CANADA GOES FOR GOLD: DAy 4 Update
TOP DIVISION Semi-Finals Canada vs. Sweden 6-2 (1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 4-0) Highlights Canada will challen...

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Canada Rolls into Semis: Day 3 Update
TOP DIVISION Games on Friday, 10th July Semi-Finals: Finland vs. Slovakia 18:00 Canada vs. Sweden ...

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Canada Rolls into Semis: Day 3 Update
TOP DIVISION Games on Friday, 10th July Semi-Finals: Finland vs. Slovakia 18:00 Canada vs. Sweden ...

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Canada beats USA: Top of Pool A
TAMPERE – The quarter-final picture is complete. Host Finland remains undefeated at the 2015 IIHF ...

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CANADA GOES FOR GOLD: DAy 4 Update
Canada Rolls into Semis: Day 3 Update
Canada Rolls into Semis: Day 3 Update
Canada beats USA: Top of Pool A

CANADA GOES FOR GOLD: DAy 4 Update

TOP DIVISION

Semi-Finals

Canada vs. Sweden 6-2 (1-0, 0-1, 1-1, 4-0) Highlights

Canada will challenge host Finland in the final after beating Sweden 6-2 in what was a one-goal game for most of the match.

The Canadians gave up an initial lead and had to fight back before scoring four unanswered goals in the last period to seal the win. Dave Hammond was most successful with a hat trick while Josh Foote scored two goals.

“It feels good. We came into the game to play the Finns for the gold. You always want to play the best on their barn,” Hammond said.

It was Foote, who opened the scoring at 7:18 of the opening frame after a diagonal pass to the crease from Hammond.

The game remained tight but mostly scoreless for the rest of the first and second periods and both teams missed out on several power plays.

With 1:36 left in the second period Carl Berglund sent off a shot from behind the face-off circle while two Canadians were blocking his way and found the gap in the Canadian net to tie the game.

69 seconds into the third period the Swedes scored again. Emil Bejmo skated from the left and despite two Canadian skaters and a goalie in between he managed to give Sweden the 2-1 lead with a shot from a sharp angle.

It was a short-lived lead though. 57 seconds later Hammond scored his second marker when he shot the puck from the left face-off dot to tie the game at two.

The fourth period was owned by Canada. At 3:21 Foote skated through on the right side and beat Swedish goalie Brett Leggat through a small corridor between him and the goal line from the right side of the crease. Three minutes later Hammond scored his third goal from a similar position to make it 4-2 with 5:46 left in regulation time. And two-and-a-half minutes later Brett Bulmer made it 5-2 on a breakaway.

With just a small ray of hope left the Swedes pulled their goalie with just over three minutes left in regulation time but it was to no avail. Christopher Santiago shot the puck into the empty net for his first-ever World Championship goal and the final score of 6-2.

“Now we play Finland tomorrow. It will be crowded and with a lot of energy,” Hammond was looking forward to the final game. In a rematch of last year’s final Canada will play Finland at 20:00 local time (1 PM ET).

Finland vs. Slovakia 4-3 (1-0, 1-0, 1-1, 0-2, 0-0, 1-0) SO Highlights

Like in many games at this tournament Finland earned a convincing lead but then the Slovaks fought back from a 3-0 deficit. Kristian Kuusela’s goal in the fifth shootout round and Sasu Hovi’s miraculous block save eventually led Finland to the gold medal game.

“It was a pretty exciting moment after five rounds of shots, now we can celebrate a little bit,” Kuusela said. "But we made the game hard for ourselves. Slovakia defended pretty well.”

Initially it didn’t look like a tight game, rather like business as usual for the Finns’ strong Inline Hockey World Championship campaign. Until 28 minutes of play the lions roared and built a 3-0 cushion, had a 21-6 shot advantage at halfway through the game.

At 4:51 of the opening frame Marko Virtala was left alone on the left side, skated toward the crease to beat Slovak goalie Vladimir Neumann with a high shot from a short distance.

Also the second period ended with one Finnish goal. At 3:59 Jimi Palanto beat Neumann on his glove side with a shot from the face-off dot.

Everything seemed to work well for the Finns who had their captain Jesse Saarinen back after two games. He had left the team to join his wife for the birth of their child before returning in time for the semi-final game.

Suomi remained in control of the game also early after the half-time break. At 3:58 of the third period Markus Jokinen finished a rush on the left side with the 3-0 goal.

Juraj Jurik brought Slovakia eventually on the scoreboard at 8:41 soon after a power play not only to spoil Sasu Hovi’s shutout but to start a comeback the Finnish fans spoiled with clear wins by their team hardly expected.

At 1:43 of the fourth period Peter Novajovsky skated from the right side and sent a shot off the face-off dot to beat Hovi again.

The Slovaks gained hope and were pushing for another goal while the Finns hoped for counter-attacks and were close to the fourth goal on a breakaway. However, five minutes later Tomas Mery sent of a shot from the right face-off circle to tie the game at three.

The remainder of the period ended scoreless as did the overtime period. Also in the shootout tie-breaking rounds had to decide after a 1-1 score after three shots each. In the fifth round Kuusela beat Neumann through his five-hole while Finnish goalie Hovi made a huge block save in the air in Mery’s attempt to seal Finland the win and a place in tomorrow’s gold medal game at 20:00 local time.

“Every team is a hard team at this stage as we saw today, we take whoever comes,” Kuusela said about the final on Saturday night.

Penalty Shootout:
Round 1: SVK #66 Juraj Prokop – 0-1, FIN #15 Sami Markkanen – 1-1.
Round 2: SVK #28 Miroslav Preisinger – save, FIN #7 Jimi Palanto – save.
Round 3: SVK #16 Tomas Jasko – save, FIN #27 Marko Virtala – miss.
Round 4: FIN #15 Sami Markkanen – save, SVK #66 Juraj Prokop – save.
Round 5: FIN #71 Kristian Kuusela – 2-1, SVK #26 Tomas Mery – save.

Placement Games

USA vs. Slovenia 5-2 (2-1, 1-0, 1-0, 1-1) Highlights

After losing to Sweden in the quarter-finals Team USA reacted with a 5-2 win over Slovenia to secure its top-division spot.

Unlike yesterday against Canada, the Slovenes weren’t able to start the game with a firework of goals. Derrick Burnett already opened the scoring for Team USA after 95 seconds of play but at 4:40 Anze Lonear tied it for Slovenia.

Five minutes later Cody Kettler regained the lead for the Americans, who outshot Slovenia 25-15 during the game.

Travis Noe with a power-play goal on a high shot from the face-off circle extended the lead for the Americans to 3-1 at 9:14 of the second period.

After the half-time break the Americans continued to be in control of the game and added two more markers from David Makowski and Tyler Spezia to seal the win. Slovenia’s 5-2 goal from Ales Remar with 16 seconds left in regulation time was too little and too late.

Team USA finishes the 2015 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship in fifth place while Slovenia will battle against relegation tomorrow in the seventh-place game against Germany at 12:00 local time (11:00 CET).

Czech Republic vs. Germany 4-1 (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 3-0) Highlights

The Czech Republic stays in the top division after beating Germany 4-1. The Czechs dominated and clearly outshot their opponent 49-18.

Still, it needs some patience until the Czechs succeeded in the offensive skill that matters most: scoring. After a scoreless opening period the Czechs succeeded at 8:26 of the second period with Pavel Strycek’s shot from 20 metres.

At 8:54 of the third period Germany managed to tie the game. Max Schmidle skated from the right side all the way to the left side around the Czech crease to score over goalie Ondrej Haloda with a shot from close to the goal line.

In the fourth period the Czechs had their best period and granted the Germans almost no scoring opportunities while Martin Vozdecy, Patrik Sebek and Strycek with his second marker netted three goals for the Czech 4-1 win.

The Czechs will end the tournament in sixth place while the Germans will have to play the relegation game against Slovenia tomorrow at 11:00 local time (10:00 CET).

DIVISION I

Semi-Finals

Croatia vs. Argentina 7-0 (1-0, 2-0, 2-0, 2-0)

Argentina has been the surprise team of the last two game days at the Division I tournament in Tampere but saw its streak come to an end in Croatia’s 7-0 win, the same result like in the group stage.

The Croats remain in good shape and haven’t lost a game since starting with a 5-1 defeat to Hungary.

Mario Novak opened the scoring at 7:17 of a first period in which most action happened in Croatia’s offensive zone. After Agustin Chiaravalloti had missed out on a penalty shot in the second period the Croats extended the lead to 3-0 and added four more markers in the second half of the game.

Novak and Igor Jacmenjak scored a pair of goals each, the other markers came from Domen Vedlin, Ivan Jankovic and Matija Kopajtic.

Croatia will take on Australia in the gold medal game that will be played at the main rink tomorrow at 15:00 local time (14:00 CET, 22:00 AEST).

Great Britain vs. Australia 4-7 (2-0, 2-3, 0-2, 0-2)

Great Britain will not battle for a return to the top division on the last day of competition. Instead Australia will play in the gold medal game for the second year in a row after beating the British 7-4.

It was a tight game with the better start for Great Britain thanks to three unanswered goals from Dan Hutchinson, Sam Jones and Rob Shelton. But unfortunately for the British they have been good at this tournament in not maintaining such margins and it was no different against Australia just that the team from Down Under succeeded in its comeback attempt.

Twenty seconds after the third British marker early in the second period Liam Jeffries replied with the first Australian goal and at 5:13 Brenton Fitzgerald scored on the power play to make it 3-2. Ben Lowe replied for Great Britain but 2:39 before the half-time break Adam St Clair cut the British lead to just one goal.

Australia won the game in the second half of the game with four unanswered goals. Jonathon Bremner tied the game at four at 2:50 of the third period and St Clair’s second goal gave Australia the lead.

The Australians didn’t allow Great Britain to come back and added two more markers from Liam McKay and Sean Jones in the fourth period to seal their place in the Division I final while Great Britain will have to play for the bronze medals.

Placement Games

Latvia vs. Bulgaria 14-0 (2-0, 1-0, 4-0, 7-0)

Like in the preliminary round Latvia had little trouble defeating Bulgaria and blanked the Bulgarians 14-0.

The Bulgarians managed to keep the net clean for over nine minutes when Roberts Lipsbergs opened the goal galore. Aleksandrs Galkins and Aleksandrs Kercs each scored a hat trick, Roberts Lipsbergs and Viesturs Cimermanis each had a pair of goals.

With the win Latvia reached the fifth-place game where they will battle for survival in Division I against Hungary tomorrow at 12:00 local time (11:00 CET). The loser of that game as well as Austria and Bulgaria will be relegated to the European qualification tournament in 2016.

Hungary vs. Austria 7-1 (1-1, 2-0, 0-0, 4-0)

Austria opened the scoring with its only scoring chance of the first period thanks to Andre Niec’s goal but Hungary was too strong and improved its offensive production by the end of the game to beat Austria 7-1.

Six different players scored for Hungary. Vilmos Gallo, who was credited with the game-winning goal, had two goals while Attila Rafaj, Istvan Terbocs, Akos Kiss, Balazs Bartalis and Szilard Sandor each scored one goal.

With this result Austria is relegated from the Division I and will have to play in the European qualification tournament next year. Hungary will play for survival in the fifth-place game against Latvia tomorrow at 12:00 local time (11:00 CET).

Canada Rolls into Semis: Day 3 Update

TOP DIVISION

Games on Friday, 10th July

Semi-Finals:
Finland vs. Slovakia 18:00
Canada vs. Sweden 20:00

Placement Games:
Czech Republic vs. Germany 14:00
USA vs. Slovenia 16:00

All games will be streamed live. Times are local (EET).

Canada vs. Slovenia 6-5 (0-3, 0-1, 5-0, 1-1) Highlights

In arguably one of the craziest playoff games in Inline Hockey World Championship history Canada came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat Slovenia 6-5.

Until the 28th minute the Slovenes were leading by four goals before the Canadians found back to their game with five unanswered goals. The Slovenes tied it but Thomas Woods scored the game-winning goal with 89 seconds left. Canada outshot Slovenia 32-27.

“It’s still rollercoaster emotions for me and the team. The second half of the game shows the character of our team,” Woods said.

But how could Canada play so bad in the beginning and walk straight into the Slovenes’ trap again and again?

“I can’t put one reason for what went wrong. We were not mentally in it. We didn’t have the warrior mentality,” Woods said about the beginning of the game.

Already after a little more than ten minutes the Slovenes built up a three-goal cushion.

A great, long diagonal pass from Nejc Berlisk to the crease was picked up by Jure Sotlar for the underdog’s first goal at 5:47. Three-and-a-half minutes later Sotlar scored again when deking Canadian netminder Brett Leggat to beat him on the left side.

At 10:07 Ales Remar was stopped from behind by Brett Bulmer and was awarded a penalty shot he converted with a precise shot for the 3-0 goal. Slovenia continued scoring in the second frame. At 3:16 Rok Jakopic capitalized on the rebound after an initial shot from Kleman Sodrznik to make it even 4-0.

It’s a score that hardly allows a comeback, however, the Canadians have in the past shown their ability to score many goals and in the half-time break the players made it clear that they didn’t give up the game.

Eventually Dave Hammond scored Canada’s first goal with a power-play marker at 3:24 of the third period with a precise shot from between the face-off circles. Adam Ross added a shorthanded goal following a shot from Josh Foote two minutes later and with the next shift Foote scored the 4-3 goal himself on a breakaway to force Slovenian head coach Ales Fajdiga to use his time-out. But it was to no avail since Adam Ross scored on a power play at 7:01 to tie the game at four.

The Canadian scoring machine stayed on and at 8:43 Kyle Henderson capitalized on a rebound after a Foote shot to give his team the lead for the first time.

But despite the momentum swing the Slovenes didn’t surrender. At 5:12 of the fourth period Mateuz Erman tied the game at five on a power play and both teams had chances to go ahead with a sixth marker in the last minutes of regulation time.

With 89 seconds left it was Woods who scored the game winner for the Canadian side. Although he fell down at the right face-off dot, none of the two Slovenes were able to take away the puck. So Woods stood up, took the disc, skated to the goal and beat Tomaz Trelc with a high shot for the 6-5 goal.

Leggat made a great glove save with 3.2 seconds left before the Canadians celebrated their win. But they did it quietly both on the field and in the dressing room first having to digest the rollercoaster game and learn from the positives and negatives before tomorrow’s semi-final against Sweden.

Finland vs. Germany 6-3 (3-2, 2-0, 0-0, 1-1) Highlights

Host Finland continued its undefeated streak with a 6-3 victory over Germany in the quarter-finals. After a thrilling start the Finns took control of the game with two goals in the second period while managing to keep the Germans away from their zone for most of the second half of the game.

“We had a great game. We were patient and kept the puck with us very well,” Lasse Lappalainen said.

“We’re in the semi-finals, playing for the medals sounds good. I hope a lot of fans will be at the rink tomorrow.”

Jimi Palanto opened the scoring for Finland at 3:29 with a slap shot from 18 metres into the top-right corner. Two minutes later Markus Jokinen concluded a two-on-one with Lappalainen by beating German netminder Thomas Ower through his five-hole.

Germany reacted with Soren Sturm’s goal after a great diagonal pass to the crease from Max Schmidle only 82 seconds later and a few shifts later Schmidle scored himself to capitalize on a power play for the 2-2 goal.

The Germans showed they don’t want to make it easy for the Finns but the home team managed to react quickly with a marker from Marko Virtala after Janne Laakkonen’s centring pass. At 3:05 of the second period Lappalainen added the 4-2 goal shortly before the expiration of a Finnish power play.

With 9.7 seconds left before the half-time break and the local crowd screaming “maali” to demand a goal Kristian Kuusela made it 5-2 after a drop pass from behind the goal line from Palanto.

The Germans changed goalkeepers for the third period and for a long time Jochen Vollmer was able to keep his net clean. In the second half of the game the action was limited to a cautious Finnish puck-possession play in the opponent’s zone and a German team that didn’t make the impression of being much of a threat for the Finns anymore.

Petri Partanen after a 360-degree turn in the offensive zone scored the 6-2 goal at 6:34 of the fourth period and Daniel Menge scored Germany’s third goal with 48.3 seconds left after a nice deke against Mikko Pukka and on his second shot after a save from Juha Taponen.

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia 3-4 (1-1, 1-1, 0-2, 1-0) Highlights

Slovakia won its first Inline Hockey World Championship game since 2008 against the Czech Republic and moves on to the semi-finals after the 4-3 victory. Already in 2008 it was a quarter-final win against the big brothers, 6-5 in overtime on home soil in Bratislava.

In the last six years Slovakia only finished better than the Czechs one time in 2013 when they also reach the semi-finals after a 4-3 over Finland.

The Czechs had the better start and earned the lead when on a breakaway David Hrazdira sent a high pass back to Filip Kutak, who opened the scoring at 8:30.

The Czechs outshot the Slovaks 12-4 in the first period but didn’t manage to end it with a lead. With one minute left Roman Simunek scored a shorthanded goal after a horizontal pass from Jakub Ruckay. His shot hit Czech goalie Ondrej Haloda on his upper body and from there went into the net.

At 3:59 Slovakia was in front for the first time. Ruckay sent a diagonal pass from left to the right side of the crease where Boris Ertel scored into the empty net.

“We are very happy because it’s a big game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia and a big win,” Ruckay said and was also happy about his great passes that led to two goals.

“I’m happy because it’s my first points here. I’m the oldest guy here on our team so I have to do it with passes,” he said with a smile.

But the Czechs tied the game at two five minutes later when after some passes through the Slovak box play line Patrik Sebek scored with a shot from the left side. It was a well-deserved tie for the Czechs going into the half-time break after having outshot the Slovaks 22-10.

However, the Slovak team showed another time that they shouldn’t be counted out. 23 seconds into the third period with a power play taken over from the previous frame, Tomas Jasko scored with a shot from ten metres from between the face-off circles. And two minutes later Juraj Jurik skated into the Czech zone and sent off a laser of a shot into the top-right corner for the 4-2 lead forcing Czech head coach Jan Besser to call for a time-out and replacing goalie Haolda by Ondrej Jirkuv, who quickly got some work after a penalty call against Martin Vozdecky.

The Czechs had to react and had three power plays during the rest of the period but didn’t manage to overcome the Slovak defence.

With 3:52 left in the fourth period Michal Simo eventually managed to beat Neumann after a horizontal pass from Sebek. The 4-3 marker now forced Slovak coach Imrich Antal to use his time-out and prepare his team for a battle to defend the one-goal lead. The Czechs had another power play and pulled their goalie but to no avail. The Slovak bench broke out in cheering when the game clock counted down to 0:00 and the 4-3 victory became a fact.

USA vs. Sweden 2-5 (0-0, 1-3, 1-0, 0-2) Highlights

Team USA outshot Tre Kronor 33-18 but it wasn’t enough. An efficient Swedish offence and a strong goaltender Ludvig Engsund, who had 31 saves, helped Sweden upset the Americans in the quarter-finals. Despite a rejuvenated team the Swedes reached the semi-finals for the third time in a row while the Americans missed the semis for only the second time in the last eight years.

“It was a new game. We had nothing to lose,” Engsund described the Swedes’ feeling following the quarter-final win hinting the tough 9-1 loss to Finland in the last preliminary-round game before joining the Swedish dressing room covered by loud celebration.

In short the first half of the game and in particular the beginning can be described by an American team that had more chances but the Swedes had the better opportunities and capitalized on them.

After a scoreless opening fame Derrick Burnett gave Team USA the lead after a drop pass from Matt White but three-and-half-minutes later the Swedes tied the game when Andreas Jensen in front of the crease diverted a quick side pass from Victor Backman.

At 8:44 Markus Kinisjarvi gained the lead for Sweden when he fast-tracked the American defence and beat goalie Troy Redmann from the left side. With 12 seconds left before the half-time break Rasmus Dahlberg Karlsson scored the 3-1 goal with a distance shot from the face-off circle.

It was surely not what the Americans had in mind who in the past seven years had missed the semi-finals only once in Ingolstadt 2012.

At 4:27 Team USA cut the deficit to one goal. Nielsson Arcibal was credited for the marker after a shot from White through traffic was diverted.

The Americans were pushing for the third goal and clearly outshot the Swedes in the second half of the game but the Swedish defence was strong and allowed the Americans only one power play.

“It was disappointing to lose like that especially after the start into the game,” Arcibal said.

While the American efforts were fruitless, Emil Beijmo and Marcus Lissang scored two goals into the empty net in the dying minutes of the game when the Americans pulled goalie Redmann.

The Swedes now have to wait to know their opponent for tomorrow. A re-match with Finland is possible if the favourites win in the other games.

DIVISION I

Games on Friday, 10th July

Semi-Finals:
Great Britain vs. Australia 17:00
Croatia vs. Argentina 19:00

Placement Games:
Hungary vs. Austria 13:00
Latvia vs. Bulgaria 15:00

All games will be streamed live. Times are local (EET).

Latvia vs. Argentina 4-5 (0-1, 1-0, 1-4, 2-0)

Also the Division I tournament has its upset. Latvia, which performed in the preliminary round like a candidate for promotion, surprisingly lost to Argentina in the quarter-finals. The South Americans built on their great performance against Hungary to beat Latvia 5-4 with Hernan Insua Shanly scoring a hat trick, Rodrigo Irisarri netting a pair of goals and a fine 35-save performance from goaltender Lucas Marcolongo.

Irisarri opened the scoring coming from the penalty bench at 10:43 of the opening frame but with three seconds left in the second period Rudolfs Maslovskis tied the game for Latvia.

The third period brought the change of fortunes for Argentina. Insua Shanly scored 72 seconds into the period before Irisarri added a power-play marker and Insua Shanly netted another goal while Argentina was playing shorthanded. To Aleksandrs Kercs’ 4-2 goal the Argentines reacted with the hat trick marker and eventual game-winning goal from Insua Shanly.

Latvia tried everything to come back, changed the goalie and scored two more goals in the fourth period. Miks Lipsbergs made it 5-3 and with the goalie pulled early Artjoms Ogorodnikovs scored the 5-4 marker with 99 seconds left on the game clock but the score stayed until the final buzzer causing a huge celebration by the Argentines, who have never before performed as well as this year in the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship.

Croatia vs. Bulgaria 23-0 (6-0, 4-0, 7-0, 6-0)

Whether it was at equal strength, power play or box play, the Croats scored one goal after another for the highest score of this tournament, a 23-0 quarter-final blanking of winless Bulgaria.

Bulgaria changed goalkeepers three times and 13 different Croatian players scored goals, most often Niksa Trstenjak with four and Ivan Jankovic with three. Jan Novotny, Marko Tadic, Domen Vedlin, Borna Silovic and Mario Cunko each scored a pair of goals.

Great Britain vs. Hungary 7-5 (0-0, 3-1, 2-0, 2-4)

Great Britain reached the semi-finals of the Division I competition after edging Hungary 7-5.

In a tight encounter Great Britain changed the flow of the game with three unanswered goals in the second period, two from Rob Shelton and one from Ben Lowe. One-and-a-half minutes later Hungary’s Akos Kiss netted the puck for the 3-1 half-time score.

The British extended the lead with two third-period goals from Sam Jones and Joseph Ganley but despite the 5-1 lead the game got new excitement in the end when Hungary worked hard and almost successfully on a miracle during the last seven minutes of regulation time.

First Attila Rafaj scored the longed for second goal on a power play, then Vilmos Gallo added two more markers to make it 5-4. Dan Hutchinson reacted with goal number six for Great Britain but in the next shift Szilard Sandor made it 6-5 with 2:40 to go in regulation time – still enough to work on the game-tying goal.

However, the Hungarians didn’t manage to score again and with 17 seconds left Lowe sealed the win with his second goal for the final score of 7-5.

Australia vs. Austria 6-3 (2-0, 0-2, 2-1, 2-0)

After a strong preliminary round the Australians confirmed their good shape in the quarter-finals and reached the semis in a 6-3 victory over Austria. The team from Down Under outshot Austria 13-3 in the opening frame and earned a 2-0 lead with goals from Brenton Fitzgerald and Lee Turner, but Austria fought back and tied the game at two after goals scored by Harry Lange and Andre Niec.

Australia regained the lead in the second period with unanswered goals from Antony Collins and Sean Jones before Daniel Obersteiner netted the 4-3 marker for Austria to keep the score in reach.

However, the Australians extended the lead early in the fourth period with goals from Michael Haynes and Jonathon Bremner for the final score of 6-3.

Canada Rolls into Semis: Day 3 Update

TOP DIVISION

Games on Friday, 10th July

Semi-Finals:
Finland vs. Slovakia 18:00
Canada vs. Sweden 20:00

Placement Games:
Czech Republic vs. Germany 14:00
USA vs. Slovenia 16:00

All games will be streamed live. Times are local (EET).

Canada vs. Slovenia 6-5 (0-3, 0-1, 5-0, 1-1) Highlights

In arguably one of the craziest playoff games in Inline Hockey World Championship history Canada came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat Slovenia 6-5.

Until the 28th minute the Slovenes were leading by four goals before the Canadians found back to their game with five unanswered goals. The Slovenes tied it but Thomas Woods scored the game-winning goal with 89 seconds left. Canada outshot Slovenia 32-27.

“It’s still rollercoaster emotions for me and the team. The second half of the game shows the character of our team,” Woods said.

But how could Canada play so bad in the beginning and walk straight into the Slovenes’ trap again and again?

“I can’t put one reason for what went wrong. We were not mentally in it. We didn’t have the warrior mentality,” Woods said about the beginning of the game.

Already after a little more than ten minutes the Slovenes built up a three-goal cushion.

A great, long diagonal pass from Nejc Berlisk to the crease was picked up by Jure Sotlar for the underdog’s first goal at 5:47. Three-and-a-half minutes later Sotlar scored again when deking Canadian netminder Brett Leggat to beat him on the left side.

At 10:07 Ales Remar was stopped from behind by Brett Bulmer and was awarded a penalty shot he converted with a precise shot for the 3-0 goal. Slovenia continued scoring in the second frame. At 3:16 Rok Jakopic capitalized on the rebound after an initial shot from Kleman Sodrznik to make it even 4-0.

It’s a score that hardly allows a comeback, however, the Canadians have in the past shown their ability to score many goals and in the half-time break the players made it clear that they didn’t give up the game.

Eventually Dave Hammond scored Canada’s first goal with a power-play marker at 3:24 of the third period with a precise shot from between the face-off circles. Adam Ross added a shorthanded goal following a shot from Josh Foote two minutes later and with the next shift Foote scored the 4-3 goal himself on a breakaway to force Slovenian head coach Ales Fajdiga to use his time-out. But it was to no avail since Adam Ross scored on a power play at 7:01 to tie the game at four.

The Canadian scoring machine stayed on and at 8:43 Kyle Henderson capitalized on a rebound after a Foote shot to give his team the lead for the first time.

But despite the momentum swing the Slovenes didn’t surrender. At 5:12 of the fourth period Mateuz Erman tied the game at five on a power play and both teams had chances to go ahead with a sixth marker in the last minutes of regulation time.

With 89 seconds left it was Woods who scored the game winner for the Canadian side. Although he fell down at the right face-off dot, none of the two Slovenes were able to take away the puck. So Woods stood up, took the disc, skated to the goal and beat Tomaz Trelc with a high shot for the 6-5 goal.

Leggat made a great glove save with 3.2 seconds left before the Canadians celebrated their win. But they did it quietly both on the field and in the dressing room first having to digest the rollercoaster game and learn from the positives and negatives before tomorrow’s semi-final against Sweden.

Finland vs. Germany 6-3 (3-2, 2-0, 0-0, 1-1) Highlights

Host Finland continued its undefeated streak with a 6-3 victory over Germany in the quarter-finals. After a thrilling start the Finns took control of the game with two goals in the second period while managing to keep the Germans away from their zone for most of the second half of the game.

“We had a great game. We were patient and kept the puck with us very well,” Lasse Lappalainen said.

“We’re in the semi-finals, playing for the medals sounds good. I hope a lot of fans will be at the rink tomorrow.”

Jimi Palanto opened the scoring for Finland at 3:29 with a slap shot from 18 metres into the top-right corner. Two minutes later Markus Jokinen concluded a two-on-one with Lappalainen by beating German netminder Thomas Ower through his five-hole.

Germany reacted with Soren Sturm’s goal after a great diagonal pass to the crease from Max Schmidle only 82 seconds later and a few shifts later Schmidle scored himself to capitalize on a power play for the 2-2 goal.

The Germans showed they don’t want to make it easy for the Finns but the home team managed to react quickly with a marker from Marko Virtala after Janne Laakkonen’s centring pass. At 3:05 of the second period Lappalainen added the 4-2 goal shortly before the expiration of a Finnish power play.

With 9.7 seconds left before the half-time break and the local crowd screaming “maali” to demand a goal Kristian Kuusela made it 5-2 after a drop pass from behind the goal line from Palanto.

The Germans changed goalkeepers for the third period and for a long time Jochen Vollmer was able to keep his net clean. In the second half of the game the action was limited to a cautious Finnish puck-possession play in the opponent’s zone and a German team that didn’t make the impression of being much of a threat for the Finns anymore.

Petri Partanen after a 360-degree turn in the offensive zone scored the 6-2 goal at 6:34 of the fourth period and Daniel Menge scored Germany’s third goal with 48.3 seconds left after a nice deke against Mikko Pukka and on his second shot after a save from Juha Taponen.

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia 3-4 (1-1, 1-1, 0-2, 1-0) Highlights

Slovakia won its first Inline Hockey World Championship game since 2008 against the Czech Republic and moves on to the semi-finals after the 4-3 victory. Already in 2008 it was a quarter-final win against the big brothers, 6-5 in overtime on home soil in Bratislava.

In the last six years Slovakia only finished better than the Czechs one time in 2013 when they also reach the semi-finals after a 4-3 over Finland.

The Czechs had the better start and earned the lead when on a breakaway David Hrazdira sent a high pass back to Filip Kutak, who opened the scoring at 8:30.

The Czechs outshot the Slovaks 12-4 in the first period but didn’t manage to end it with a lead. With one minute left Roman Simunek scored a shorthanded goal after a horizontal pass from Jakub Ruckay. His shot hit Czech goalie Ondrej Haloda on his upper body and from there went into the net.

At 3:59 Slovakia was in front for the first time. Ruckay sent a diagonal pass from left to the right side of the crease where Boris Ertel scored into the empty net.

“We are very happy because it’s a big game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia and a big win,” Ruckay said and was also happy about his great passes that led to two goals.

“I’m happy because it’s my first points here. I’m the oldest guy here on our team so I have to do it with passes,” he said with a smile.

But the Czechs tied the game at two five minutes later when after some passes through the Slovak box play line Patrik Sebek scored with a shot from the left side. It was a well-deserved tie for the Czechs going into the half-time break after having outshot the Slovaks 22-10.

However, the Slovak team showed another time that they shouldn’t be counted out. 23 seconds into the third period with a power play taken over from the previous frame, Tomas Jasko scored with a shot from ten metres from between the face-off circles. And two minutes later Juraj Jurik skated into the Czech zone and sent off a laser of a shot into the top-right corner for the 4-2 lead forcing Czech head coach Jan Besser to call for a time-out and replacing goalie Haolda by Ondrej Jirkuv, who quickly got some work after a penalty call against Martin Vozdecky.

The Czechs had to react and had three power plays during the rest of the period but didn’t manage to overcome the Slovak defence.

With 3:52 left in the fourth period Michal Simo eventually managed to beat Neumann after a horizontal pass from Sebek. The 4-3 marker now forced Slovak coach Imrich Antal to use his time-out and prepare his team for a battle to defend the one-goal lead. The Czechs had another power play and pulled their goalie but to no avail. The Slovak bench broke out in cheering when the game clock counted down to 0:00 and the 4-3 victory became a fact.

USA vs. Sweden 2-5 (0-0, 1-3, 1-0, 0-2) Highlights

Team USA outshot Tre Kronor 33-18 but it wasn’t enough. An efficient Swedish offence and a strong goaltender Ludvig Engsund, who had 31 saves, helped Sweden upset the Americans in the quarter-finals. Despite a rejuvenated team the Swedes reached the semi-finals for the third time in a row while the Americans missed the semis for only the second time in the last eight years.

“It was a new game. We had nothing to lose,” Engsund described the Swedes’ feeling following the quarter-final win hinting the tough 9-1 loss to Finland in the last preliminary-round game before joining the Swedish dressing room covered by loud celebration.

In short the first half of the game and in particular the beginning can be described by an American team that had more chances but the Swedes had the better opportunities and capitalized on them.

After a scoreless opening fame Derrick Burnett gave Team USA the lead after a drop pass from Matt White but three-and-half-minutes later the Swedes tied the game when Andreas Jensen in front of the crease diverted a quick side pass from Victor Backman.

At 8:44 Markus Kinisjarvi gained the lead for Sweden when he fast-tracked the American defence and beat goalie Troy Redmann from the left side. With 12 seconds left before the half-time break Rasmus Dahlberg Karlsson scored the 3-1 goal with a distance shot from the face-off circle.

It was surely not what the Americans had in mind who in the past seven years had missed the semi-finals only once in Ingolstadt 2012.

At 4:27 Team USA cut the deficit to one goal. Nielsson Arcibal was credited for the marker after a shot from White through traffic was diverted.

The Americans were pushing for the third goal and clearly outshot the Swedes in the second half of the game but the Swedish defence was strong and allowed the Americans only one power play.

“It was disappointing to lose like that especially after the start into the game,” Arcibal said.

While the American efforts were fruitless, Emil Beijmo and Marcus Lissang scored two goals into the empty net in the dying minutes of the game when the Americans pulled goalie Redmann.

The Swedes now have to wait to know their opponent for tomorrow. A re-match with Finland is possible if the favourites win in the other games.

DIVISION I

Games on Friday, 10th July

Semi-Finals:
Great Britain vs. Australia 17:00
Croatia vs. Argentina 19:00

Placement Games:
Hungary vs. Austria 13:00
Latvia vs. Bulgaria 15:00

All games will be streamed live. Times are local (EET).

Latvia vs. Argentina 4-5 (0-1, 1-0, 1-4, 2-0)

Also the Division I tournament has its upset. Latvia, which performed in the preliminary round like a candidate for promotion, surprisingly lost to Argentina in the quarter-finals. The South Americans built on their great performance against Hungary to beat Latvia 5-4 with Hernan Insua Shanly scoring a hat trick, Rodrigo Irisarri netting a pair of goals and a fine 35-save performance from goaltender Lucas Marcolongo.

Irisarri opened the scoring coming from the penalty bench at 10:43 of the opening frame but with three seconds left in the second period Rudolfs Maslovskis tied the game for Latvia.

The third period brought the change of fortunes for Argentina. Insua Shanly scored 72 seconds into the period before Irisarri added a power-play marker and Insua Shanly netted another goal while Argentina was playing shorthanded. To Aleksandrs Kercs’ 4-2 goal the Argentines reacted with the hat trick marker and eventual game-winning goal from Insua Shanly.

Latvia tried everything to come back, changed the goalie and scored two more goals in the fourth period. Miks Lipsbergs made it 5-3 and with the goalie pulled early Artjoms Ogorodnikovs scored the 5-4 marker with 99 seconds left on the game clock but the score stayed until the final buzzer causing a huge celebration by the Argentines, who have never before performed as well as this year in the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship.

Croatia vs. Bulgaria 23-0 (6-0, 4-0, 7-0, 6-0)

Whether it was at equal strength, power play or box play, the Croats scored one goal after another for the highest score of this tournament, a 23-0 quarter-final blanking of winless Bulgaria.

Bulgaria changed goalkeepers three times and 13 different Croatian players scored goals, most often Niksa Trstenjak with four and Ivan Jankovic with three. Jan Novotny, Marko Tadic, Domen Vedlin, Borna Silovic and Mario Cunko each scored a pair of goals.

Great Britain vs. Hungary 7-5 (0-0, 3-1, 2-0, 2-4)

Great Britain reached the semi-finals of the Division I competition after edging Hungary 7-5.

In a tight encounter Great Britain changed the flow of the game with three unanswered goals in the second period, two from Rob Shelton and one from Ben Lowe. One-and-a-half minutes later Hungary’s Akos Kiss netted the puck for the 3-1 half-time score.

The British extended the lead with two third-period goals from Sam Jones and Joseph Ganley but despite the 5-1 lead the game got new excitement in the end when Hungary worked hard and almost successfully on a miracle during the last seven minutes of regulation time.

First Attila Rafaj scored the longed for second goal on a power play, then Vilmos Gallo added two more markers to make it 5-4. Dan Hutchinson reacted with goal number six for Great Britain but in the next shift Szilard Sandor made it 6-5 with 2:40 to go in regulation time – still enough to work on the game-tying goal.

However, the Hungarians didn’t manage to score again and with 17 seconds left Lowe sealed the win with his second goal for the final score of 7-5.

Australia vs. Austria 6-3 (2-0, 0-2, 2-1, 2-0)

After a strong preliminary round the Australians confirmed their good shape in the quarter-finals and reached the semis in a 6-3 victory over Austria. The team from Down Under outshot Austria 13-3 in the opening frame and earned a 2-0 lead with goals from Brenton Fitzgerald and Lee Turner, but Austria fought back and tied the game at two after goals scored by Harry Lange and Andre Niec.

Australia regained the lead in the second period with unanswered goals from Antony Collins and Sean Jones before Daniel Obersteiner netted the 4-3 marker for Austria to keep the score in reach.

However, the Australians extended the lead early in the fourth period with goals from Michael Haynes and Jonathon Bremner for the final score of 6-3.

Canada beats USA: Top of Pool A

TAMPERE – The quarter-final picture is complete. Host Finland remains undefeated at the 2015 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship after beating Sweden 9-1 as does Canada after beating the U.S. 5-4 in overtime. Slovakia won its first game in shootout against Germany while the Czech Republic beat Slovenia 3-2. In Division I play Argentina got its first win in four years in a dramatic 4-3 overtime decision against Hungary. Latvia and Croatia won their groups while Austria got its first win.

TOP DIVISION

Quarter-Finals on 9th July

USA vs. Sweden 14:00
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia 16:00
Finland vs. Germany 18:00
Canada vs. Slovenia 20:00

All games will be streamed live. Times are local (EET).

Canada vs. USA 5-4 (0-1, 3-2, 0-0, 1-1, 1-0) OT Highlights

The eternal rivalry between the two North American teams continued in the preliminary round. Like in last year’s semi-final win for Canada the game was tied after regulation time. Again Canada was the winner after Dave Hammond’s overtime goal.

Team USA had the better start with two goals but the momentum changed when Canada scored three goals in the second period including a pair of markers from Thomas Woods.

“It feels good. We are rivals and I have friends on their team I often play against. Everytime we play them we know it’s going to be a tight game,” Woods said. “It was a team effort and everybody around us was playing well.”

The Americans outshot Canada 7-3 in the first period. Tyler Spezia’s goal gave the U.S. the lead capitalizing on the first penalty of the game. Early in the second period Derrick Burnett made it 2-0 for Team USA but then Canada eventually showed a reaction.

Adam Ross scored the first goal for Canada at 4:04 of the second period when he skated through the American defence on the right and beat Troy Redmann with a shot to the far side of the net.

Matt White restored Team USA’s two-goal lead with a shot from between the face-off circles – the second power-play goal for the Americans in two attempts, and the last as Canada wouldn’t take any more penalties.

The Canadians didn’t give up and Woods cut the American lead at 10:30. And after a nice double-pass play with Brett Bulmer with 27 seconds left before the half-time break he scored again to tie the game at three.

The game remained scoreless for a while until at 4:15 of the fourth period Team Canada gained the lead for the first time on a distance shot from Chris Rauckman.

Now the Americans had to react and covered Canadian goalie Brett Leggat with shots. It didn’t seem to work out until White had another great moment. He fast-tracked the Canadian defence with a rush along the left boards, went between Peter Kavaya and Travis Noe close to the crease to shoot the puck behind Leggat. With 3:21 left the game was re-launched with a 4-4 tie.

The teams were cautious in the extra period but couldn’t prevent thrilling rushes on both sides. At 3:43 Dave Hammond led a quick attack of the Canadians and hammered the puck in for the 5-4 game-winning goal.

The win earns Canada first place in the group and a quarter-final clash with winless Slovenia while Team USA will have to continue against Sweden on Thursday.

Finland vs. Sweden 9-1 (2-0, 2-0, 1-0, 4-1) Highlights

In the preliminary-round game most anticipated by the local crowd Finland steamrolled its neighbour Sweden 9-1 in front of 4,414 fans in Tampere.

Mikko Pukka netted the puck four times while Jimi Palanto and Marko Virtala had two markers each. Janne Laakkonen also scored for Finland while Robin Sjoren scored the only goal for Sweden.

Sasu Hovi had a great night in the Finnish with 27 saves as Finland outshot Sweden 36-28.

“It was a good game that we wanted to win,” Pukka said. “Most important is that we won the game not matter what score but it’s always nice to score. We got better every game here.”

Finland opened the scoring at 3:37 when Virtala skated through the Swedish defence on the right and beat Swedish goaltender Ludvig Engsund on the left side. Three-and-a-half minutes later Laakkonen doubled the lead by scoring on his own rebound for the 2-0 first-period score.

The Swedes also had their chances to score but Hovi had an excellent start in the Finnish net while his teammates took care of the goals.

Palanto scored the 3-0 goal with a precise shot at 7:09 of the second period and 80 seconds later Pukka deflected a shot into the Swedish net after a horizontal pass from Palanto on a well executed power play.

Also in the third period the Swedes had trouble scoring on Hovi and didn’t manage to capitalize on a double minor against Palanto. And to make it worse, with a delayed penalty call against Sweden Virtanen made it 5-0 for Finland with a shot that went in just under the crossbar.

Sweden eventually got itself onto the scoreboard at 3:01 of the fourth period when team captain Robin Sjoren found the space on the floor and in the net to score the 5-1 marker with a shot to the far side. But instead of a Swedish comeback the fans in Tampere saw Finland increase the score to lopsided spheres.

43 seconds after the Swedish goal Pukka answered with the 6-1 marker after Palanto’s pass from behind the net and just over two minutes he added another one after deflecting Virtala’s pass to the crease before Palanto also scored another marker for the 8-1 score.

With 2.7 left on the game clock Pukka was again all smile when he scored his fourth goal of the night for the final score of 9-1.

Germany vs. Slovakia 1-2 (1-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1) SO Highlights

Slovakia got its first win in a 2-1 shootout win against Germany. Vladimir Neumann shone with 41 saves.

Germany and Slovakia had both lost to the North American teams in the group stage and challenged each other until the penalty shootout before Slovakia got the first win of the tournament with Tomas Jakos’ two shootout goals.

Although Germany outshot the Slovaks 42-26, it remained an open and low-scoring game also thanks to excellent goaltending from Neumann and Germany’s Jochen Vollmer.

At 6:29 of the first period Germany opened the scoring. Yannik Baier sent a pass from behind the opponent’s net to Christian Poetzel but it hit an opponent’s stick and went in from there. It was a lucky goal but a well-deserved lead considering the 14-3 shots on goal in Germany’s favour in the first period.

“It was a tough game. We knew we had to win if we wanted to be third in our group,” said Neumann, who in the winter plays ice hockey for HO Hamikovo in the third-tier Slovak league.

“In the first period we didn’t do what we said in the locker room. We had a lot of penalty kills but we got through and in the second period we started to play our game and played well in defence.”

The Slovaks improved their game both offensively and defensively in the second period and at 7:26 they tied it up when Roman Simunek’s shot from 15 metres went in behind a screened Vollmer.

Both teams had chances to decide the game during regulation time but the goaltenders kept their net clean also during the five-minute overtime period to force a shootout decision.

Penalty shootout:
Round 1: GER #20 Seifert – 1-0, SVK #9 Ruckay – save
Round 2: GER #18 Krzizok – missed, SVK #28 Preisinger – 1-1.
Round 3: GER #13 Tolzer – 2-1, SVK #16 Jasko – 2-2.
Round 3: SVK #28 Preisinger – missed, GER #20 Seifer – missed.
Round 4: SVK #16 Jasko – 2-3, GER #3 Schmidle – post.

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

The Czechs opened the scoring after eight minutes of play during their second man advantage. Pavel Strycek was positioned well in front of the net to capitalize on a rebound after a Michal Simo shot from the left side.

Although the Czechs outshot the Slovenes, their opponent played a competitive game. With a nice backhand shot Jure Sotlar tied the game for Slovenia at 6:58 of the second period. He skated on the right and found the gap between Czech defenceman Jan Zahradnicek and goalie Ondrej Haloda.

Saso Rajsar even had the chance to gain the lead for Slovenia on a breakaway but his attempt ended at Haloda and the Czechs reacted immediately on the other side.

Tomas Rubes skated from right to left to the crease and scored magnificently with a high shot from an acute angle when Slovenian goalie Tomaz Trelc went down. Only 70 seconds after regaining the lead Mikulas Zboril scored the 3-1 goal for the Czech Republic with a perfect shot from the face-off circle to the far side to leave the ice for the half-time break with a two-goal cushion.

After a scoreless third period Rajsar cut Slovenia’s deficit to one goal when he capitalized on a rebound after a long shot from defenceman Miha Brus to set up a challenge for the Czechs in the last nine minutes of regulation time but it was too little to tie the game again.

The Czechs are now in second place before tonight’s Finland-Sweden game while Slovenia finished the group in last place and will play the top-ranked team of Group B – Team USA or Canada – in Thursday’s quarter-finals.

DIVISION I

Quarter-Finals on 9th July

Australia vs. Austria 13:00
Great Britain vs. Hungary 15:00
Croatia vs. Bulgaria 17:00
Latvia vs. Argentina 19:00

All games will be streamed live. Times are local (EET).

Australia vs. Croatia 4-9 (0-2, 1-3, 1-1, 2-3)

Croatia gave Australia its first defeat at the tournament, 9-4, and took first place in Group D to set up a quarter-final meeting with winless Bulgaria.

The Croats were the more efficient team and started with three unanswered goals from Ivan Jankovic, Marko Tadic and Domen Vedlin. Each team Australia would come back by a goal the Croats managed to find the answer in the form of more goals. They entered the half-time break with a 5-1 lead and extended it in the following two periods.

Jankovic and Niksa Trstenjak each scored a pair of goals for Croatia.

Great Britain vs. Latvia 5-6 (2-4, 1-1, 1-1, 1-0)

Latvia finished its group in strong fashion and edged Great Britain 6-5 to enter Thursday’s quarter-finals as first-ranked of Group C in a clash with Argentina.

Defenceman James Archer opened the scoring for Great Britain after 75 seconds of play but Latvia reacted with two goals scored within less than a minute by Roberts Lipsbergs and Aleksandrs Kercs.

Rudolfs Maslovskis and Miks Lipsbergs added two more goals and Dan Hutchinson had one in between for Great Britain for a first-period score of 4-2 in Latvia’s favour.

In the second period Aleksandrs Galkins extended the lead for Latvia on a power play but Karl Niamatali scored Great Britain’s third goal.

Great Britain twice came as close as one goal in the second half of the game. Joey Ganley scored 42 seconds into the third period but a few moments later Miks Lipsbergs restored the two-goal lead with his second marker.

At 2:43 of the fourth period Ben Lowe cut the deficit again but Latvia managed to defend the 6-5 lead for the remainder of the game.

Hungary vs. Argentina 3-4 (2-0, 1-1, 0-1, 0-1, 0-1) OT

Two years ago Argentina lost to Hungary in a shootout, this time they took revenge with a 4-3 overtime win coming back from a 3-1 deficit. It was Argentina’s first win at an IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship in four years.

Marton Mach and Zoltan Revak scored the goals for a 2-0 first-period lead for Hungary. After Rodrigo Irisarri had brought Argentina on the scoreboard early in the second period, Akos Kiss restored Hungary’s two-goal lead.

The Argentines reacted in the second half of the game. Facundo Vadra scored the 3-2 goal at 4:49 of the third period and with 20 seconds left in regulation time – with 6-on-4 players on a power play and with the goalie pulled – Sebastian Bustos tied the game at three to force the first extra period of the World Championship.

At 1:59 of overtime it was Vadra, who scored the game-winning goal for Argentina.

Austria vs. Bulgaria 8-0 (1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 2-0)

In a game for third place in the group between two winless teams Austria blanked Bulgaria 8-0. The Bulgarians managed to keep the score in the first period low when Johannes Lins scored the only goal but the Austrians increased their goal production.

Lins and Harry Lange scored a pair of goals each. Christian Haidinger, Gerd Gruber, Andre Niec and Tobias Schonauer scored the other markers for Austria.