Saturday, September 04, 2004


Oh wait, it's not as red since the fall of Communism, with blue now in the Russian flag, but oh well.

Canada beat Russia by a score of 3-1 in tonight's World Cup of Hockey tilt.

Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for the gruesome hostage incident that occurred in Russia a couple days ago. Team Russia wore black armbands made of stick tape in observance.

I was afraid of the anthem singer. The dude was mean-looking and quite haunting. Never before have the Russian and Canadian national anthems scared me more.

After a pretty good first game against the USA, Ilya Bryzgalov was benched in favor of Maxim Sokolov. Canada once again went with Martin Brodeur in net, i.e., the easiest decision one could ever make.

The recap of this format will be a lot like the last few, and once again, times are approximate...

18:18 Ilya Kovalchuk shot just inside the blue line stopped
16:31 Jarome Iginla stopped from the right circle
15:20 Sokolov puts a stick save on a Jay Bouwmeester shot from the blue line
14:16 Kovalchuk is denied, his opportunity came thanks to a lazy cross-ice pass by Martin St. Louis
13:31 Alexander Frolov was foiled on a wraparound attempt
12:32 Sokolov puts the right pad on a shot from Mario Lemieux; Lemieux is then leveled
11:29 Kris Draper had a scoring chance, but had trouble handling the centering pass in the crease
10:31 Alexander Khavanov put a shot through traffic, which was stick-saved
8:55 Sokolov had the rhythm of glove on Robyn Regehr
5:45 Iginla got a pass from Lemieux on the rush but was stopped from the left circle
0:27 Frolov appeared to have a good scoring chance, but was tied up near the net by Canada's defensemen
0:23 Sokolov saved a Scott Hannan shot via the glove

Canada outshot the Russians 9-6 in the first period.

19:52 Brodeur put the pad on Sergei Gonchar from the right circle
17:38 Sokolov put a blocker save on Iginla's shot from the right circle
**16:06 With Canada shorthanded, Brad Richards took a pass from Simon Gagne on a 2-on-1 rush and beat Sokolov high to the glove side (top corner, CAN 1-0)
**14:45 Vincent Lecavalier dished off to Shane Doan on a 2-on-1 rush, and Doan was stuffed by Sokolov. Kris Draper was trailing on the play and buried the rebound, aided by Sokolov being way too far out in front of the net (CAN 2-0)
11:08 Kovalchuk's shot from just beyond the circles was gloved, then his wrist was mashed by Doan finishing the check
9:55 Richards rushed to the crease but his shot was stopped
9:29 Lecavalier had a scoring chance in the works, but was hooked in front of the crease before he could get a shot away
9:11 Sokolov deflected a wide-open one-timer off the stick of Lecavalier
8:51 Sokolov gave a rebound to Joe Sakic, who was on the doorstep. Sokolov threw his stick in Sakic's general direction, and stopped Sakic's shot with his right (stick) hand
7:34 Shorthanded, the Russians had a breakaway; Artem Chubarov dished off to Frolov, and Brodeur got his left leg on the shot
6:58 Scott Niedermayer was all alone and missed the net
3:33 Sokolov stopped Adam Foote's shot from just inside the blue line
2:28 Doan was all alone in front and was stopped
0:48 Sokolov gloved a Gagne shot from the right circle

18:50 Alexei Yashin took a centering pass from the corner and Brodeur sprawled to make the save
16:40 Maxim Afingenov deked Niedermayer, but was stopped in close on the right side by Brodeur
14:28 Pavel Datsyuk was all alone and was stoppedc by Brodeur
**14:10 Lemieux made a one-handed centering pass from the corner which was stopped by Sokolov's stick. Sokolov didn't cover up though, and the rebound went right to a waiting Sakic, who had no trouble potting the puck (CAN 3-0)
13:38 Lecavalier tries to wrap it up via the wraparound. No dice
12:47 Yashin was stopped from the left circle
12:07 Gagne's shot from the right-side boards was stopped. Canada was shorthanded at the time
**7:14 This was one Brodeur would like to have back. Afinogenov passed to Gonchar, who beat Brodeur to the stick side. I think the puck went off Brodeur and in, though I'm not sure. The puck may have knuckled, however (CAN 3-1)
0:30 Joe Thornton was stopped in close on the final power play of the game

The two teams finished with 28 shots apiece.

Kelly Hrudey said after the game that Canada was getting better defensively, though he was concerned for Canada having three days off; maybe the team might lose their groove. Hrudey also picked on Darius Kasparaitis for picking the worst time to pinch; this led to the Draper goal.

CBC's three stars: Vincent Lecavalier, Simon Gagne, Kris Draper

Canada didn't thoroughly dominate the Russians by any means, but the establishment of their physical play (most notably, finishing checks) early in the game put the Russians a bit on their heels. Brian Burke was able to point out incidences in which certain Russian players seemed to not want to be alone with the puck in fear of getting their clocks cleaned. And this is a very good Russian team. I'd have to say I'm surprised Russia only got one goal out of this, but then again, it's Brodeur in net, and the dude is nuts.

It's Slovakia and Russia tomorrow afternoon from Toronto. There's only one day the rest of the way that has two games. It's almost sad, really.

By the way, Finland and Sweden tied this morning in the game that I didn't get to recap. I did happen to see the final goal by Tomas Holmstrom, though, and it was very VERY timely. Sweden stole the win from Finland in their own building with 11 seconds left in regulation. Finland gets the number one seed in the European division, by virtue of outscoring opponents 11-4 in round-robin play.

The European quarterfinal matches are set...

Monday the 6th: (4) Germany at (1) Finland, from Helsinki
Tuesday the 7th: (3) Czech Republic at (2) Sweden, from Stockholm

If there's one reason the Swedes didn't get the number one seed in the Euro division, it's thanks to their unstable goaltending situation. I wish I didn't have to say this about Tommy Salo, but alas, it is true.

Again, Slovakia and Russia tomorrow at 4pm.

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