|Ottawa Senators forward Dany Heatley has put
on a scoring clinic thus far in the 2008 World
Championship with 10 points in three games. Dany Heatley NHL video highlights
The 2008 IIHF World Championship saw a classic contest unfold Tuesday when arguably the two best teams in the tournament – Canada and the United States – faced off at the Halifax Metro Centre.
Canada prevailed, 5-4, when Ottawa Senators forward Dany Heatley, who leads the tournament with six goals and four assists in three games, scored the game-winner and his second of the game with just 46.8 seconds remaining in the game. Heatley, one of just eight players in the NHL to total at least 40 goals and 40 assists this season, has the most career points for Canada in World Championship history with 42, surpassing Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman’s record of 39.
“We played really hard right to the end,” said Canadian centre Ryan Getzlaf, who is playing on the same line with Heatley and Rick Nash. “We take pride in those kinds of wins. We were raised that way.”
Said Heatley: "We're a Canadian team, we know we have character. It was a character win but I feel like we can play a lot better. And we will."
The Canadians jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first by with goals by Heatley, Brent Burns and Jonathan Toews and the game seemed to be well in hand for coach Ken Hitchcock’s club.
Just 34 seconds after Toews’ goal, the Americans struck with a Zach Parise goal and the Canadian lead was cut to one when Patrick O’Sullivan broke in alone on a breakaway and was able to beat Canadian goalie Cam Ward.
Canadian captain Shane Doan, who is also wears the 'C' for the Phoenix Coyotes, believes his team is still coming together and the tournament will be a challenge for his club.
“We're a work in progress, I guess,” Doan said. “We're going to keep working no matter what in every game. Nothing's going to come easy.”
The Canadians regained their two-goal lead in the third period with a Derek Roy goal, but the Americans rallied back to tie it with goals from Dustin Brown and Jason Pominville later in the third period.
Despite the loss, American coach John Tortorella thought his club played well. “I thought they played their (butts) off.” Tortorella said.
O’Sullivan agreed with Tortorella and thinks, perhaps, if these two teams meet again in the tournament, there might be a different result.
“I think we showed a lot of people that we're capable of playing at the same level as these guys,” O'Sullivan said.
Canada and the U.S. are the only two teams in the tournament that have dressed a roster full of current NHL players.
With this win, Canada gained the top spot in Group B ahead of the second-place Americans, which means the Canadians will open the qualification round against the second-place team in Group C – Finland, Slovakia or Germany. The Americans will play the first-place team from Group C in their first game of the qualification round.
Around the World Championships
– The Latvians got two goals from Aleksejs Sirokovs
, who plays for Metalurg Zhlobin of the Belarusian league and added a penalty-shot goal from Aleksandrs Nizivijs
on Tuesday to defeat Slovenia 3-0. Edgar Masalaskis
stopped all 17 Slovenian shots he faced and helped Latvia surge to third place in Group B, while Slovenia will face the relegation round … The Czech Republic predictably took care of Italy by cruising to a 7-2 victory Tuesday in Quebec City after a shaky first period, which ended 2-2. The Czechs, who allowed just 14 shots on goal, had six different goal scorers, including Phoenix right wing Radim Vrbata
, who scored twice. With a winless record in the preliminary round, Italy will face the possibility of relegation … Sweden will get a major boost Wednesday when goalie Henrik Lundqvist
, whose New York Rangers were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, will join the club. Even though Lundqvist should arrive in time for Wednesday’s game against Switzerland, he is not expected to play until the qualification round … Russia completed the preliminary round without a loss and captured the top spot in Group D on Tuesday afternoon with a 4-1 victory against Denmark. Russia got goals from Maxim Afinogenov
, Alexander Ovechkin
, Sergei Fedorov
and Konstantin Gorovikov
before Denmark’s Kim Staal
closed the scoring. Denmark was in awe of its clearly superior opponent. “It was almost like a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play against these Russians,” said Danish goalie Patrick Galbraith
. “I almost wanted to keep the puck as a souvenir after making a save.”
Author: Adam Schwartz | NHL.com Staff Writer