2014 NARCH FINALS
  Canadians performed well at the 2014 NARCH finals! the final results are as follows: SQUIRT PLAT...

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Roller Hockey Player Jake Virtanen Drafted to the Canucks!
    A couple of weeks ago, Jake Virtanen was backstage at Abbotsford’s Sevenoaks Alliance Church, ...

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SILVER MEDALISTS - 2014 CZECH REPUBLIC
Down 3-2 in the final period, Canada gave up an early power-play goal to the Finns. Kari Lohtander s...

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Gold within reach: Canada v Finland for IIHF Gold
  PARDUBICE – Finland will compete for its first IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship gold medal...

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2014 NARCH FINALS
Roller Hockey Player Jake Virtanen Drafted to the...
SILVER MEDALISTS - 2014 CZECH REPUBLIC
Gold within reach: Canada v Finland for IIHF...

2014 NARCH FINALS

 

Canadians performed well at the 2014 NARCH finals! the final results are as follows:

SQUIRT PLATINUM: HALTON ALKALI COYOTES (ON): 2ND

SQUIRT GOLD: HERWOOD PARK BULLFROGS (AB): 4TH

PEEWEE PLATINUM: FIRST STAR HOCKEY DUCKS (ON): 5TH

PEEWEE GOLD: HALTON ALKALI COYOTES (ON):  2ND

PEEWEE SILVER: TEAM UNITED (AB): 1ST

BANTAM PLATINUM- MISSISSAUGA MISSION RATTLERS 97 (ON) 4TH

BANTAM SLIVER/CLUB – MISSISSAUGA MISSION RATTLERS (ON) 6TH

MIDGET PLATINUM – MISSISSAUGA MISSION RATTLERS (ON) 4TH

MIDGET SLIVER – MISSISSAIGA MISSION RATTLERS (ON) 5TH

JUNIOR PLATINUM – MISSISSAUGA MISSION RATTLERS (ON) 9TH

MEN’S GOLD – MONTREAL MIXERS (QC) 8TH

MEN’S SILVER/BRONZE – MONTREAL MIXERS (QC) – 5TH

 

It definitely sounded like a good time for all! To watch the PRO FINALS CLICK HERE! 

 

Roller Hockey Player Jake Virtanen Drafted to the Canucks!

 

 

A couple of weeks ago, Jake Virtanen was backstage at Abbotsford’s Sevenoaks Alliance Church, waiting to accept his diploma during the Yale Secondary convocation ceremony.
Students were lined up in alphabetical order, which was how Jake found himself alongside his cousin J.J. with plenty of time to kill.

It occurred to J.J. that Jake should treat the walk across the stage as practice – on June 27, he’ll make a similar stroll at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, when a National Hockey League team calls his name in the first round of the 2014 entry draft.
It’ll be a short walk, but it’s been a long journey.
So how does a youngster emerge from the cast of thousands who register for minor hockey each year in Canada, to the brink of NHL employment?
In Virtanen’s case, it’s tempting to simply chalk it all up to natural talent.
 

The 17-year-old is arguably the most physically gifted prospect in the draft: a swift-skating, hard-shooting, bull-in-a-china-shop winger who racked up 45 goals and 26 assists for 71 points in 71 regular season games with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen this past season, along with a +23 rating and 100 penalty minutes. He was similarly outstanding for Team Canada at the U18 World Championships in Finland in April, leading the team in scoring (three goals and three assists in seven games) en route to a bronze medal.

The 6’1”, 210-pounder earned the highest overall grade during on-ice testing at the Canadian major junior top prospects game in January, registering the top times in both the forward- and backward-skating sprints. And his shooting ability was said to be NHL-calibre three years ago, when the Hitmen made him the first overall pick in the WHL bantam draft.

To read more click here.. 

 

SILVER MEDALISTS - 2014 CZECH REPUBLIC

Down 3-2 in the final period, Canada gave up an early power-play goal to the Finns. Kari Lohtander scored on slapshot from the left circle to give his team the 4-2 lead.

Then Kim Stromberg, whose two goals sunk the Canadians in the preliminary round, added another on the power play after Canada's Kirk French was called for slashing. 

The nail on the coffin for Canada was a technical goal given to the Finns after an attacking Finnish player was brought down by a player on the Canadian bench. The 6-2 lead put the game out of reach and denied any chance at a Canadian comeback, giving the Finns the victory and their first gold medal of the 2010s.

"Feels amazing, I was there as a player 11 years ago and it's been a long time and a lot of great people involved with inline hockey in Finland," said team captain Jesse Saarinen, who played on the last Finnish team to win inline gold. "It's a great reward for everybody who's been working for this for a long time and I'm just so proud of the team that we were able to put the Finnish Lion back to the top."

The 2014 gold medal game kicked off with both teams playing a fast up-and-down game putting goaltenders Brett Leggat and Sasu Hovi to the test early. The pace seemed to affect the Canadians for the worse, as team showed signs of weariness after having played back-to-back shootout playoff games.

"We knew that and that was the plan because we had four couples and forwards and three couples of D," said Finnish head coach Timo Nurmberg. "We knew that the further the game goes we would be stronger."

Finland struck first when Kari Lohtander got the puck into the Canadian zone and picked a perfect cross-crease pass to an open Petri Partanen, who fired in it from the right circle for the 1-0 lead.

The Finns went up 2-0 early in the second with a wraparound effort by Tomi Penttinen, looping around the Canadian net and firing a low shot on Leggat, who could not get his paddle down in time to stop the puck going in.

Canada tried to slow things down and play more of a puck-possession game following the second Finnish goal. The team got a desperately-needed break when Juri Aalto was called for hooking. On the power play, David Hammond‘s wrist shot from the point found its way in to cut the lead to 2-1.

Canada tied the game in the third period with a well-placed shot from Chris Rauckman that went from the left circle to the far post, bouncing off it and into the net.

But the Finns replied almost immediately when Partanen came into the Canadian zone and found himself surrounded by three Canadian defenders. The Finnish forward waited until the defenceman in front of him was screening Leggat before firing a wrist shot that went underneath Leggat’s right arm, putting the Finns back up 3-2. It would be the closest the Canadians would get, as Finland would not relinquish the lead again.

"Right now it's not the best feeling in the world," said Canadian captain Kirk French. "I think that after some time, maybe tomorrow morning, we'll wake up and it'll sink in what we accomplished this past weekend knocking off the one-seed U.S. and the two-seed Czechs. We came in a little tired because the guys put it out there the last couple of games. It is what it is, you learn by losing not winning." 

The win gives Finland its first inline hockey gold medal since 2003. Canada gets its seventh overall medal at the inline hockey worlds, and its third silver.

Gold within reach: Canada v Finland for IIHF Gold

 

PARDUBICE – Finland will compete for its first IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship gold medal in eleven years after defeating Sweden 4-2 in the semi-finals to extend its 2014 unbeaten streak to five games. Joining the Finns will be 2013 bronze medallists Canada, who defeated the United States in a shootout in the second semi-final.

Finland – Sweden 4-2 (0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 1-2) Postgame

“We have a group of guys that are a really tight group,” said Finnish team captain Jesse Saarinen. “Everybody plays the system and wants to play the system and wants to play for the team, and I think that’s a good combination.”

Up 1-0 after two periods, Finland pushed the lead to 3-0, the first goal coming when Janne Laakkonen got into the Swedish zone and made a cross ice pass to Saarinen, who beat Swedish goaltender Andreas Ollikainen with a perfectly-placed shot to the far side to the goal. Less than a minute later, Laakkonen and Ossi Pellinen found themselves alone in front of the Swedish net following a rush, Laakkonen making the quick pass to Pellinen who slotted the puck home.

Then in the fourth Markus Jokinen got his second goal of the game, beating Ollikainen with a backhand shot to put a 4-0 stranglehold on the Swedes. Sweden cut the lead to 4-1 with a nice goal from Marcus Nilsson, who got off a difficult backhand shot that bounced up off the goaltender, allowing him to bat in the rebound from the air.

Then Finnish goaltender Sasu Hovi was called for delay of game after knocking the net off its moorings. On the power play Robin Sjoren cut the lead to 4-2 with a shot from the high slot. Finland had the chance to close out the Swedes when Petri Partanen was brought down by defenceman Johan Lilja on a breakaway, leading to a penalty shot that sailed just wide off the backhand. Sweden called a timeout following the missed attempt and tried to rally, but couldn’t get any more past Hovi as time ran out and the Finns booked their ticket to the gold medal game.

“It was a long time ago, of course I have some experience that I’ll share with the guys and we’ll see what happens,” said head coach Timo Nurmberg, who played on the 2003 gold medal winning Finnish team, the last team to win gold in inline for the country.

The game started out slowly as neither team was willing to risk giving up an odd-man rush to the other. The Finns had the lion’s share of the offensive pressure but did produce enough quality scoring chances to challenge Ollikainen.

But the Finns finally broke through in the second period. With his team playing short-handed, Markus Jokinen streaked into the Swedish zone down the right boards, bouncing the puck off the board and skating past the Swedish defender, regaining possession of the puck and putting it through Ollikainen’s legs for the game’s first goal.

At the other end, Sasu Hovi stopped 17 shots in the first half, including two solid back to back saves to keep Sweden scoreless, first stopping forward Carl Berglund on a breakaway then stoning Berglund and Andreas Svensson immediately after during a two-on-one rush.

“I knew before the tournament started that we had a good defensive team, and that really helps take the pressure off the goaltender obviously,” said Hovi. “I knew we would do a good job on defence but I didn’t see our scoring potential until a few games in, so now we’re stronger than I expected us to be.”

Finland moves on to the gold medal game, the first time the team has made it this far since 2007.  They will face Team Canada, returning to the gold medal game after winning it all in the 2012 tournament. In the preliminary round game between the two teams, Finland outscored Canada 3-1 en route to a 5-3 victory.

USA – Canada  5-6 SO (2-2, 1-1, 1-1, 1-0, 0-0,0-1) Postgame

In what was a classic battle between two of the world’s top inline hockey teams, Canada won its second consecutive shootout victory, defeating the United States 6-5 and joining Finland in the 2014 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship gold medal game.

“I’ll be happier tomorrow when we win the gold, that’s what we came here for,” said Thomas Woods, who was selected as both the Player of the Game for Canada and the team’s top player for the tournament. “I’m happy to win those individual accomplishments but in the end it’s about the team, we still got one more goal here and we look forward to playing tomorrow.”

The top-seeded United States, last year’s gold medallists, came into the fourth quarter down 5-4. But the Americans tied things with just over ten minutes to go, on a power play goal scored by Travis Noe.

In sudden-death overtime, U.S. forward Junior Cadiz looked to have the game won with an open chance in front of the net, but shot low allowing Canada goalie to get his paddle down and make a huge save to keep his team alive and push the game to a shootout.

Thomas Woods was the first to shoot, scoring with a forehand deke. Tournament leading scorer Matt White’s luck dried up after he shot the puck wide to the left of the Canadian net. Then captain Chris Terry scored with a wristshot for the Canadians, putting the pressure on Noe who scored with a forehand shot into the roof of the net,

Kuhn III managed to make the key stop on the next Canadian shooter, putting the game onto the shoulders of Patrick Lee who could not beat Leggat, sending the Canadians to the gold medal game.

“I wouldn’t say I wasn’t worried, but it felt awfully familiar given that the last (shootout) came less than 24 hours ago,” said Leggat.

“We’re disappointed obviously,” said head coach Joe Cook. “They out-chanced us and buried the puck when they needed to.”

One of the keys to the victory was the attacking strategy the Canadians employed, something the powerful American team hadn’t seen much of in earlier game at the tournament.

“It was something we talked about today during video, if you look at the path they took through the tournament they hadn’t really played a team that jumped at them,” said Canada head coach Jason Stephens. “Everybody kind of laid back and let the Americans come at them, and we said that tonight we can’t do that, that we had to make them stick to a pace that we set.”

“The American team’s an unreal talent, and to be able to dictate the pace at times and put the pressure on them a little bit we could see the cracks starting to form.”

The game was fast-paced right from the beginning as the teams played  up-tempo and traded goals back and forth through the first half. The two North American rivals got things going early, battling to a 3-3 tie in the opening period.

Canada got on the board first on the power play, when Kyle Sheen slipped in front of the net behind the two Finnish defenders and Thomas Woods found him with a pass for the opening goal.

But the Americans responded minutes later with a power play marker of their own, coming off a well-placed shot from tournament top scorer Matt White in the right circle that bounced off the far post and into the net. Defenceman Peter Kavaya added a score, his first of the tournament giving the Americans the 2-1 lead.  

Canadians tied things up when Chris Terry threw the puck on net and Woods outmuscled the USA defender to tip in into the net.

On a second period power-play, Junior Cadiz made a cross ice pass through to Tyler Spezia, who fired it into the top right corner to regain the one-goal lead.

Canada’s Josh Foote tied things up with a nice backhand finish on a rush created by linemate Kirk French, knotting things up 3-3 going into halftime.

The teams came out of halftime tied 3-3, Canada regained the lead for the first time since the opening minutes of the game, as captain Chris Terry beat USA goaltender Jerry Kuhn III with a slapshot through the five-hole.

But as with every lead in the game so far it was short-lived, as Patrick Lee deflected the puck into the net to tie things up once more 4-4.  

But the Canadians responded quickly, as French made a backhand pass from the left boards to an open Brennan Luscombe coming down the middle of the ice putting Canada up 5-4 going into the final period, leading ultimately to the coutnry’s second straight shootout triumph.

Canada will now face Finland, a win would give the country its third ever gold medal in Inline hockey history.

Slovakia – Germany 4-5 SO (0-1, 0-2, 3-0, 1-1, 0-0, 0-1) Postgame

Fabio Carciola scored the game-winning shootout goal and potted another as Germany survived a scare from Slovakia and avoided the relegation game.

The Germans built up a 3-0 lead through two periods, as Patrick Seifer, Yannik Baier, and Fabio Carciola found the back of the net.

But the Slovaks roared back in the third period, scoring three goals in less than two minutes. First It was Roman Simunek who lit the lap early in the period, followed up by Juraj Prokop less than thirty seconds later. Andrej Mrazik got his second assist of the period as Jakub Ruckay, the team’s leading scorer, tied the game up 3-3.

Germany’s Adriano Carciola, Fabio’s brother, put his team back up by a goal in the fourth quarter,but with three minutes to go Peter Novajovsky equalized for the Slovaks, sending the game into overtime.

The loss means Slovakia will face Great Britain to decide which country will be relegated to Division I.

Czech Republic – Great Britain 6-1 (1-0, 3-0, 1-0, 1-1) Postgame

Great Britain will play against Slovakia in the relegation game after losing to the Czech Republic 6-1 in the placement round on Friday.

Michal Simo had four points (1G+3A), Patrik Sebek had a goal and two helpers, and Martin Vozdecky scored a goal and an assist bringing his personal total to 11 points in five games. Simo finished with a team-high 13 points.


ADAM STEISS