Friday, September 03, 2004
The United States finally got something going in World Cup play, defeating Slovakia 3-1. Both teams went with different goalies in this game; Slovakia went with Jan Lasak and the USA played Rick DiPietro, resting Robert Esche. Also, Slovakia had a good-sized contingent of fans at the game.
Some of this might be rough, because I'm again lazy. Times once again are mostly approximate. There's a Mariner recap coming later, after all.
If I say "right circle," I'm using it in context of looking from center ice toward the goal. If this convention is incorrect, someone please let me know.
Team USA established a good forecheck early, and it helped set the tone for the rest of the game. Also established early was a game-long battle between Doug Weight and all 6'9" of Zdeno Chara. Bill Guerin also had some run-ins with Chara in the game.
**16:47 On a power play, Brian Leetch put a shot on the goalie, the puck flew high in the air, and lineup addition Brian Smolinski buried it from the edge of the left circle (USA 1-0).
15:45 Mike Modano was stopped on a shot from the right faceoff dot, and Bill Guerin was stopped from a few feet in front of the net.
**8:46 Chara put a shot on DiPietro, and the rebound came out to Pavol Demitra, who dished across to Ladislav Nagy. Nagy put it past DiPietro and tied the game at 1-1, but this would be short-lived.
**6:32 Chris Chelios got a hold of the puck near the blueline and centered a pass to Jason Blake. Blake was tripped as the pass was heading his way, but the puck went off his legs and in as he was sliding across the ice (USA 2-1).
4:48 Marian Hossa was foiled on a breakaway
3:41 Scott Gomez was stopped from the has marks on the right side
0:47 Jaroslav Obsut had his point shot saved
The USA outshot the Slovaks 13-9 in the period
15:56 Lasak stopped Paul Martin's shot from the right circle.
14:55 Lasak stayed solid, stopping Steve Konowalchuk's shot from the left circle.
13:32 Lasak stopped a small flurry of commotion, fending off Chris Drury and the subsequent shot off the rebound by Gomez.
13:21 Jozef Stumpel tested DiPietro in front, but the Isle was up to the challenge.
The CBC crew at this point was saying that the USA was winning more one-on-one puck battles.
10:58 Jamie Langenbrunner looked like he was on the way to a good scoring opportunity, but Marian Gaborik plowed him right beside the net on a great defensive play.
9:45 Drury blocked a shot with his toe, and limped off the ice on the next change.
5:14 Lasak had a huge stop on Smolinski, whose nickname might still be "Smoke."
4:04 Gaborik was foiled from the right circle.
3:11 Lasak had another huge stop on Drury's shot from near the front of the net.
1:26 Langenbrunner put a shot on Lasak, who stopped the puck under his equipment and didn't immediately realize where it was.
Chara and Tkachuk (along with other USA players) exchanged pleasantries to end the period.
The USA outshot the Slovaks 15-6 in the period.
17:14 DiPietro stopped a Demitra shot from 19 feet on the right side
16:30 Blake had a sharp-angle shot which met the stick of Lasak
~15:00 Chris Chelios got away with spearing
11:53 Lasak covered up after a huge influx of traffic and jabbing sticks in front of the net
9:38 Gomez was foiled from the right hash marks
**3:43 Insurance time. Mike Modano got the puck off a giveaway and found Bill Guerin racing toward the net. Guerin deked to the right and put a backhander past Lasak (USA 3-1).
1:09 Guerin was stopped by Lasak on a rush
Brian Burke said after the game that the five new players that USA coach Ron Wilson put in the lineup all played well, and that the core players of the team responded well. Kelly Hrudey agreed with this. Burke said Paul Martin had a good game for the USA, and that he deserved a spot in the lineup for the next game. Hrudey said he would consider leaving Hull on the bench for another game.
Those watching the CBC after the game were treated to old pictures of Brian Burke with the Maine Mariners and Providence College. In an interview with Ron Wilson (teammate of Burke on the Providence team), the two traded stories back and forth, and both heavily praised their old coach, Lou Lamoriello. Cheesy? Maybe. But I'm still learning about hockey, so I soak up the anecdotes and whatnot.
CBC's three stars: Doug Weight, Chris Drury, Jan Lasak
I've got a predicament here. I might actually be having a life tomorrow, so I might not see one or both of tomorrow's games. The odds of me seeing the second game are better than the first. This sucks because Finland and Sweden is quite the matchup. So is Russia/Canada. What doubly sucks about this is that Jeremy won't be able to chime in on either of these games when I'm gone beacuse the ESPN family of networks isn't carrying them.
But hey, I've posted on the first nine games out of the total 19, so that's a good run, right?
[Edit ~7:56p -- I had the shot totals for the second period, but I didn't put them in the post. Now they're in.]