The Czech Republic got some vindication, Team Quebec jumped for joy and Team Western watched its medal hopes vanish.
That summed up the fifth day of the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, where the Czechs bounced back from a heart-breaking, disputed setback on Tuesday to play the role of spoiler last night in front of 2,063 fans at the Selkirk Arena.
The Czechs, who protested their 5-4 loss to Quebec on Tuesday but had it thrown out yesterday morning, got four goals from Jakub Sindel — his first of the tournament — in a 7-2 thumping of tournament host Team Western.
Team Western, which finished 2-2 and only needed a win or tie last night to qualify for the playoffs, fell to fourth in Pool A and will play for seventh place today against Team Atlantic in Stonewall at 2 o’clock.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Western forward Stefan Meyer, who had a second-period goal. “For the past games it looked like we came to win, but tonight it looked like we just had no desire to win. That Czech team worked hard tonight and they deserved this win more than us.”
Team Quebec was smiling because its 2-1-1 record in Pool A after a 4-4 draw with Team USA yesterday afternoon landed it in a semifinal tonight (7:30) in Stonewall against Team Pacific, which beat Russia 5-0 last night in Stonewall to finish at 4-0.
The U.S. (3-0-1) will play 3-1 Team Ontario, who blanked Finland 3-0 yesterday, in the other semifinal tonight in Selkirk at 7:30.
Team Western had a 35-25 edge in the shot department, but Czech netminder Vladislav Koutsky made some outst Read more»
The World Junior Hockey Championships is always extremely interesting to watch. It’s fun to observe many of the players that will be tomorrow’s stars in the NHL before the big bucks change their love for the game. This year’s tournament has been a roller coaster ride with plenty of upsets and lots of sidebars that have made the action extremely entertaining. Team Canada has found itself in the thick of things and has found an old rivalry against the Russian bear boil over. The players have made this something to remember, in more ways that one.
There have been some excellent performances, and some that make you scratch your head. Some players make you sit straight up when they make a play, and others make you hide your eyes before they play the puck. Because many of these young men have been drafted, or scrutinized to death, certain expectations are placed on these players, sometimes unfairly. Consider that when reading the reviews. They are one person’s opinion of what has been observed in a short tournament, one that is really not long enough to properly gauge a player except to flag him for further scouting, against the best competition possible for the age group of the players in question.
Jay Bouwmeester – The un-drafted Bouwmeester has been in the public spotlight for several years now. He has been touted as the number one pick for the 2002 NHL Entry Draft for three years. If there was a player that had unfair expectations to live up to, it is Jay Bouwmeester. Funny thing is that this kid lives up to them, Read more»
Greg Watson, a front-line power forward for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, is on a roll.
After a slow start to his Western Hockey League season, Watson has exploded to produce 18 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 27 games.
The slow start wasn’t a problem to his team because he was still playing with heart and determination, said head coach Wade Klippenstein.
“Offensively his numbers weren’t what he wanted them to be but I still thought he was playing hard and reasonably well.”
With a hat trick on Nov. 20 against the Swift Current Broncos and then another on Nov. 28 against the Medicine Hat Tigers, Watson took his point tally to 26 points in 26 games.
After counting two goals and one assist for a three-point game Nov. 30 in Calgary against the Hitmen (a 5-4 overtime loss), the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Watson said he might have found his groove.
“I’m starting to get the feel,” the Calgary native said. “I finally found a pattern of sticks I like and things are just bouncing my way right now.”
The WHL also recognized the streak of points and Watson was awarded Player of the Week after recording eight points in four games in the week ending Dec. 2.
After going 0-11-1-2 on the road at the start of this season, Watson guided the Raiders to their first road victory of the campaign.
Despite his Raiders being out shot 32-31, Watson had a five-point night with a trio of goals and two assists to lead his team to a 6-2 win over the Tigers.
Klippenstein can see Watson warming up and Read more»
Written by Robert Neuhauser and Ivana Paulova
Switzerland – Canada 0:4
26:04 CAN Ott (Stoll) 0:1 SH
32:27 CAN Cammalleri (Sutherby) 0:2
33:35 CAN Sutherby (Ott) 0:3
58:28 CAN Ott (Schultz, Popovic) 0:4 empty net
The Swiss team wasn’t expected to be a big trouble for the
Canadian squad, as the Canadians faced the fourth team of the other
group. During the first minutes the Canadians have put the Swiss
under pressure and their rebounds were very dangerous. The
Swiss played defensively and created chances mostly on powerplays.
Emanuel Peter and Sven Helfenstein had breakaway chances but the
score didn’t change.
It changed at 6:04 of the second period. Jarret Stoll caught a bad
Swiss outlet pass and passed the puck to Steve Ott, who scored
the first goal.
Between 68 seconds in the middle of the second period it was
decided about the winner. First Mike Cammalleri scored his
seventh goal at this tounament and then Steve Ott showed his skating
skills when he won a race with a Swiss defenseman, failed to
deke Stephan, but Brian Sutherby picked up the rebound and finally
scored. Read more»
Written by Ivana Paulova and Robert Neuhauser
Slovakia – Switzerland 2:3
Defense wins championships. A clear motto of the playoff contests.
Including the quarterfinal match Slovakia-Switzerland. The beginning
of the game was quite nervous and both teams were waiting for
mistakes of the opposing side. The Swiss players were slightly
better in the first minutes and created some chances because
they played better in the offensive zone. The first Slovak quality
chance was really huge. Tomas Kopecky went on a lone breakaway
but 17-year old goalie Tobias Stephan could make a save on his
backhand deke. Minutes later Tomas Jasko, a 2002 prospect, had
nearly the same chance but the pass he should receive was out
of Jasko´s reach and he couldn´t corral this puck. The Swiss
team was playing shorthanded twice but their defense worked well
and the Slovaks didn´t have any quality chances. Overall the
Slovaks were more skilled and handled the puck better, but the
Swiss grit and a willingness to play physical payed the dividends
and they were more than equal opponent to the Slovaks.
It was clear that the team which will score first will have a big advantage. Both teams
tried hard, Frantisek Skladany went for a two-on-one breakaway but Skladany couldn’t lift
the puck over Stephan. Read more»