World Championships Qualification Games - Sunday

Monday, 15th May 2006


In an uninteresting first period, Hentunen scored at 9:35 when he tipped a pass from Pirnes into the net. Second assist went to Kallio. Jussi Jokinen should have made it 2-0 seconds later as a high shot defelected off Gunderson in the Norwegian goal and onto the crossbar. Not a lot else of note in the period as the Finns seem to be doing just enough to keep ahead.

Finland had the best of the early exchanges in the 2nd and also failed to take advantage of a 5 on 3 which lasted 1 minute 45 seconds. However on the 5 on 4 Jussi Jokinen tipped in a Nummelin feed at 13:30 to make it 2-0. End of the 2nd Finland 2 Norway 0

It should have been 3-0 right at the start of the 3rd as the Jokinens combined for Jussi to hit a great shot brilliantly padded away by Gunderson.  Esa Pirnes, who only joined the team yesterday missed a golden opportunity when one on one with Gunderson but the latter made a great glove save to deny him. Pirnes got his revenge on 55:58 when a Hentunen shot was saved by Gunderson and he was on hand to scoop home the rebound. 3-0 to Finland and that was all the scoring. Finland won comfortably but it really looked like they were saving themselves for the big Group decider against Canada on Monday. Final score Finland 3 Norway 0


Only goal of the first period came on 13:55 as Zaripov found himself all on his own on the left wing at a Swiss linechange. The defence rushed towards him but they were too late as he wristed a beauty past Aebischer for 1-0. No further goals in the period but both teams had chances and the goalies were on top form. End of 1st 1-0 to Russia

Russia went 2 up on 22:26 as Arkhipov scored with a rebound that Aebischer lost sight of.  Mikhnov and Semin give assists. The Swiss, who seem to make a habit of coming back into a game did it again. Only 10 seconds after the second Russian goal,they marked themselves. Reichert fed to Paterlini who one timed the puck past the goalie.  2-1 and game on.
Great end to end hockey from this point on with both teams having breakaway chances. 12:33 and the Swiss had a delayed penalty for too many Russians on the ice and just as the extra man got on theice Wirz tried a wraparound that Aebischer was wise to but Forster was at the front of the crease to slot home the rebound. 2-2.

Russia drew away from their rivals early in the third period with two powerplay goals. On 40:50 Bykov hit a slapshot from the point to beat Aebischer and make the score 3-2. Another powerplay shortly after and they had regained their 2 goal advantage. Again a slapshot from the point from Nikulin that beat the despairing goalie. 4-2 Russia. Switzerland then converted on a 5 on 3 powerplay with a goal from Bezina but try as they might , could not get on level terms. Late on, at 57:25 Kulemin scored with a rebound to put the game beyond the Eidgenossen. Malkin made it 6-3 in the last 15 seconds to end the scoring. A win for Russia but the score flattered them as the Swiss matched them for most of the game.


Billed as the battle of the heavyweights, the game did not disappoint.
Czech Republic took the lead on 6:34 with a fluke. Hubacek collected a backhand pass from close in. Auld blocked it but the puck floated up in the air and over his glove and into the top corner. 90 seconds later and it was 2-0 as the Canadians were all over the place on a 4 on 4 play. Vyborny took the puck into the zone and wristed a superb shot between the goalie’s pads. Canada were being pummelled at this stage and at 13:30 it was 3-0. Another strange goal here as a pass to Plekanec at the top of the crease hit his helmet and bounced between the goalie’s pads. Auld lost sight of the puck and as he closed his pads he kicked the puck back into the net. It was all Czech Republic and the were outshooting Canada by 13-2. Canada hit straight back at 15:44 as Robidas hit one that sailed past Hnilicka to make it 3-1. End of the period and 3-1 to the Czechs, great game.

Second period and early on, Canada got a second goal. Calder skated down the left and looked like he was going round the net, but instead, he tried to stuff the puck short side. It stopped on the goal line and Mike Richards reacted first to poke it into the net. It went to review and the goal stood. 21:51 and its 3-2. This was as much Canada’s period as the first belonged to the Czechs. The deservedly tied the game as Crosby hit a pass off the boards to Hamhuis who ripped one past Hnilicka. 31:26 gone and its 3-3. 35:04 and the Czechs took the lead again. An Irgl shot was well blocked by Stuart but Irgl reacted first and hit the rebound past Auld.
That was all for the 2nd as both teams go for the win.

A great start to the final period as Canada tied the game again with on 61 seconds gone. Bergeron nicked the puck inside the Czech zone and passed to Sidney Crosby who tried a backhander on Hnilicka. Goalie blocked the weak shot but Crosby took his own rebound and slid the puck between the falling Hnilicka’s legs. 4-4 and still 19 mins to play. 46:29 and a bad mistake by Auld helped the Czechs to go 5-4 up. A long slapshot from Balastik on the left was misjudged by Auld and crept behind him for the goal. Czech Republic made sure of the win on 53:39 as Erat took a pass from Vyborny on a 2 on 1 play to score. End of the game 6-4 to Czech Republic

Superb game of hockey and I must say brilliantly reffed by Richard Schuetz. At last a referee who understands how to be in charge and still keep the game flowing. Players responded well and we saw a superb game of hockey.


Slovakia finally turned up at the championships and beat a surpringly jaded Swedish team to get themselves back in the mix for the quarters.
Slovakia look a different team when Marian Hossa is icing and goals by him and Martin Cibak gave Slovakia a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period.
A goal frenzy started the 2nd period and we saw 4 goals in just over 3 and a half minutes. Vydareny put the Slovakia 3-0 up before goals by Johansson and Karlsson made it 3-2 and game on. At 26:22 Marcel Hossa made it 4-2 Slovakia and that was it for period 2.
Andrej Kollar put the game beyond Sweden six minutes into the 3rd and the game petered out from then. Good win for Slovakia and gives them a good chance of making the quarters.

After tonights games the following teams have qualified for the quarters.
Finland, Canada, Czech Republic and USA from Group E and Russia and Sweden from Group F. Final two slots are between Slovakia, Switzerland and Belarus. Slovakia should beat Ukraine and the winner of the Switzerland v Belarus game will decide the final place.

In the relegation round its any 2 from 4 with the winners of each game probably keeping their Pool A status. Slovenia take on Italy and Denmark play Kazakhstan.


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