Sweden, USA play for gold

Inline semi-finals: Sweden-Canada 10-5, USA-Slovakia 11-4

07.06.2013
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The Swedish player made it to the gold medal game of the 2013 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship.

DRESDEN – Sweden defeated Canada 10-5 and will be back in the gold medal game of the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship after four years. They will face Team USA, which beat Slovakia 11-4, on Saturday. The Czech Republic and Germany won their placement games; Finland and Slovenia will play against relegation.

Top Division

Games on Saturday

Gold Medal Game: USA vs. Sweden, 19:00 (Live Stream)
Bronze Medal Game: Canada vs. Slovakia, 16:30 (Live Stream)
Relegation Game: Finland vs. Slovenia, 11:00 (Live Stream)

Semi-Finals

USA vs. Slovakia 11-4 (4-0, 4-1, 0-3, 3-0) Video

Slovakia upset Finland in the quarter-finals with the only win of the tournament but the Americans were out of their league. Team USA won the semi-final clash 11-4.

Matt White scored a hat trick in the lopsided victory while Junior Cadiz and Travis Noe accounted for two goals apiece.

“It feels good to be in the final,” White said. “Everyone played hard. We skated hard. We can’t complain there and now we have to stay focused for tomorrow.”

The game was virtually decided when the Americans scored two goals in the last minute of the first period for the 4-0 lead, and if not, then latest after the 8-1 halftime score.

Team USA opened the scoring after four minutes of play. Kyle Novak passed the puck from the left boards to the far right where Cody Kettler sent off a point shot straight into the net. Robert Alexander made it 2-0 with 66 seconds left. He came from behind the net with a semi-wraparound and beat Slovak goalkeeper Jozef Ondrejka with a backhand shot into the far corner.

To make things even worse for Slovakia, the Americans added two more goals in the last minute of the opening period. Cadiz ended a fast attack after a horizontal pass from Greg Thompson, and the latter scored the 4-0 goal with the buzzer with another semi-wraparound, this time from the left side.

White scored the fifth goal 57 seconds into the second period when he was given the opportunity to shoot from between the face-off circles.

At 3:12 Cadiz ended an odd-man rush after a pass from Thompson for the 6-0 goal.

With 2:57 left before halftime, Tomas Jasko became the first Slovak goal scorer on a breakaway. But White also netted the puck on a breakaway one-and-a-half minutes later with a shot through Ondrejka’s five-hole. With 28 seconds left in the period Noe followed suit with a similar goal for the 8-1 score.

The Slovaks changed goalkeepers as Vladimir Neumann came in for the third period and they also managed to change things in the offensive zone as they won the period 3-0.

Miroslav Preisinger battled through the defence and couldn’t be prevented from scoring by three Americans. Milan Siller was responsible for Slovakia’s third goal with a point shot from the right face-off circle and 40 seconds later Preisinger made it 8-4 by beating U.S. goalkeeper Jerry Kuhn III through the five-hole on a breakaway.

“Nothing is given to you,” White said. “Slovakia played really hard. It was 8-4 at one point. They had us on our heels.”

Despite the Slovak efforts in the third frame the Americans wouldn’t allow the Slovaks a comeback. Noe added the United States’ ninth goal at 2:31 of the fourth period for the 9-4 score and Pat Cannone scored the tenth goal. White completed his hat trick with the 11-4 goal late in the game.

Sweden vs. Canada 10-5 (2-0, 2-2, 0-3, 6-0) Video

Sweden will play in the gold medal game of the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship for the first time since 2009 after eliminating defending champion Canada in an 10-5 semi-final win.

Two times Canada came back after a Swedish two-goal lead but Sweden turned the game in the last period.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Swedish forward Henrik Höglund said. “We played a good game. We were up to a two-goal lead and they came back and scored the 5-4 goal. But we didn’t panic and it worked out for us.”

Tre Kronor went up 2-0 in the first period. Daniel Brolin opened the scoring with a long shot deflected by Kristian Luukkonen that went in just under the crossbar.

Marcus Nilsson shovelled the puck around Canada’s Josh Foote and beat goalkeeper Brett Leggat with a shot in the top-right corner.

Sweden ran into penalty trouble at the end of the first and the beginning of the second frame. The Canadians converted two of the three straight power plays to tie the game at two.

At 2:24 of the second period Kirk French skated to the goal from his own end and Matt Garb converted his diagonal pass to the crease. Adam Ross tied it up 71 seconds later with a shot from the left face-off dot into the top-right corner.

The Swedes recovered and earned another two-goal lead late in the period.

At 10:09 Daniel Brodin came from the left side and sent the puck through traffic to the right where the tournament’s top goal scorer Höglund netted the puck.

31 seconds later Dick Axelsson and Carl Berglund put pressure on the Canadian defence with some nice double passing and Berglund eventually netted the puck to make it a two-goal lead for Sweden just before the halftime break.

The injury-plagued Swedes replaced goalkeeper Andreas Ollikainen during the break and brought in Dennis Karlsson. After five minutes he was beaten for the first time when Canada enjoyed a power play. Thomas Woods brought the maple leaf team back within one goal and in the next four minutes Chris Terry added two goals to turn things around.

At 6:52 he broke through on the right and lifted the puck over Karlsson’s pads in front of the crease. Two minutes later Terry brought Canada the lead with his second goal. He deked a Swede on a breakaway and scored with a low shot.

The pressure was on the Swedes now and early in the fourth frame the Scandinavians tied the game again. Brolin brought the puck to the crease from where it went in via Höglund, and at 3:53 Nilsson coming from the left side scored his second goal for the 6-5 lead.

The Canadians tried to rear up and played more aggressively but it was at no avail.

“It’s a semi-final. It should be a little physical. I love that,” Höglund said.

And the Swedes love to score goals too.

Carl Berglund got the puck to the crease from Axelsson in a counter-attack and made it a two-goal lead with less than five minutes left in regulation time.

Terry missed a big chance to score with three minutes left when the Swedes lost a puck and he got the opportunity for a breakaway but Swedish goalie Karlsson won this duel.

In the last minute the Swedes added three more goals for a high score that didn’t reflect the tight game anymore.

Alexander Olsson sealed the win when he scored the 8-5 goal into the empty net with 52 seconds left, and Luukkonen and Nilsson added two more goals in the last minute with the Canadian goalkeeper Leggat in the net for the final score of 10-5.

Placement Games 5-8

Finland vs. Germany 5-7 (0-1, 1-2, 1-3, 3-0) Video

After losing four games straight host nation Germany was looking hard for a change in front of its vocal home crowd. With a 7-5 victory against favoured Finland the Germans managed to stay in the top division while Finland has to play the relegation game against Slovenia.

At 9:00 Sören Sturm opened the scoring with a shot from the left face-off dot on a power play.

Stefan Ortolf made it 2-0 after 23 seconds in the second period when he was fed with a puck from Steffen Tölzer in front of the crease.

Six minutes later Christian Wichert had a rush on the right side. He outplayed Finnish defenceman Lasse Lappalainen and made it a three-goal lead for the host nation.

With 1:52 left before the halftime break Finland’s Kim Strömberg cut the deficit after receiving a horizontal pass.

Coming back from the dressing room, Kim Strömberg brought Finland one goal closer but Germany replied with three unanswered goals.

At 6:00 Tölzer made it 4-2 after a pass from Stefan Ortolf. Two minutes later a breakaway goal from Florian Engel brought Germany a three-goal lead to the excitement of the fans at the EnergieVerbund Arena, and with 16 seconds left in the period Ortolf deflected a shot from Sturm for the 6-2 goal.

Finland changed goalkeepers for the last period. Petri Karhu was taken out, Juha Taponen came in and Jori Lehterä scored Finland’s third goal on a power play in the first minute.

With two more goals the Finns made the German crowd nervous. At 3:21 Jesse Saarinen added another Finnish marker with a perfect shot from the face-off circle into the far corner to shorten the gap to two goals and two minutes later German goalkeeper Maximilian Englbrecht let in a Lasse Lappalainen shot from an acute angle.

Suddenly it was just 6-5 for Germany and there were still almost six minutes to play. The Germans got hard work for the dying minutes and once the Finns had the opportunity they pulled the goalkeeper in the last minute. But Daniel Menge had a breakaway. The German outskated Finland’s Laaksonen, who held him from behind, but while falling down Menge managed to move the puck into the empty net for the 7-5 goal.

Czech Republic vs. Slovenia 7-2 (1-0, 2-0, 1-1, 3-1) Video

The Czech Republic won the placement game against Slovenia 7-2 and will finish the tournament in 5th or 6th place one year before hosting it in Pardubice. Slovenia will play tomorrow’s relegation game against the loser of tonight’s Finland-Germany game.

The Czechs dominated the game from the beginning and had an 11-1 shot-on-goal advantage after the first period, in which Jan Besser scored the only goal. At 7:25 he capitalized on a rebound after a Jaroslav Moucka shot.

Before the halftime break they added two more goals. At 3:19 of the second period Ludek Broz approached the goal from the right and sent off a slap shot just under the crossbar. Two minutes later it was 3-0 after a double-pass play with Patrik Sebek and Petr Tenkrat.

Sebek added a second goal three-and-a-half minutes after the intermission. He scored on a breakaway a few seconds after the Czechs had killed a penalty.

Ken Ograjensek scored the first Slovenian goal at 9:13 of the third period.

In the last frame Sebek completed the hat trick with a shorthanded goal. Tenkrat and Vladimir Kames also scored for the Czech Republic, Nejc Berlisk added a second marker for Slovenia on a power play with 21 seconds left in the game.

Division I

Games on Saturday

Gold Medal Game: Austria vs. Great Britain, 14:00 (Live Stream)
Bronze Medal Game: Australia vs. Hungary, 12:00

Semi-Finals

Austria vs. Hungary 3-2 (2-0, 0-1, 1-0, 0-1)

Last year’s bronze medal winner Austria will play in the final while last year’s runner-up Hungary has to play for bronze. The Austrians won the neighbouring clash 3-2.

The red-and-white team had a strong opening period in which goals from Andre Niec and Johannes Bischofberger earned the team a 2-0 lead but Hungary put more pressure later on.

Istvan Bartalis scored the 2-1 goal at 3:52 of the second period.

Austria’s Benjamin Petrik was responsible for the only goal in the third frame but a power-play marker from Attila Rafaj brought Hungary back with 7:20 left in regulation time.

However, the Austrians managed to defend the 3-2 lead until the very end and will play Great Britain in a game for Division I gold and promotion to the top nations.

Australia vs. Great Britain 1-6 (0-1, 0-1, 0-3, 1-1)

Great Britain ended the Australian dream of a final and made it to the Division I gold medal game itself after beating its rival 6-1.

The British played in the final two years ago and earned promotion to the top division, from which they were relegated last year.

Australia created many scoring chances but James Tanner had a strong performance in the British net saving 20 of 21 shots.

Daniel Hutchinson opened the scoring for Great Britain 69 seconds into the game and on the first power play of the game Nathan Finney made it 2-0 at 7:45 of the second frame.

At 3:54 Robert Shelton scored another British power-play goal and Alex Pearman added two more markers in the period for the 5-0 lead.

Great Britain’s Philip Hamer and Australia’s Sean Jones scored in the fourth period for the final score of 6-1.

Placement Games 5-8

Croatia vs. Bulgaria 14-2 (6-1, 2-1, 2-0, 4-0)

Croatia sent Bulgaria down to the qualification with a clear 14-2 victory.

The Croats didn’t want to wait too long to make their stay in Division I clear and earned a 5-0 lead after just nine minutes of play.

Mario Novak contributed four goals, his linemates Igor Jacmenjak and Miro Smerdelj scored a pair of goals each. Niksa Trstenjak, Mario Cunko, Luka Novak, Matija Kopajtic and Kresimir Polasek scored the other Croatian goals.

Plamen Veselinov and Kristian Semkov netted the puck for Bulgaria.

Japan vs. Argentina 5-2 (2-1, 0-0, 1-0, 2-1)

Japan also won its second game against Argentina, 5-2, and maintains in the Division I of the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship while Argentina is relegated to the qualification.

The Asians again faced a determined team from South America that lacked of success in the scoring department.

Kentaro Nishinaga opened the scoring after 38 seconds. Miguel de Achaval tied it up at 9:55 but 18 seconds later Gentaro Tsuchimoto regained the lead for Japan.

The Japanese sealed the win with three unanswered goals from Nishinaga, Shuhei Kobayashi and Daisuke Ohto in the second half of the game. Nicolas Chiaravalloti scored the second Argentine goal late in the game.

Click here for the tournament website with stats, photos, videos and a live stream.

MARTIN MERK

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