Friday, August 12, 2011

Canada and Sweden advance to Ivan Hlinka Final

The championship game at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial will feature a re-match of the tournament's first day. Sweden beat Canada 5-1 in the first game in Břeclav on Monday, and they'll meet again on the same ice in the tournament's last game.

In Friday's semifinals, Canada blasted Russia 5-0 in Piešťany while Sweden needed overtime to get by Finland 4-3 in Břeclav.

In Canada's victory, the 5-0 score might have actually been flattering to Russia. Canada outshot them by an incredible 44-6 total, with Daniel Altshuller posting the relatively easy shutout. Offensively, Canada was led by 2 goals and 1 assist from Charles Hudon. Hudon now has 8 points in the tournament, which puts him in second place in tournament scoring, one behind Finland's Tuevo Teräväinen.

"I told Charles before the tournament that he's going to have to be a guy we rely on for offence," said coach Steve Spott, of a team that was thought to be offensively challenged. However, after getting hammered in the opening game, they have since outscored their opponents 17-1.

Sweden enters the final as the tournament's lone unbeaten team, but that record received a scare on Friday from their Scandinavian rivals, needing overtime to beat Finland.

The Finns led 1-0 after a period but Sweden scored twice late in the second, setting the stage for a thrilling third period. Finland scored twice in a five-minute span, Rasmus Kulmara on a power-play and Henri Ikonen on a breakaway, to take a 3-2 lead with 9:14 to go. Then with 6:41 remaining, Malte Stromwall sent a blast off the post and in to tie the score once more. The Swedes then pressed hard for the go-ahead marker, but couldn't beat Joonas Korpisalo for the rest of regulation.

In overtime, it was their captain and best player, Filip Forsberg, who provided the heroics. "I think we held the puck for most of the overtime, and Elias Lindholm got the puck on the blueline and then he shot on net and I was in the right place for the rebound."

Regarding the final game, Forsberg said, "It's going to be a tough game against Canada, but we played them once already and we won and I think we can do it again."

In the game for fifth place, the USA defeated the Czech Republic 3-1 in Břeclav, while Switzerland clamed 7th by shutting out Slovakia 6-0 in Piešťany.

On Saturday, the bronze-medal game between Russia and Finland in Piešťany begins at 15:00 CET, 16:00 EET. The championship game between Sweden and Canada in Břeclav begins at 17:00 CET, 11am ET, 8am PT.  Both games can be followed live online at

1 comment:

  1. 44-6

    I have never heard of such a thing in men's hockey at the top level. That said, Canada probably should have popped a couple more goals but this team was not touted as an offensive powerhouse