Saturday, January 05, 2008

2008 world junior championship
Canada v. Sweden for gold

Shoving aside the Americans felt good, but the big motivation for the Canadian junior team Friday was to get another shot at Sweden and gold.

The 4-3 loss to Sweden in the round robin a week ago, in which the Canadians suffered a third-period meltdown and gave up four goals in the final 15 minutes, is Canada's only blemish at the 2008 world under-20 hockey championship.
Consider this an open thread, for anyone taking in this game who wants to comment. I may have some thoughts, also, as we go along.

UPDATE Russia wins the bronze-medal game, 4-2 over the United States. It always bugs me to see teams not push hard in that third-place game, but the Russians played great and had a strong tournament.

They only narrowly lost to Sweden (in overtime) in the semi-finals, and very well could have been facing Canada in this game.

UPDATE With only one period to go, Canada's got a 2-0 lead and seems a fairly good bet to hang on here and win a fourth consecutive gold.

Of course, this is the exact same spot they were in during the round robin against Sweden, and the Canadians ended up with a loss, so anything can happen.

UPDATE Sweden ties things up with just 38 seconds left in the game, and we're heading to overtime.

UPDATE Toronto native Matt Halischuk scores the winner early in overtime after a crease-crashing play.

This is the fourth gold in a row, and 10th consecutive medal, for Canada, but for Sweden the silver marks that country's first medal in this tournament in 12 years.

The world juniors will be in Canada three of the next four years, and it's going to be awfully tough to knock them from their perch.

UPDATE Here are the official award winners:
Top goaltender: Steve Mason (Canada)
Top defenceman: Drew Doughty (Canada)
Top forward: Viktor Tikhonov (Russia)
MVP: Steve Mason (Canada)

UPDATE Anyone figure out why Team Canada keeps kissing each other?

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At 6:17 a.m., January 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sad about our Russia...

At 9:45 a.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger Bethany said...

Mason played outstanding especially considering the big trade that happened with him. Great to see him out there.

At 10:05 a.m., January 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see Swedes turning the corner. Their amazing hockey player factory was closed for awhile.

Finns are heading to another direction. All the Finnish goalies kind of hides the fact that Finns have only one potential superstar skater - Joni Pitkanen.

Czech and Slovakia? Outch.

At 1:30 p.m., January 05, 2008, Anonymous desdemona said...

I was dissappointed in the US team this year. Granted I've only seen them twice (yesterday against Canada and today against Russia), but I heard such great things about their incredible offensive power and ability to explode. I do believe that their teams have been getting better and better as the years have gone on, their developing programs are, well, developing. Other than Colin Wilson, no other player stood out for me.

On the other hand, I was impressed with Russia. They played hard against Canada, Sweden and the USA. The stereotypical Russian team (who has a lot of skill, but not a lot of passion) didn't exist for me. Their spirit was not broken by the OT loss against Sweden and showed up and played hard against the US. I didn't like their goalie as much as MacGuire did, but agreed with what he said about the other Russian players.

Only half an hour to the Sweden/Canada game. Sweden is playing incredibly well this year, I love their goalie (Enroth, I think?) I'm hoping that Canada will have learnt their lessons from the prelim game against them and by introducing a different goalie, start off with a small advantage of mystery.

Go Canada!

- desdemona

At 3:46 p.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger Andrew Bucholtz said...

2-1 now... should be a great finish. I think Canada can hang on, but the Swedes will give them a run for their money. Those posts the Canadians hit early on look much bigger now...

At 4:12 p.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger False Rumour Monger said...

Moronic move by whoever the Canadian coach is to not call a timeout to rest the defence late in the third. As soon as Pierre McGuire said "it was a good non-call" I knew Sweden would score. They did and they're going to win in OT. Canada's coaching staff blew it again. I feel sorry for the players who have to be coached by these idiots.

At 4:13 p.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger Jonathan said...

Who says there's no fun races with no-touch icing?

At 4:27 p.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger False Rumour Monger said...

I'll buy James a box of doughnuts if Canada somehow pulls this win out of their ass despite the coaching. Fuck this is embarrassing.

At 4:35 p.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger False Rumour Monger said...

I'm happy but shocked as hell that they won.

So what's your favourite doughnut James? Chocolate glazed? Boston cream? Email me and we'll figure something out.

At 5:59 p.m., January 05, 2008, Anonymous desdemona said...



Congrats to Canada! Mason came through large, but only in the last 2 games. I'm not convinced that he was the tournament MVP. Hedman, Schenn and Alzner were above Doughty for the best defensemen IMO. I disagreed with the MVP of the team awards a lot during the tournament though.


Legien is an awesome character. I can only hope that he won't be crushed as many youths have been under the watch of Hitchcock. Can't wait for next year!

At 10:19 p.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger Blitzen said...

I understand the kissing thing started last year. And they wonder how mono gets spread. sheesh!

At 10:34 p.m., January 05, 2008, Blogger Sherry said...

Anyone figure out why Team Canada keeps kissing each other?

They just really like each other? I think it's kind of sweet. In a sort of unsettling way.

Actually, I think two of the invitees to the prospects camp had to be sent home with mono. You might be on to something.

At 1:04 p.m., January 06, 2008, Anonymous abman said...

I'd be more comfortable with the football ass pat than the kissing

At 2:20 p.m., January 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kissing in hockey should be suspendable. Two games for first, four games for second...

I want to see The Last Kiss, thanks.

Kissing the trophy is cool, kissing other players face masks and helmets not.

You'd think it's soccer game out there. Well, sometimes today's hockey looks like soccer so these guys might be on something.

Soccer is huge all over the world. Maybe hockey will eventually kiss it's way to world stage?


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