Tuesday, December 29, 2009

WJC Recap: Day Four

It was a day of hats, hats and hits. Chris Kreider scored a hat trick for Team USA. Hours later Ryan Ellis had a had trick for Team Canada. Slovakia and Latvia, undermanned in the offensive department, decided to dish out hits by the dozen instead. And several Kings prospects had shining moments on Tuesday.

Czech Republic 7, Austria 1
Hard to believe, but this was the first win for the Czechs in three games this year. Seven different players scored for the Republic, led by 2010 draft eligible defenseman Vladimir Roth, who had four points (1g, 3a).

United States 12, Latvia 1
Mike Lee was back in net for the Americans after Jack Campbell's stellar performance in game two vs. Switzerland. This was a little bit of a surprise. Lee looked shaky at times in the opening game vs. Slovakia, although he eventually got the win. Campbell, on the other hand, was brilliant vs. the Swiss and was probably more deserving of the start here.

Prior to the game Danny Kristo (Montreal Canadiens) was moved from the top line to to the fourth line. Obviously, he wasn't happy about it and played like a man possessed. He scored the first of his two goals less than three minutes after the puck dropped.

The second goal of the game was a sweet one. Ray Bourque's son, Ryan, set up Team USA's youngest player - Jason Zucker (who also finished with two goals).

Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) had a fairly dramatic hat trick, getting his third on a penalty shot late in the game.

Overall, Team USA continued to get goals from guys taken in previous NHL drafts: Derek Stepan 2 goals (New York Rangers), Danny Kristo 2 goals, A.J. Jenks (Florida Panthers) and Jeremy Morin (Atlanta Thrasher).

Jordan Schroeder picked up two more assists, moving him within 3 points of Jeremy Roenick's all-time USA points record.

Sweden 4, Russia 1
The machine that is Team Sweden just keeps rolling on. Oilers prospect 'MPS' Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson backed up his five point performance in the last game with three points vs. the Russians (1 goal, 2 assists). His linemate (Ottawa Sens prospect) Andre Petersson also had a pair of goals. In net for Sweden was 6'5" Florida Panthers prospect Jacob Markstrom.

Canada 8, Slovakia 2
Coming into this game Jake Allen was in goal for both of Canada's games in this tournament. Both were shutouts. Kings prospect Martin Jones got the call for this game and gave up two goals. However, that's a bit deceiving. He was brilliant at times and neither goal were really his fault. One was on the powerplay after Team Canada captain Patrice Cormier had taken a stupid penalty.

And don't let the final score fool you - this was one of the most exciting 8-2 games you'll ever see. Slovakia was banging bodies all night long and the physicality of the game was reminiscent of a good NHL playoff game.

While much of the Canadian press will be gushing about Hall's hat trick and this being his probable coming out party - that will probably lead to him being taken number one overall at the June NHL draft - one of the best moments in the game involved two Kings prospects. 2009 sixth round pick Brandon Kozun came flying down the wing and dished it off to '09 first round pick Brayden Schenn for one of the prettiest goals scored in the tournament so far.

What's next?

Wednesday will be an off day for most of the big boys - the only two games scheduled are Finland-Austria and Switzerland-Latvia.

Thursday features four games, but to be honest, the only game everybody will be talking about is the big one...Canada vs. USA. With both teams at 3-0 in pool play the winner will get a bye into the semi-finals on Sunday.

Since the USA beat Canada for the Gold Medal in 2004 the two teams have met five times...with Canada winning all five, including last year's thriller on New Year's Eve where John Tavares scored a hat trick to beat the Americans. Yeah, him - the guy that went on to be the #1 overall pick in last June's NHL draft.

Team USA vs. Canada can be seen live New Year's Eve on the NHL Network at 5pm PST. See two teams stocked with current NHL prospects and 2010 draft picks. Enjoy the stars of the future putting it all on the line for international bragging rights.

The Mayor

1 comment:

  1. It will be great to watch Florida Panthers, i have bought tickets from
    http://ticketfront.com/event/Florida_Panthers-tickets looking forward to it.