By Peter Westermark

The Czech Republic won the goldmedal after a penalty-shootout in the most
boring game ever played in the Skellefteå Isstadion. Congratulations to the
Czechs for winning, but seeing two teams prioritize defense above all and in
doing so decide not to forecheck, not to hit, not to attack with more than
two forwards at the time is so boring that I, and surely most of the people
attending, wished that I had just stayed at home and watched a Jeopardy
rerun. The highlight of the game was when the music-guys played
Elvis-impersonator Eilert Pilarm during a stoppage of play.
The bronze game was more entertaining, with Canada pulling off a
well-deserved win after a shootout. The Canadians looked disinterested in
the first period and didn’t have much emotion after the Americans had earned a
1-0 lead after the first period. Checking winger Willie Levesque scored the
goal shorthanded after Canada made some sloppy plays during their powerplay.
The Canadians looked more fired up for the second period, and they started
hitting the Americans more frequently, but also ran into penalty-trouble.
The Canadian penalties in the first period came from laziness and not being
up for the game, but those in the second period came from being aggressive,
though it should be noted that Swedish referee Christer Lärking sent
Canadians to the penaltybox for clean hits as well. The Americans got their
second goal from Daniel Cavanaugh (Calgary) who really worked his way into
the tournament, and onto the Americans first line. After being down 2-0
Canada started to create chances and got one back before the period ended
when Matt Pettinger put home a rebound past US-goalie Philippe Sauve

The Canadians continued to battle all the way through the third period, and
they turned the game around scoring 3 goals, although one was curiously
disallowed. Chris Neilsen is a very smart player who has excellent
work-ethic and had earned his goal, which tied the game 2-2. The Canadians
put themselves in all sorts of holes throughout the game, and did so even
after Dany Heatley, who was a force all through the third-period, gave
Canada the lead for the first time in the game midway through the third
period. With Canada controlling the game and only 3 and a half minutes left,
defenseman Kyle Rossiter (Florida) took a poor high-sticking
penalty. The Americans went on the powerplay and Jordan Leopold (Anaheim)
put a slap-shot from the blueline past Brian Finley (Nashville) in the
Canadian net. The game went to overtime, and then to penalties. Canada
got goals from Jamie Lundmark (Rangers), Brandon Reid and Dany Heatley while
Pat Aufiero (Rangers) replied for the Americans. Brian Finley made three
saves to win the game for Canada. It should be noted that the ineffective
line led by disappointing Mike Ribeiro (Canadians) was benched in the second
period and didn’t see any icetime after that.


CANADA - USA 4-3 (0-1, 1-1, 2-1)

0-1 (SH) Willie Levesque
0-2 Dan Cavanaugh (Jeff Taffe, Brooks Orpik)
1-2 Matt Pettinger(Michael Ryder, B.Jackman)
2-2 Chris Neilsen (Tyler Bouck)
3-2 (PP) Dany Heatley (Brandon Reid)
3-3 (PP) Jordan Leopold(Jeff Taffe)


Scoring for Canada: Lundmark, Reid, Heatley
Scoring for USA : Aufiero


CAN: Brian Finley (38 shots, 35 saves)
USA: Philippe Sauve (37 shots, 34 saves)

CZECH REP. - RUSSIA (0-0,0-0,0-0,0-0)


Scoring for Czech: Libor Pivko, Milan Kraft
Scoring for Russia: Evgeny Muratov


RUS: Ilya Bryzgalov (46 shots, 46 saves)
CZE: Zdenek Smid (34 shots, 34 saves)