period and Sweden went in 1-0.

Switzerland were given an early chance in the second as Jonsson and Johansson went to the box on minors. On the 5 on 3 Valentin Wirz scored with assists from Streit and Lemm. Timed at 23:19. Again that was all of note in the period and the teams went to the second break level at 1-1.

The game came to live around the 44 minute mark . Sweden took the lead with an unassisted goal from Zetterberg, his second of the night and 26 seconds later Mattsson made it 3-1 assisted by Karlsson and Kronwall. The crowd were just getting their breath back when Switzerland pulled one back on 45:02. Sannitz scored with an assist by Jeannin. Sweden put the game beyond doubt with a 4th goal on 51.16. Andreas Karlsson got the mark with assists by Emvall and Mattsson. Or so I thought. This Swiss side will not lie down and on 51.35 Ruthemann scored to make it 4-3. Assists went to Pluss and Della Rossa. Last time I predict a game over. The Eidgenossen equalise on 56:44 with a second goal of the night for Sannitz assisted by Jeannin and Lemm.
That was the end of the scoring and a fascinating game ended 4-4. Sweden top the group on goal difference and both teams advance to the qualifying round .

Tomorrows games see the start of the qualifying round with 2 groups of 6 vying for places in the quarter finals. Match ups are Russia v Ukraine and Canada v Latvia.


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