Thursday, May 12, 2005

IIHF World Championships Update - No Three-peat for USA as Canada Advances

As I sit here sobbing and crying, just using up more tissues than you can imagine, I must talk about the recent developments in the quarterfinals of the World Championships in Austria.

The North American representatives (USA and Canada) had been matched up with the Slavic rivals Czech Rep. and Slovakia beginning the single elimination round to the tournament.

It was Joe Thorton's goal that made him the designated hero, lighting the lamp against Slovak goalie Jan Lasak in the 15:38 minute of the game. It looks as if they have just enough to move on to the semis, when less than par performances suggested that the Canadian squads were out of game shape during the lockout. They look now to take on the Russian squad on Saturday, who have been carried by some of the brighter stars in the NHL. It looks as if the Canadian coaches aren't going to take the Russians lightly.
"The Russians are loaded," coach Marc Habscheid said of a Russian team that includes snipers Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin. "We watched them earlier in the tournament and they're really quick."
Sadly, my hopes for making this World Championships a three-peat for my American team was canceled by their game losing to Jaromir Jagr and the Czech Republic team in a shootout. Czech Rep. goes on to play the Swedes in the semis on Saturday.

Andy Roach, last year's shootout hero, missed the mark against tough Czech goalie Tomas Vokoun to give Czech Rep. the 3-2 win. Modano, Knuble, and Devils blue chipper Zach Parise were all MIA this time around even after the stunning upset tie against the Ukrainians.

However disappointed I am about this quarter-finals results, I am assured that it looks to be that the prediction I had made on another website (which was taken down) before the tournament started that Sweden and Canada were most likely to meet in the Finals. Do I know hockey or what? So, for those of you who are wondering where my loyalties lie, since now both my home countries have been eliminated, I'll be rooting for the Canadians for the rest of the tournament.

[Via: Rogers Sportsnet and Rogers Sportsnet]
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