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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ice Time: A Day's Worth Of Recaps

There were a ton of games scheduled for today, many of which took place before I was able to get home from work so I wasn't able to watch a whole lot.  A total of 5 games were on the official schedule beginning with the first men's game which I already recapped earlier. 


This afternoon, the USA women's hockey team faced the Russian Federation team.  There wasn't much to say about this game.  It was pretty much all USA from the beginning.  Jenny Potter scored her second hat-trick of the Olympic games as Team USA rolled to a 13-0 win.  The Russian team was really disappointing because they came out completely flat.  They finished the game with only 7 shots on goal and took a lot of penalties due to frustration.  

I think I already mentioned the fact that the Russian women do not have a large support in their home country because the men overshadow what the women are attempting to do.  Each year when they get involved in these international tournaments, they have to at least show up so that maybe, someone will pay attention back home and they can start to get the support they need to keep their program going.  This performance didn't help their cause any.


In the most anticipated debut of the Olympic games, we had the Canadian men's team facing off against Norway.  It took awhile for everything to start moving, with the score 0-0 at the end of the first period.  But, as the game went on, the crowd got rowdy and their team responded.  Jerome Iginla got things moving on the powerplay with the first goal followed a minute and a half later by a blast from the faceoff circle by Dany Heatley the caught the back of the net.  

It was all over but the crying after that.  The Canadians went on to score another 6 goals, with Iginla getting a hat-trick (the Olympic site doesn't credit him with the goal at this point but it was his).  In their defense, Norway does not have a single NHL player on their roster although they compete together as a team on a permanent basis.  Canada's roster is entirely made up of NHL stars and superstars.  Final score here was 8-0.  Canada outshot Norway 42-15.


In this Group B preliminary round of the women's tournament, China tried to rebound after their destruction by Team USA.  The Fins looked to go 2-0 and make their case for a shot at a medal.

The first period play was dominated by Finland but the score didn't reflect that.  China was able to score first when Linuo Wang blasted a slapshot from the left faceoff circle beating Noora Raty over the right shoulder.  Not only was this only China's second goal of the tournament but it was a shorthanded goal.  The period ended with China holding onto their 1-0 lead. 

After the second period started, Finland finally woke back up and started putting the pressure on China.  China has a hard time playing defense in the slot.  They leave their opponents too much time to make plays and set up shop, especially on penalty kills.  This ended up their downfall and they lost in the end 2-1.  This was by far the most competitive women's match game yet.  China, despite their obvious issues, showed a lot of heart and won't go down without a fight.


This is the matchup I was waiting for all day.  Russia vs. Latvia would feature two of the most high impact players in the NHL today with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.  It also features two Penguin players with Malkin and Sergei Gonchar, as well as former Penguin Alexei Morozov who used to play alongside Mario Lemieux in the late 90s. 

Russia drew first blood scoring right after the end of their first penalty kill within the first 3 minutes of the game.  Danis Zaripov got the first goal on a nice feed from Malkin.  Zaripov was the KHL (Russian Super League) MVP.  Alex Radulov, the former Nashville Predator that left for Russia at the end of last season, scored goal #2 of a rebound of a Sergei Fedorov shot.  With 35 seconds left in the first, Alexander Semin stole the puck behind the net, centered to his Washington Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin, who put it in the back of the net on a nice wrist shot.

Russia made it 4-0 just 1:42 before the end of the second period when Ilya Kovalchuk's slapshot hit teammate Maxim Afinogenov near the goal and the puck bounced to Evgeni Malkin, who blasted it into the back of the net. 

The start of the third period was crazy.  Herberts Vasiljevs scored Latvia's first goal 33 seconds in.  26 seconds later, Ovechkin answered with his second goal.  A half minute later, Zaripov scored his second goal.  Kovalchuk made it 7-1 for Russia with only 3 minutes ticked off the clock. 

Girts Ankipans was somehow able to score Latvia's only other goal only to have Alexei Morozov adding number 8 with about a minute left.

Russia wins, convincingly! 8-2

1 comment:

  1. Yet another USA rout in a women’s ice hockey game! I am not surprised. Just have the USA play Canada for the gold medal already and get this tournament over with!


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