World Championships 2007 Day Seven

Thursday, 3rd May 2007

Jim 'Tambo' Piper gives us his views on the action from Day Seven of the IIHF World Championships.

Today sees the start of the second phase as two groups of 6 battle it out to qualify for the knockout quarter finals.



Finland and Switzerland played out a dour second round game as Switzerland set out to shore up a defence that was hammered by Sweden the night before.

The first was full of mid ice play and not many chances to either team. The period finished scoreless and although the shot count favoured Finland 11-6 , it was the Swiss who came closest to scoring in the final minute of the period as Bezina powered his way to the net and brought a fine save from Hiller. Swiss had chances from Monnet and Della Rossa but Lehtonen was up to it.

The second was much of the same as Switzerland stifled the Finns every attack. Again it was the Swiss who nearly took the lead as Jeannin only just failed to score when right on the edge of the crease. Another chance for Switzerland fell to Dipietro as Lehtonens outstretched leg saved the day. The end of the period saw Finland exert pressure of their own and on the powerplay Lehtinen’s backhand was well saved by Hiller. End of the second and still no score.

It took until the seventh minute of the third for the first real chance of the stanza ass Kontiola forced a fine glove save from Hiller. On 51:37 Finland took the lead as Tuomo Ruutu forced a rebound from a Nummelin blast from the point through the legs of the Swiss goalie. Switzerland upped the pace but could not find a way past Lehtonen and with 14 seconds left and Hiller off for the extra Swiss skater, Peltonen scored into the empty net for a 2-0 win.

Not the best game of the competition by a long chalk but Finland did enough to show they will be around the medals again this time.


Sweden had to rely on their powerplay to overcome a plucky Danish side as they marched on towards the quarterfinals.

Sweden started strongly and Wallin had the puck in the net after 1:24, only for it to be washed out after a video review for kicking the puck into the net. It was the Danes who scored the first legitimate goal on 2:27 when Madsen and Christensen skated on a 2 on 1 and Madsen shot to beat Henriksson stick side for 1-0. This inspired the Danes as they defended with everything as Sweden pressed hard for the equaliser. With 6:40 gone , Sweden were left shell-shocked as they fell 2-0 down. Regin raced in from the left wing and shot from the face off point through the five hole. Sweden upped the pace and on 13:10 pulled the lead back to 2-1 with a goal from Kenny Jonsson who appeared all alone at the back post to hit home a rebound off a Martensson shot. Denmark were taking a lot of penalties and with Sweden on a long 5 on 3 Akerman hit a stormer from the blue line to tie the game at 2-2. Amazingly Sweden had outshot Denmark 17-3 but still had to settle for 2-2 at the break.

Denmark had 3 powerplays in the first 5 minutes of the second period, including a minute of 5 on 3 but only managed 1 shot on goal. Sweden however, on their only powerplay of the period made it 3-2. Johan Davidsson netting from a pass by Hallberg on 33:49. Nothing else of note in the period as Sweden continued to heavily outshoot Danemark and take a 3-2 lead to the second interval.

The third saw the teams trade chances with Emwall coming close for Sweden, deflecting a Backstrom shot goalwards. Madsen made a good save to keep the puck out. Sweden were rocking under Danish pressure in the last five minutes but a howler by Michael Madsen in the Denmark goal settled the game. 57:23 on the clock and a slapshot from the blueline by Magnus Johansson was saved by Madson with his blocker. However , he only managed to send the puck high in the air and it dropped behind him and into the net. A Davidsson empty netter right at the death completed a 5-2 win for Sweden. Sweden outshot their opponents 58-12 but the Danes were in the game for long periods.

Good win for Sweden who now concentrate on the big one against Russia. Denmark remain pointless in the group.



This game was always going to be one of the most attack minded games of the championship and the teams did not let the fans down.

Slovakia had the best of the early play as the brilliant Marek Uram tormented the USA defence. But it was the USA that took the lead as Bochenski dropped a pass for Hunthinson to drill the puck past Krizan on 8:17. This spurred Slovakia who forced the play into the American defensive zone . USA shocked the large Slovakian support by scoring shorthanded at 12:27. Backes got to a Slovak pass first and skated off to backhand the puck past Krizan. Less than a minute later, giant defender Zdeno Chara scored as the ever impressive Uram passed through two defenders leaving Chara with a simple tap in. Although the Slovaks outshot USA by 18-7 in the period it was the Americans who went to the locker room with a 2-1 advantage.

USA made the better start in the second and with 24:52 on the clock Phil Kessel drove hard to the net and had his shot well saved by Krizan, however the rebound came onto defender Harant’s skate and back past the goalie into the net. 32:37 and USA were in seventh heaven as they went 4-1 up. Bochanski shot and then picked up his own rebound in front for his first goal of the tournament. No further scoring and the Slovaks went to the locker room 4-1 down and their body language did nothing to suggest they could bring this back

Not much to report on the third period as USA closed the game on Slovakia. The Slovaks did pull one back on 51:21 as Gaborik scored assisted by Miroslav Satan, but it was too little to late and USA held out for a superb win.

Great win for USA who are beginning to look serious medal contenders. Slovakia have fallen off the pace a bit , but their explosive forwards will always be dangerous.


Germany produced the first major shock of the tournament as they beat the Czech Republic. The first period was a dull affair with Germany happy to sit back and soak up Czech pressure for the first half of the period. Germany became more adventurous as they realised the Czechs were not at their best and took the lead with only 10 seconds left in the period. Michael Hackert tipped in a Bakos shot on the powerplay and after a lengthy video review, the goal stood. End of the period and 1-0 to the underdogs.

Germany had several chances to increase their lead in the second as they crashed the Czech net at every opportunity. The Czechs had their best spell near the end of theperiod and Olesz was denied by a huge pad save from Kostschnew in the German goal with only 1 second left in the period. End of 2 and still 1-0 to the Germans.

Czech Republic spent most of the third period in the German defensive zone and outshot Germany by 12 shots to 3. Problem for the Czechs was that the German third shot on goal ended up in the net. With 1:41 left in the game, Felski managed to work the puck across the front of the Czech defence and Wolf hit a superb shot from the left face off circle high past Cechmanek. Germany closed out the game defending another Czech powerplay with a 6 on 4 to the latter, having pulled Cechmanek for the last minute.

Fantastic win for the newly promoted Germany , whose main goal was to avoid relegation. Now they are within a win of possibly making the quarterfinals.

Four more games completed as the competition hots up . Czech Republic should still make the quarters on the back of the 6 points already gained in the group. Tomorrow sees the start of the relegation round and two more games in the top groups.