It was a sea of red and white, faces painted with the maple leaf-like Canadian Hockey Association logo.
Fans were waving Canadian flags enthusiastically. GM Place was charged with the electricity of international competition as the two best women’s teams in the world came to meet in the “Final Face-off”.
The 3-2 loss of Team Canada to Team USA on Tuesday, Jan. 8 was disappointing only because it could have gone the other way so easily. Team Canada was on fire, outshooting Team USA 32-18.
At the morning game-day skate, Canadian head coach Danielle Sauvageau had referred to Team USA’s powerplay as, “the best in the world – men’s or women’s team.”
It was that strong powerplay that brought the USA the first goal of the game. With Lori Dupuis in the penalty box, Karyn Bye’s shot from the point found the net behind Canadian goaltender Kim St.-Pierre.
However, Canada dominated much of the play in the first two periods with Team USA’s head coach Ben Smith describing the game as, “the antithesis of the previous games we’ve played.”
He went on to refer to the game as a “battle” and said, “we snuck one out tonight.”
Hayley Wickenheiser, described by most as the best female hockey player in the world, scored the tying goal for Canada at the 12:43 mark of the second period.
Most of the evening’s penalties came in the second period as well, with both teams trying to get the upper hand on their opponent. Vancouver Griffins’ captain and local favourite Nancy Drolet ha Read more»
British Columbians have gold envy.
And the old adage that everything has a silver lining just doesn’t seem to cut it after all the second-place showings lately.
Sure, winning silver is better than finishing out of the medals, but there’s just something about obtaining the gold that Canadian hockey fans crave.
The silver medal haul started with the Canada Selects losing 4-3 to HC Davos in overtime of the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.
Of all things, it was former Vancouver Canuck Lonny Bohonos who scored the game winning goal for the host squad in the extra frame.
Then came the World Junior Hockey Championships in Hradec Kralove and Pardubice, Czech Republic.
Team Canada finished 3-1 in the round-robin portion of the event, by trouncing France 15-0, downing the Swiss 6-1 and beating the Russians 5-2 before losing 4-1 to the Finns.
After a 5-2 quarterfinal win over the Swedes and a 4-0 blanking of the Swiss in the semifinals, hopes were high that the Canadians would return from overseas with gold medals in their hands.
Edmonton’s Brian Sutherby and Osoyoos sniper Chuck Kobasew of the Kelowna Rockets helped Canada build up a 2-0 first period lead, which they increased to a 3-1 advantage in the second on a marker by Kamloops Blazer forward Scottie Upshall.
Three straight goals by the Russians definitely doused Canada’s hopes until Kobasew tipped in a point shot off the stick of Prince George Cougar defenceman Dan Hamhuis of Smithers. Kobasew’s second of the game in the third tied Read more»
Will with Goran Bezina another Swiss player return to the Swiss league from North-America?
The 21 year old was one of the best Swiss defensemen in the league and thanks to his ‘NHL-body” he tried to make the jump to the NHL last summer. However with Phoenix’ farm team Springfield Falcons things aren’t going exactly his way. Bezina only gets dressed every second game, usually as a forward, and his stats this season are disappointing.
“I will talk to the coaching staff once more. It is well possible I will return to Switzerland,” he said to Swiss newspaper “Blick” after he wasn’t selected in the Swiss Olympic team. In another newspaper “Le Matin” he said: “Perhaps will I skate for Fribourg-Gottéron in the playoffs.” Other possible teams he could move to: Lugano and SC Bern.
Things are going better for two other defensemen of whom is less expected. Ottawa Senators prospect, defenseman Julien Vauclair logs quite a lot of ice time with Grand Rapids Griffins and has been selected by national team coach Ralph Krüger in the Olympics squad. Also the Senators are satisfied with his development as Senators’ scout Mr. Johnston told me recently during the WJC. Timo Helbling has yet to miss a game with the Milwaukee Admirals. The 4th Swiss player in the AHL, center Read more»
The Calder Corner
The best trade Atlanta didn’t make was trading the #1 pick in last years draft, as Ilya Kovalchuk yet again takes home the weekly Calder Corner nod for the HF prospect of the week by scoring 4 goals in 4 games.