World Championships 2007 Day Twelve

Thursday, 10th May 2007

1st Quarter Final Day


Russia were out for revenge after losing in the quarter finals to Czech Republic last year in Riga.

The first few minutes were fast and furious and on the first powerplay of the game just as Klesar was coming out of the box. Frolov passed across the slot to Markov racing in from the point and wristed a pearler over Cechmanek's right shoulder. Cechmanek kept his team in the game for the rest of the period with outstanding saves from Kovalchuk on two occasions from point blank range. The period ended with the shot count of 14-6 in favour of the Russians but it was still a one goal game.

The second period was not as exciting as defence took over. The Czechs had settled the ship and more importantly kept the Kazan line quite. In truth, a dull period and no addition to the scoring.

The Czechs were reeling after only 23 seconds of the second period.
Kovalchuk hit a slapshot from 20 feet that missed the goal on the short side. It took a kindly bounce for Russia right onto Malkin's stick and he one handed it past Cechmanek before he could move. This rattled the Czech Republic and Russia began to take over. Markov nearly added to the score when he hit a shot off the post. 31:24 and it was game over for the Czechs when Radulov scored after pressure brought a turnover in the slot. An outstanding fourth goal for Russia closed the game out when, with 5:14 left, malkin scored the goal of the tournament. On a 4 on 4 play he picked up the puck on the centre line after a break down and sketed to Cechmanek's right, deked him and skated round the net for the wrap a round goal with the goalie helpless on the ice. Malkin skated past the Czech bench to rub it in as he went the full length of the bench like a flamingo on one leg with stick out stretched. Czech heads were down and out as they suffered their second consecutive knockout 4-0 drubbing in a row, having lost last years final 4-0 to Sweden. Tempers flared a bit when Malkin tripped Kleslar, who took offence and got involved in a bit of fisticuffs.

A deserved win for Russia and they march on as Cup favourites to meet either USA or Finland in Saturday afternoon's semi final.


Slovakia drew first blood in this enthralling quarterfinal. With 2:10 gone, the puck came of Gaborik's stick to Hossa who sent it home from close in.
The scores were tied at 7:28 with the first of many Slovak turnovers and Warg scored past Krizan. Slovakia regained the lead less than a minute later as Satan drove down the right and passed to Kapus who hit a belter under Backlund. Outstanding first period with the Swedes outshooting Slovakia 16-9 but going in a goal down.

Sweden started strongest in the second and tied the game for the second time at 22:17. Hedstrom skated into the high slot and took a pass from Backstrom to snap the puck high past Krizan. It was good end to end stuff but Sweden were showing the more quality of play and took the lead at 26:06 Tony Martensson hit the puck home after Thornberg got the better of Krizan.
Slovakia should have equalised on 33 minutes when Gaborik missed an open net after Hossa fed him a lovely pass. Sweden jumped into a two goal lead on the powerplay at 33:55 as Steen shot twice to be denied by Krizan but the third rebound went to Hedstrom who scored in the open net. Slovakia did have the puck in the net with just over 4 minutes left in the period as the puck was poked from under Backlund, however the referee did not like the play and blew the puck dead. No further scoring and Sweden had a convincing and deserved 4-2 lead.

In a game of more emphasis on offence than defence, Slovakia got to within a goal at 41:21 as Radivojevic scored off his own rebound after Podhrasky also had a shot saved. An absolutely horrendous line change at 47:03 led to Martensson grabbing the puck on the blue line and raced in to beat Krizan with a low forehand shot for 5-3. It was 6-3 on 49:46 when Sweden scored again on a two man advantage. Magnus Johansson hit a superb shot from the top of the face off circle that eked through Krizan's five-hole. Slovakia's never say die offence pulled one back at 51:27 when a neat give and go between Radivojevic and Kukumberg ended with the latter batting the puck into the open net. 6-4 and Slovakia pressing hard to reduce the arrears.
Krizan was pulled for the extra attacker with just under 2 mins left but a nasty check from behind by Demitra annulled the advantage. Martensson completed his hat trick with 15 seconds as Sweden broke loose and he put the puck into the empty net with Krizan watching from the bench.  Final score Sweden 7 Slovakia 4

Fully deserved win for the defending champions and they move to the semi final where they will meet Canada or Switzerland. If as expected they do meet Canada they will have to tighten up the defence.

Two semi finals tomorrow   Canada v Switzerland and USA v Finland