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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Canada wins a thriller - moves on to Semis vs USA
PARDUBICE – Canada moves on to the semi-finals after surviving a tight battle with the Czech Repub...

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Roller Hockey Player Jake Virtanen Drafted to the...
SILVER MEDALISTS - 2014 CZECH REPUBLIC
Gold within reach: Canada v Finland for IIHF...
Canada wins a thriller - moves on to...

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.

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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 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

Canada wins a thriller - moves on to Semis vs USA

PARDUBICE – Canada moves on to the semi-finals after surviving a tight battle with the Czech Republic, winning 6-5 in the shootout. Team Sweden’s offence is firing on all cylinders as it moves on to the 2014 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship semi-final round with a 12-1 blowout of Slovakia. Top-ranked Team USA, the 2013 defending champions, also advanced with a 4-1 defeat of Germany. In Division I, Latvia got its first ever IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship victory, defeating Austria 4-3 in a shootout.

Here are the semi-final matchups:

Top Division:
15:00 - Finland vs. Sweden
17:00 - USA vs. Canada

Division I:
18:00 - Croatia vs. Australia
20:00 - Slovenia vs. Latvia

Czech Republic – Canada 5-6 SO (1-0, 2-1, 0-1, 2-3, 0-0, 0-1) Postgame

In what was the wildest game so far of the 2014 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship, the quarter-final matchup between Canada and the Czech Republic ended on the stick of captain Chris Terry, who scored the game-winning shootout goal to send the Canadians back to the semi-final round and complete a dramatic third period comeback.

“Ecstatic,” said goaltender Brent Leggat. “Going in and facing a tough Czech team inside a really loud arena and coming out with a win, I couldn’t be happier.”

Down 3-2 in the final period, 2013 bronze medallists Canada were staring at an early exit from the playoff round and a trip to the placement game.
Things look more grim when Patrik Sebek scored to make it 4-2 for the Czechs, faking a slapshot to make the Canadian defender go down to block, skating around him and beating Leggat between the legs for the two-goal lead.

But the insurance goal evaporated seconds later as Team Canada captain Chris Terry got ahold of a rebound in front of the Czech net to cut the lead back down to one.

Then with just over six and a half minutes to go Canadian Brendan Baumgartner came into the Czech zone and dropped a pass back to linemate Dave Hammond open in the slot for the tying score.

That goal put all the momentum to the Canadian side, and seconds later off a rush Thomas Woods scored to give his team its first lead of the game.

Finding themselves down 5-4, the Czechs went on the power play with 4:30 remaining, and Patrik Sebek converted his second goal of the game, firing a shot from the point that was deflected in front of the net.

Neither team was able to score again in regulation or overtime, so it came down to a battle of the goalies to decide which team would advance to the semi-final round.

First up was Leggat facing Sebek, who feinted and then fired a shot glove side into the back of the net.

Woods then replied for Canada beating Salficky with a backhand deke. Leggat returned the favour on the next attempt by the Czechs, stopping Simo with a pad save. Then Chris Terry converted to put all the pressure on Czech top scorer Martin Vozdecky, who could not beat the glove of Leggat, giving Canada the shootout victory.  

“Looking at the talented players on the Czech roster, we knew who was going to be shooting,” said Canada head coach Jason Stephens. “Fortunately Leggat played great and Chris and Woodsy were able to get pucks in for us.”

“We wanted to win the game in overtime and not have to take it to the shootout, unfortunately the Canadians were the luckier team today,” said goaltender Dusan Salficky.

The Czechs scored the game’s first goal at 11:45 into the first period when Vladimir Kames made a great play coming in from the left side, avoiding the diving pokecheck by Leggat and slotting it home to the delight of the home crowd.

Canada equalized during a power play in the second period. After a scoring chance from Terry, Salficky was unable to corral a loose puck in front of the net and Kyle Sheen pushed it in to tie the game.

The Czechs jumped back ahead thanks to a wristshot from Michal Simo coming into the high slot area and firing the puck straight into the top right corner with less than three minutes left in the second frame.

Then the Czechs added another a minute later, thanks to a great passing sequence between NHLer Ales Hemsky and linemates Ludek Broz and Petr Senkerik, ending with Hemsky passing back to an oncoming Senkerik in the slot area for the score.

Controversy erupted at the start of the third period, when an apparent fourth goal by the Czechs’ Michal Simo was disallowed. The referee initially ruled a goal but then determined that the puck hit the crossbar and deflected out without crossing the goal line. However upon reviewing the play after the game, the IIHF stated that a goal should have been called.

Canada caught another break when Sebek went to the box for interference. On the power play Terry got his second goal of the game, off a wristshot near the point beating Salficky high glove side.

With the win Canada faces North American rivals USA. The last time the two teams played against each other was in the 2013 World Championship preliminary round, a 5-3 win for the Americans.

Sweden – Slovakia 12-1 (5-0, 2-1, 2-0, 3-0)  Postgame

Marcus Nilsson scored five goals in the game, bringing his 2014 Inline total to seven, as Sweden rolled over Slovakia 12-1. 

"I'm very satisfied with how we played today," said head coach Bjorn Ostlund. "We started well with five goals in the first period, Slovakia is not a bad team so I was suprised by how successful we were today."

Sweden went up by two goals in the first two minutes of the game, the first coming 34 seconds after the opening faceoff as Marcus Nilsson scored his team-leading fourth goal of the tournament. Nilsson added another on the power play less than a minute later, after Thomas Jasko was called for hooking.

Two minutes and twenty seconds later, Andreas Svensson came open down the left side, faked a slapshot and passed cross-ice to Dick Axelsson on the side of the net for the 3-0 lead. Filip Gunnarsson added another off a one-timer, and then made a drop pass for another marker giving the Swede’s a five-goal advantage just over halfway through the opening period.

The fifth goal by Sweden prompted a goalie change for Slovakia as Jozef Ondrejky stepped in for Vladimir Neumann. Slovakia got a goal back in the second period when Milan Siller found Jakub Ruckay with a pass up the ice and behind the last Swedish defender, allowing Ruckay to go top shelf to cut the lead to 5-1.

But the Swedes went back up by a goal soon after courtesy of Emil Bejmo, and seconds later Robin Sjoren added another off a one-timer on the power play to give the team a commanding 7-1 lead.

Goals from Carl Berglund, Johan Lilja, and Andreas Svensson, along two more by Nilsson rounded out the scoring as the Swedes rolled to a 10-1 victory.

They will await the results from the next three quarter-final matches before knowing which team they will face in the semi-final round.

USA – Germany 4-1 (1-0, 0-0, 2-0, 1-1)  Postgame

In what was nearly an identical game to the opener played between the two teams last Sunday, the United States overcame a defensively tough Germany team 4-1, advancing to the semi-final round.

"They're a frustrating team to play," said USA head coach Joe Cook. "Every game they play is close and they are very disciplined in the box."

Matt White scored the game’s first goal for the Americans, off of a slapshot from the left circle. The Germans, who in the opening game did a great job in keeping the American offence at bay through the first three periods, were able to replicate their defensive success early on, giving up just the one goal to White.

But team discipline broke down as Germany forward Huba Sekesi drew a major penalty and ten-minute misconduct for spearing an American player at the outset of the second period.

Despite being down a man for four minutes the Germans did not give up a goal, and even though Marcel Brandt took a tripping penalty a minute after his team killed off the major, goaltender Thomas Ower held the fort as the two teams went into halftime with the U.S. holding a slim 1-0 lead.

But the Americans were able to get some insurance early in the third period, during another power play as Kyle Novak was able to jump on a loose puck to the left of the German net and flip it over a sprawled Ower for the 2-0 lead.

The States then pushed it to 3-0 with a power play goal from Travis Now, assisted by Lee. Germany finally responded early in the final period with a score by Marco Pfleger, but the Germans were not able to muster up any more offence, and Team USA added a fourth goal late for good measure to eliminate them from the playoffs.

Finland – Great Britain 7-2 (3-0, 3-1, 1-1, 0-0)  Postgame

Finland defeated Great Britain by a score of 7-2, keeping its unblemished record at the 2014 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship intact and setting up a match with Nordic rivals Sweden in the semi-finals.

Markus Jokinen led the way on the scoresheet, notching five points (2G+3A), and Juho Joki-Erkkila chipped in with two goals and two helpers. Jouni Aalto, Marko Virtala and Kim Stromberg rounded out the scoring.

“Winning comes first, but I was happy with the way I played,” said Jokinen. “We had a fast start to the game so it got easier from then one. We need to improve and be better in every game and if we can do this we can have a medal.”

The win means that Finland will once again face Sweden, the team they defeated 7-4 on the first day of the competition. Kari Lothander had a hat trick in that game, including two back-to-back in the fourth period that allowed the Finns to pull away from the Swedes and win the game.

Despite the fact that both teams represent a historic rivalry in both ice and inline, there didn’t seem to be much animosity between the two when speaking to the Finns after the game against Great Britain.

“I like them,” said head coach Timo Nurmberg. “They play a good game and we like to play good games. We have to play like we did in the first game. It’s going to be a great battle.”

As for Great Britain the team is still searching for its first top division win, and will be looking to avoid relegation when it plays against the Czech Republic on Friday.

DIVISION I

Austria – Latvia 3-4 SO (1-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-2, 0-0, 0-1)

Give the Latvians credit, they sure know how to win when it counts.

After going winless and being outscored 20:8 in the preliminary round of the country’s first ever IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship tournament, Latvia came back from a 2-0 deficit with three straight goals in the second and third periods, only to see Austria pull the goalie late in the game and get the tying goal 3-3.

Neither team was able to solve things in overtime, so Latvia came through in the shootout, pulling off a stunning upset for a team that is playing in its first Inline worlds. Arturs Batraks scored two goals and Rustams Begovs had the shootout winner.

“Our team is made up largely of ice hockey guys,” said team leader Ansis Rudzats. “As the tournament has gone along we’ve gotten some help to adjust ourselves more to the inline game."

"Yesterday we practised for two hours on breakouts, power plays, and penalty kills, and in the morning practice we worked on sharpening the tactics that we learned. I think it is coming together now at the right time for our team.”

With the win Latvia secures a trip to the semi-final round, where things get decidedly more difficult as the team faces off against Division I top seed Slovenia. In the preliminary round game between the two teams, the Latvians clawed back from a 4-1 deficit to get to within a goal of tying the game in the third period, only to have Slovenia outscore them 5-1 the rest of the way en route to a 9-4 victory.

Croatia – Japan 5-2 (2-0, 0-1, 2-0, 1-1)

Croatia moves on to the Division I semi-final round at the 2014 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship thanks to a 5-2 victory over Japan.

Marko Tadic and Ivan Jankovic opened the scoring in the first period as Croatia jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Gentaro Tsuchimoto cut the lead to 2-1 in the second, but the Croats answered with three straight goals from Fran Srketic, Jan Novotny, and Niksa Trstenjak to put the game out of reach for the Japanese.

Croatia, which finished in second place behind Slovenia in Group C, will face Australia. Japan will play against Hungary in one of the two placement games on Friday.

Hungary – Australia 1-3 (0-1, 0-0, 0-1, 1-1)

Australia is off to the semi-final round after dropping Hungary 3-1 in the Division I quarter-final game.

Todd Cameron, Christopher Brophy, and Jordan Gavin each had a goal as the Aussies built up a 3-0 lead. Goaltender Michael James made 29 saves and didn’t give up a goal to the Hungarians until late in the fourth period.

Hungary will join Japan in the placement round, while Australia advances to the semi-finals. It is another chance for the Australians to get a medal after finishing in fourth or fifth place the last three tournaments. 

Slovenia – Brazil 7-1 (0-0, 1-0, 3-1, 3-0)

Slovenia took awhile to get its offence going but eventually took care of business, defeating Brazil 7-1 to advance to the semi-final round where it will face surprise quarter-final winners Latvia.

Going into the second half up by one goal, the Slovenian offence kicked into high gear as forward Nejc Sotlar scored his second of the game and Gregor Krivic added another as Slovenia moved up 3-0. Brazil’s Jose Guilardi scored to trim the lead to 3-1, but Domen Vedlin, Rok Simsic, and Matic Kralj scored to put the game away for Slovenia.

The win keeps Slovenia’s promotion hopes alive, while Brazil will have to contend with Austria, which had its own medal hopes derailed following a 4-3 upset by Latvia in a shootout. It could be that Latvia’s win will affect the Brazilians for the worst too, as they draw a team that shut them out 8-0 in their opening game. 
 
ADAM STEISS