World Championships 2007 Day Ten

Sunday, 6th May 2007

All the action from Day Ten of the IIHF World Championships, by Jim 'Tambo' Piper

A very busy day at the championships with 6 games scheduled. Its an early Sunday start for the 4 teams in the relegation round as Latvia play Austria and Ukraine take on Norway. The qualification groups have big match ups between Sweden and Finland and Canada and the Czech Republic. The latter desperately needs a victory or they are in danger of not reaching the quarter final stage.



Latvia were seeking the win that would guarantee their passage to Canada next year and Austria desperate to find some form in a disappointing tournament.

Austria did not start off too well and struggled to generate any offence. A 4 minute penalty for a high stick offence by David Schuller did not help as Latvia took the lead. Half way through the penalty at 6:30 Daugavins stroked home a rebound after Galvins brought a good save from Brueckler. The rest of the period was a chippy affair with both teams taking minor penalties. However neither team troubled the scorer and the period ended 1-0.

Latvia went 2 goals up at 28:34 as Sprukts passed from the face off circle to Nizivijs who smacked the puck past Brueckler before he could move. Austria had a good chance just before the end of the period as Welser tried to beat Masalskis, but the goalie came out on top. End of 2nd 2-0 to Latvia.

The final period started with a similar situation and Masalskis was again up to the task as he did not fall for the deke from Trattnig. Austria pulled a goal back on 22:06. Stewart cam down the right and shot early from the face off circle to beat the goalie. Latvia quickly doused any hopes of an Austrian fightback 1:18 later when Cipulis passed into the front of the net and Vasiljevs hit the puck inside Bruecklers left hand post for a 3-1 lead. Two powerplay goals in 2 minutes for Latvia put the gloss on the result for Latvia. Firstly Lavins hit a drive from centre point that beat Brueckler and Tambijevs made it 5-1 after a neat move with Jerofejevska and Sprukts as he backhanded the puck in off the underside of the crossbar. Austria huffed and puffed for the last 10 minutes including having the advantage of several powerplays without really troubling Masalskis.

A comfortable win for Latvia who retain their place in the Elite group. Austria have been dreadful since day 1 and will need a minor miracle now to order their visas for Canada next year.


If Norway could win this game they would be safe from relegation but Ukraine had other ideas in a feisty, penalty ridden match. It was a strange first period with Norway hitting the crossbar and failing miserably to take advantage of a long 5 on 3 advantage. To cap that (no pun intended) Ukraine scored on their third powerplay when Tsyrul fired a shot in that grazed the helmet of a Norwegian player and went in over the shoulder of Grotnes. Norway also had a goal disallowed near the end of the period as a video review showed the puck coming off the crossbar without crossing the line. End of 1st Ukraine 1 Norway 0.

The second period mirrored the first as both teams again fell foul of the referee and there was a plethora of minor penalties. Norway tied the game at 28:10 when Thoreson scored on the powerplay assisted by Ask and Trygg. Ukraine regained the lead at 32:34 when Blagoi hit a rebound straight back past the goalie but Norway came back strong and equalised again with 1:43 left on the period. Again, on the powerplay Trygg hit a slapshot from the point. End of 2nd 2-2.

Ukraine lost the services of Klymentievs with three and a half minutes gone in the third as he took 2 minutes for elbowing followed by a 10 minute misconduct and a match penalty. Norway failed to take advantage of the powerplay but Ukraine got what proved to be the winning goal on their next man advantage. 48:51 gone and Naverenko hit a shot from the point that beat Grotnes for a 3-2 lead. No further scoring in the game and the Ukrainians were delighted with the win that keeps them in with a chance of avoiding relegation.

Norway will be very disappointed to lose this game and now must beat Latvia in their final game or they face relegation. Austria and Belarus need a win themselves as they face each other in the second of tomorrow’s morning games.



Russia powered on to another convincing win and move into the quarter finals in a buoyant mood. After only 34 seconds of play, the Kazan line combined to put the first goal on the scoreboard. Zaripov intercepted Vauclair’s attempt at clearing the puck round the rim of the board and centred the puck to Zinoviev who scored. 8:42 gone and with Russia completing a too many men penalty, Ovechkin stepped out of the box and laid a high hit on Wirz who went down in a heap, The Swiss regained composure and skated to the bench with help and Ovechkin received a 5 plus game for his trouble. The Swiss created a few chances in the long penalty but never really looked like scoring. As the major penalty concluded, Kovalchuk skated out of the box and too a drop pass from Markov to send a wrister from around the hash marks flying passed Hiller. 13:50 gone and 2-0 to Russia. Schastlivy came close to making it a 3 goal game right at the end of the period but Hiller made a good glove save.

Russia continued to press Switzerland back in the second period and effectively finished the game as a contest at 29:44 with a lovely goal. Proshkin sent a long pass to Schlastlivy on the blue line who passed to Zaripov who scored on the open side. A perfectly executed goal by a very impressive side. The teams traded powerplays around the 35 minute mark without changing the score. Malkin and Hirschi had a bout of handbags in the corner with 2 mins left in the period. Malkin tried a hit on Hirchi but came off worst, then Hirschi looking for revenge took the body in the corner forcing Malkin to strike his head on the boards. Malkin then got up and punched Hirschi. The last action was punished by the referee and Malkin sat out 2 mins in the box. As Vauclair and Zinoviev were sitting out coincidental minors this gave the Swiss a 4 on 3 powerplay and Mark Streit scored with a high screened wrister from the blueline. End of the 2nd Russia 3 Switzerland 1.

Russia began the third on the powerplay and just as the powerplay was over Markov tipped a Kovalchuk feed through Hiller’s five-hole for 4-1. Switzerland struck back immediately and 26 seconds later it was 4-2. Dipietro hit one off Koshechkins right pad to score. There was to be no Swiss comeback as Frolov took a drop pass from Markov to deftly shoot a wrister insode the far post to score. Goal timed at 45:45 and 5-2 to Russia.

The Swiss struck back just 26 seconds later, as Paul DiPietro snuck one through from a bad angle off to Koshechkin's right, making it a 4-2 game.

But Swiss hopes of a comeback were dashed when Frolov took a drop pass from Markov, walked into the faceoff circle to Hiller's right, and wired a wrister inside the far post for a 5-2 lead on the power play at 5:45 of the third. Seconds later, Alexander Radulov hit the crossbar. Just before the mid point of the period Schastlivy scored on a breakaway down the middle. He smashed a high backhand into the net to put Russia 6-2 in front. With 8:30 left Reichert hit a slap shot from the face off circle to beat Koshechkin and finish the scoring at 6-3.

An entertaining game and all credit to the Swiss for taking the game to the Russians. However both teams qualify for the quarter finals.


After a cagey start from both teams Finland’s Tuomo Ruutu had a shot deflect off the top of the crossbar after three minutes. Finland had a second chance at a round the midpoint of the period but Viuhkola missed the puck on the backhand after a shot from Backlund rebounded. The breakthrough came on 15:56 when Sweden won a face off in the offensive zone. Akerman hit a high slap shot from the blueline that was going well wide. Lehtonen made a bad error of judgement and instead of leaving the puck to go harmlessly wide, he reached for the puck and it bounced of his mitt into the net. End of the 1st and 1-0 to Sweden.

The second period was much more competitive with many physical checks by both sides. The game took on the pattern of Finland pressing and Sweden showing no ambition whatsoever, content to let the Finns come onto the defence. With the game stagnating for Finland, tough guy Jarkko Ruutu tried to fire up the team by starting a fight with Patric Hornqvist but the tactic failed as Ruutu was the only one to pick up a roughing minor. Finland had a couple more chances before the end of the period but they went into the second break with the score stil 1-0 to Sweden.

The third followed the same pattern with Sweden defending but rarely troubled by an ineffective Finnish forward line. With 2:27 left Finland were given their seventh powerplay of the game and at 58:30 they pulled the goalie for the extra skater but after a mad scramble in front of the Swedish net, the defence held firm and the Tre Krone had taken the points.

Sweden will now play Russia tomorrow to decide who tops the group and Finland qualify in 3rd place.



Slovakia and Belarus served up a feast of hockey in a game Belarus had to win to keep alive their slim chances of making it to the semi finals. Belarus went at Slovakia right from the first face off and Krizan had to be alert in the Slovak goal. Slovakia scored as the game’s first powerplay ended. Giant defenseman Zdeno Chara scored when he tipped in a Gaborik one timer from the point. Belarus equalised on 15:53 when a break out by two forwards ended with Zadelenov passing to Ugarov who scored. End of an exciting first period and the scores are level at 1-1.

Marion Gaborik then took over proceedings and found himself on the scoresheet twice in just over 2 minutes. The first came at 22:14 ably assisted by Pavel Demitra and the second was a neat play down the wing and finished off with a placed puck over the left shoulder of Mezin. Belarus stunned Slovakia by scoring 2 goals in 30 seconds when firstly Antonenko scored at 13:47 and Koltsov scoring off a backhand pass from Kulakov The period ended with a score of 3-3 and the fairly large crowd had witnessed one of the best periods of hockey in the tournament.

Belarus were on fire and came out for the third with a real chance of an upset. Not many chances were created by either team but Belarus certainly looked the better team. Demagin raced in on a break and he severely tested Krizan with the shot. With a minute left, and knowing only a regulation win would do to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive, Belarus pulled goalie Mezin for the extra skater. The bold move did not pay off as Pavel Demitra scored from a Gaborik pass to place the puck in the empty net at 59:21. The heartbroken Belarus team trudged off as Slovakia celebrated their place in the quarter finals.


The game was like a chess match in the early stages with the Czechs determined to stop the rot of two successive defeats. Canada had the first real chance when Mayers passed to Chimera up the middle and he beat the goalie only to see it ping back off the post. Not for the first time in the competiton, the Canadians ran into penalty trouble and the Czech Republic took the lead on the powerplay. Zidlicky scored from centre point over the glove of Dwayne Roloson, timed at 13:17. The period ended with a bit of handbags between Brewer and Marek, both sitting out the last minute of the first and the first of the second period. End of 1 and its 1-0 to Czech Republic.

The game was level after 22:15 in quite strange circumstances. Cechmanek made a save and forced the puck behind the net. Marek started to bring the puck out but suddenly just left the puck in the slot. McClement grabbed the loose puck and fired it past Cechmanek into the net. Someone in the crowd had blown a whistle and the Czech defender just left the puck. The Czechs protested vehemently but the goal stood. The period was littered by fussy penalties blown by the Russian referee and on a Czech 5 on 3, Roloson made a superb save by padding a Marek tip. Pressure told and Czech Republic took the lead again at 12:05. Plekane chipped the puck over the goalie who was on his knees after a stramash in the area. Czech Republic claimed a third right at the end of the period as Olesz jammed the puck towards the net on a wraparound. Video evidence proved the rubber had not crossed the line.

Canada scored another early period goal to tie the game as Cammalleri fed the net rushing Eric Staal who pulled the puck back as Cechmanek tried a poke check and slipped it into the empty net, timed at 43:22. The game followed the usual pattern of Canada equalising then giving up a dumb penalty and paying the price. Three minutes after drawing level, Weber went to the box on a roughing minor and the Czechs took full advantage. Roloson made a good save from a point shot but Plekanec belted the rebound past the goalie from the blue line. This was the Czech’s 8th powerplay of the evening. Canada upped the tempo again and Armstrong and Toews broke on a 2 on 1 but Cechmanek made a superb pad save. Canada were working really hard and got their reward at 51:07. Lombardi won a face off on the right and passed to Doane on the hash marks and a quick shot from the captain fizzed past the goalie for 3-3. That was it for regulation time and the Czechs celebrated as 1 point was all they needed to make the quarters.

This obviously had an effect as Canada took the extra point after only 23 seconds of overtime as Eric Staal got the winner.

Excellent game of hockey and a deserved win for Canada. Both teams are in the quarterfinals.

Another exciting days hockey with the eight quarterfinalists now known. All that is left is for the pecking order to be finalised with top games tomorrow including Russia v Sweden and Canada v USA. The relegation round also winds up with 3 of the 4 teams still with a chance of being relegated.

See you tomorrow