Rinkside Reflections (Ukraine-Slovakia)

by Lasse Johansson
on

Team Ukraine sensationally won the first relegation game against Slovakia
by three goals to one. The Ukrainian netminder Vadim Seleverstov
was highly resposible for the win, as he didn’t get much support from his defencemen. Slovakia missed five or six “open goal” opportunities and should have won the game comfortably if Seleverstov hadn’t been playing like a god. Slovakia was the better team on every aspect of the game, except the two most crucial aspects; goaltending and goal scoring. The third Ukrainian goal scored by Artem Gnidenko was one of the flashiest goals I have ever seen.

Prospect Report:

Team Ukraine:

#1 Vadim Seleverstov G – Vadim was definately the MVP of this game making loads of extremely big saves. He plays a very spectacular game, and my guess is that he is somewhat inconsistent. You could compare him to Dominik Hasek because of his unorthodox playing style. He was lucky at times, but a good goaltender needs luck. His play reminded me of fellow Ukrainian goaltender Igor Karpenko, who impressed the scouts so much in the 1995 WJCs that he was drafted by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

#2 Denis Isaenko D – Captain of the Ukranian team and one of the few players in the offensive minded Ukrainian team who acted with maturity in his own zone. Physical with fairly good size in the otherwise small Ukrainian team. Posesses a hard shot from the point.

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SLOVAK ELITE – Statistics of Juniors

by Daniel Kysel
on

While Slovak Elite (Extraliga) has a Christmas break, Slovak national team under 20 struggles against very good teams in Group A, with scoring misery as well as with fever epidemic. Coach of national team Dusan Zizka nominated 12 players form CHL – one goalie, three defensemen and eight forwards. It looked like the team had very strong offence but reality is completely different. Team cannot score. If you know a mentality of Slovaks you can be sure that first game against Czechs influenced other performance of national team. Failure of Slovak team is not such surprise for me. I remember 9th place of Slovaks on JWC 1998 as well as Zizka’s interview full of alibism before start of JWC in Sweden. Bronze medal team was coached by Jan Filc (actually he is coach of national senior team) on last year championship. Zizka did not learn anything from Filc. By the way, do you know who coached team two years ago? You right, Dusan Zizka. In that time national team had to save Pool A only after two victories over very weak German team and finally earned 9th place. As we can see Mr. Zizka leads the team to the same “success“ or to Pool B.
I wish to call your attention to other parallel. On JWC 1998 Slovak team had big troubles to score although Marian Hossa, Ladislav Nagy, Stan Gron, Andrej Podkonicky etc. were in line-up.
O.K. I am very sarcastic but I was not any optimist either week ago. Do you remember Jes?
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Rinkside Reflections (Slovakia-Finland)

by Lasse Johansson
on

The second live game for me in this years WJC was the encounter between Slovakia and
Finland. Once again my hopes were high; Finland had surprised me in their game against Canada, and Marian Gaborik
was going to be on the ice for Slovakia. The two teams met last week in a exhibition game in Piteå, and Slovakia won the game by four goals to two. The game was very similar to last nights game between Finland and Canada. The first period didn’t provide any amusement, but the game took off in the second when Slovakia scored the prettiest goal so far in the tournament on a three-on-one, Branislav Mezei put the puck in the net, assisted wonderfully by Marian Gaborik. As in the game against Canada, the finns were forced to score in the final period, and this time they got it right, Arto Tukio scored the gametying goal in power-play. The game ended dramatically when Finlands Riku Hahl (one of their best players of the game) took a wrist shot from the blueline in the very last second that hit the bar! The game finally ended 1-1 (0-0 1-0 0-1).

Prospect Report:

Team Slovakia:

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