DRESDEN – It was a day with three neighbouring rivalries. Team USA defeated Canada 5-3 in a North American clash, Finland beat archrival Sweden 7-4 and the Czech Republic won against host Germany 5-1 at the 2013 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship. Slovenia got its first victory in the tournament against Slovakia in overtime.
Germany vs. Czech Republic 1-5 (0-2, 0-1, 1-2, 0-0) Video
With great offence the Czechs created lots of scoring opportunities in the first period for a 2-0 lead that proved to be the basement for a 5-1 victory against host Germany.
It’s the first win for the Czechs after an overtime loss against Finland while last year’s silver medallist Germany is still winless.
“It’s my first game and I’m just excited. Germany was a good team but we had a great start and scored a lot of goals,” said Czech goalkeeper Daniel Brabec, who had 23 saves.
“My defencemen played very well and executed our system well. We were simply the better team.”
Marek Loskot scored on the first power play of the game with a shot that went just below the crossbar at 2:48.
Midway through the period the Czechs made it a two-goal game. Tomas Demel brought the puck to the net and Jan Besser deflected it with his blade.
The Czechs also frustrated the German crowd in the second period. At 4:00 Ludek Broz scored the third goal for the Czechs after a long horizontal pass from Martin Vozdecky.
The Czech Republic opened the third period with two unanswered goals from Patrik Sebek and Vladimir Kames, but Germany reacted with a goal from Veit Holzmann of the local ice hockey team in Dresden. It remained the last goal of the game in the Czechs’ 5-1 victory.
“We played better (than yesterday) and improved in skill and skating but at this level it was not enough,” German head coach Georg Holzmann said. “Our offence was too ineffective. Two goals in two games are not enough to win a game.”
Canada vs. USA 3-5 (0-1, 1-1, 1-1, 1-2) Video
Who is the number one in North America? Last year the Canadians were even the number one in the world but the Americans want to pay back this year. In the preliminary round they did for now. Pat Cannone scored two goals at crucial moments to lead Team USA to a 5-3 victory.
“It feels good to win. It was a good team game, we were solid all around,” Cannone said.
“Scoring a goal early in the game really helps your confidence. It only makes you better the rest of the game and you just try to keep it rolling from there.”
The Americans had the better start and earned a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes of play.
At 2:24 Cannone broke through on the right side and put the puck in through traffic to open the scoring. At 2:31 of the second period Cody Kettler ended an odd-man rush with Travis Noe with the 2-0 goal for the Americans.
Team USA also had more scoring chances later in the period including two post shots during a power play. But at 7:50 of the second frame the Canadians had a breakaway with Chris Terry and Fred Corbeil skating toward American netminder Nick Maricic. Terry took the shot and scored the 2-1 goal.
Some minutes later Terry had another breakaway but was tripped by Dakota Eveland this time. That gave the Canadians a power play for the start of the second half of the match. They didn’t capitalize on it but at 4:17 Max Grassi scored the much-sought 2-2 goal.
However, before the end of the third period Cannone scored his second goal of the game to give the Americans the lead.
At 2:06 of the fourth period Matt White capitalized on an American power play with a point shot for the two-goal lead. While the Canadians were desperately looking for scoring chances the Americans were watching out for counter attacks. Junior Cadiz made use of one of them. He moved the puck between Kyle Henderson’s skates and beat Canadian goalkeeper Brett Leggat for the 5-2 goal.
With 2:08 left Kirk French cut the deficit but the Americans defended the two-goal lead until the final buzzer.
Finland vs. Sweden 7-4 (2-1, 3-1, 1-2, 1-0) Video
In a game that went back and forth Finland had the better beginning – and also the better ending. The Lions defeated archrival Sweden 7-4. Six different players scored for Finland, Tommi Huhtala hit the back of the net twice.
“We feel pretty good. Finland against Sweden is always a good time,” Huhtala said.
“The tournament is still young but we go for a win in every game. It’s a good preparation for the playoffs. We want to go far in this tournament.”
After less than four minutes of play Finland’s Juho Joki-Erkkilä scored the opening goal with a backhand shot from the face-off dot but less than two minutes later Kristian Luukkonen tied it up for Sweden after Alexander Olsson’s pass from behind the net.
Finland ended the first period on a high note when Kim Strömberg passed to Sami Markkanen on the right side during a power play and the latter found the hole in the Swedish net from a short angle.
Finland extended the lead with a pair of goals early in the second period. Huhtala scored after a drop pass from Tomi Sallinen, and Cami Miettinen added a great fourth goal for Finland when he slalomed through the Swedish defence against three opponents and levelled the puck into the net when Swedish goalkeeper Dennis Karlsson was down.
Henrik Höglund cut the Finnish lead at 5:58 during a man advantage when he deflected a shot from Marcus Nilsson and a few minutes later Filip Gunnarsson hit the post during another power play.
Huhtala restored Finland’s three-goal lead with a point shot from 16 metres during a power play with 21 seconds left to play before the intermission.
The Swedes replaced goalie Karlsson with Andreas Ollikainen for the second half of the game and also found the offensive means for a comeback attempt.
Daniel Brolin brought Sweden back on a power play with a shot from the face-off circle into the near corner. Two minutes later Gunnarsson skated through on the left side and made it a one-goal game but less than a minute later Kim Strömberg answered with the 6-4 goal after a shot from the right face-off dot.
Sweden didn’t manage to get any closer in the 20 minutes remaining. With the Swedish goalie pulled, Miettinen had breakaway to the empty net. He waited before the goal line and gave the puck to Kari Lohtander for the 7-4 goal.
Slovenia vs. Slovakia 4-3 (0-1, 2-1, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0) OT Video
In a game with the score going back and forth Slovenia defeated Slovakia 4-3. Ales Remar scored the overtime goal at 3:20 of the extra period.
Slovakia, back in the top division after the relegation two years ago, hoped for a better result in this game and had the better start. Milan Siller hit the post after half a minute of play but scored the opening goal after nine minutes when he skated from left to right in front of the crease and beat Slovenian netminder Peter Skrabelj with a shot from an acute angle.
The Slovenes had a couple of chances in the second half of the period as well missed with several shots from good shooting positions.
However, they made it better in the second period. At 7:22 while playing shorthanded Anze Kuralt scored on a breakaway. One minute later Denis Kadic missed on a great opportunity when two Slovenes were alone in front of the Slovak net. He decided to shoot himself but the puck just hit the goalie.
With 41 seconds left before the halftime break Nejc Berlisk scored a power-play goal with a point shot after a horizontal pass from Kadic for the first Slovenian lead in this game but six seconds before the buzzer Juraj Jurik hit the back of the net on the other side after a centering pass to tie the game at two.
After the intermission Slovenia regained the lead. 59 seconds into the third period Matic Kralj showed three Slovaks up. He skated through the defence with Peter Novajovsky, Jurik and Miroslav Preisinger before shooting the puck past Slovak goalie Jozef Ondrejka.
The Slovaks still had 23 minutes to catch up but the Slovenes kept their net clean until late in the game when it got tense in the last minutes of regulation time.
After a high-sticking incident against Boris Ertel, Slovenia’s Kralj was assessed a double minor penalty giving Slovakia a lengthy power play. After 39 seconds Preisinger converted the first penalty with a point shot to tie the game. The Slovaks didn’t manage to capitalize on the second penalty though and the game was sent to overtime.
At 3:20 of the extra period it was Remar who broke through and beat Ondrejka through his five-hole.
Hungary vs. Japan 4-1 (2-0, 0-0, 1-1, 1-0)
Hungary remains unbeaten in its group before facing Austria for first place tomorrow. Today the Magyars defeated Japan 4-1.
The Hungarians took profit from two early goals from Attila Orban and Akos Kiss after four minutes of play and didn’t allow the Asians to come back.
Japan came as close as one goal when Keisuke Kawakami scored at 6:16 of the third period but 56 seconds later Zoltan Revak restored the two-goal lead for Hungary and Istvan Bartalis made it 4-1 in the last period.
Great Britain vs. Australia 5-4 (0-1, 1-0, 1-2, 2-1, 1-0) OT
Great Britain edged Australia 5-4 in overtime in a match-up between these Commonwealth nations. It was a hard-fought win in a game that went back and forth despite a shot-on-goal-advantage of 42-26 in favour of the British.
After 27 minutes of play it rather looked like the Australians would be able to upset the top-seeded team of this pool. Jack Clarkson tied the game at one for the British but goals from Sean Jones, Shaun Wickham and Michael York earned Australia a 3-1 lead.
But the British tied the game with goals from Matt Viney and Philip Hamer, and with 2:13 left in regulation time Clarkson scored his second goal for the first British lead in the game.
However, Michael Casaceli tied it up with a power-play goal with 31 seconds left in the period to send the game to overtime.
Australia held a 7-5 shot advantage in the extra period but while the teams were approaching a shootout, Kurt Waller scored the game-winning goal for Great Britain five seconds before the buzzer.
Austria vs. Argentina 6-1 (1-0, 4-1, 0-0, 1-0)
After a good start against Hungary, the Argentines didn’t manage to perform that well in their second game. Austria won 6-1 thanks to a strong second period.
Johannes Bischofberger was responsible for the first two goals, early in the first and early in the second period. 44 seconds later Andre Niec made it a three-goal lead for Austria.
Nicolas Chiaravalloti cut the deficit with his power-play marker but Youssef Riener and Harry Lange netted another pair of goals for Austria before halftime.
After more than 22 scoreless minutes in the second half of the game, Bischofberger completed his hat trick with the 6-1 goal in the final minutes of the game.
Croatia vs. Bulgaria 14-0 (3-0, 3-0, 4-0, 4-0)
After losing the opening game to Australia, the Croats rebounded against Bulgaria and won 14-0. The qualifier has now a goal record of 0-27 after two games.
Croatia outshot Bulgaria 77-8 en route to a lopsided score.
Tomislav Grozaj scored a hat trick in this game, and Igor Jacmenjak, Luka Novak and Nikola Grahovar had two goals each.
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