Saturday, January 1, 2011
WJC TODAY - 1-1-10
Canada suffered their first loss of the World Junior Hockey Championships last night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, falling 6-5 to Sweden in a shootout.
With the win, Sweden advanced to the semi-final while Canada is now forced to play in the quarter-finals against Switzerland. A win in that game for the Canucks will mean a Canada – United States semi-final.
One of the stories of the games was Acadie-Bathurst Titan goaltender Olivier Roy who got his third start in the Canadian net. Roy was definitely average, allowing a few goals he should have stopped. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League star made 36 saves in the loss with quite a few of those shots producing a rebound.
Swedish netminder Robin Lehner wasn’t fantastic either, allowing five goals on 34 shots.
"I don't think either goalie was the player of the game," Canadian head coach Dave Cameron said to Rogers Sportsnet. "When there's that many goals scored, obviously I think both goaltenders would like some of them to be replayed, but that's why you play the game."
Canada opened the scoring just 58 seconds in when Sean Couturier centered the puck and had it deflect off a Swedish defender and in to make it a 1-0 game. After tying the match at 2:14 on a power play goal, Sweden took the lead at 14:55. Quinton Howden tied the match again before Curtis Hamilton gave Canada a 3-2 lead following a strange bounce with half-a-second remaining on the clock.
The back-and-forth action continued in the second period as Sweden scored two goals within the first three minutes of the game to take a 4-3 lead. Hamilton scored his second of the game at 4:37 while shorthanded to even the affair once again.
Tied at 4-4 in the third, scoring sensation Brayden Schenn broke the deadlock at 3:22 to give the Canadians another lead. But at 11:43, Patrick Cehlin went high blocker side on Roy to tie the match up once again.
Overtime proved useless, so a shootout was needed to decide a winner. Oscar Lindberg and Anton Lander each beat Roy while Ryan Ellis and Schenn were both stopped, giving Sweden the win and the Group B crown.
Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres assisted on Hamilton’s shorthanded marker in the second period. He finished the game with no shots, a +1 rating, and also got some more penalty kill time.
THE CONFIDENT SWEDES
Sweden was the better team in the game, but some of the players and coaches comments are certainly not your typical hockey clichés.
"I think we had tougher games against the Czechs and Russians," said Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg to Yahoo!, "I'm really glad, really proud coaching this team. They showed their character today, bouncing back all the time after goals [coming back from three one-goal deficits]. It's impressive."
“This is not your typical Swedish team,” said massive goalie Robin Lehner to QMI Agency. “I don’t want to sound cocky or anything because it’s a huge thing for us to beat Canada, but we’re not surprised by this result.
“This is a confident, physical group. We play hard at both ends of the ice. We don’t get down on ourselves. Nothing had to be said in the room. We knew what to do and Roger (head coach Ronnberg) is a big part of that for us.
OPEN ICE HOCKEY RECAP
SLOVAKIA IS DONE
Well, it wasn’t the way Tomas Jurco and Team Slovakia wanted to end the preliminary round at the world juniors. The Slovaks suffered their worst loss of the tournament, falling 6-0 to Finland.
Jurco finished the game with one shot on goal and a zero rating.
Slovakia failed to make the medal round, earning an overtime victory and three regulation loses. They got only two points from their win and finished fourth in Group A.
The Slovaks begin the relegation round tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 pm against Norway at Dwyer Arena.