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2009 IIHF World Championship - Blog

by Robert Desimone / Minnesota Wild
Men's Worlds stats update

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Throughout the IIHF World Championship, Robert Desimone will keep you posted on the event.

Friday, May 8, 2009
Canada sets up showdown with Russia
Derek Roy scored two goals and Shawn Horcoff scored his first goal of the tournament as Canada defeated Sweden, 3-0, in the second semifinal game on Friday. Dwayne Roloson recorded 25 saves in the victory. Loui Eriksson scored the lone goal for Sweden in the third period and Jonas Gustavsson made 35 saves in the loss. Sweden will play the United States on Sunday in the Bronze Medal Game, while Canada will face Russia in the Gold Medal Game. 

Late goal sends Russians to Gold Medal Game
Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist and Konstantin Gorovikov scored the game winning-goal with 1:47 remaining in the third period as Russia defeated the United States, 3-2, Friday to advance to the final on Sunday. Dustin Brown gave Team USA the 1-0 lead early in the second period before Kovlachuk and Alexander Frolov scored to give Russia a 2-1 lead. Kyle Okposo scored the other goal for the United States, tying the game late in the second period. Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves for Russia, while Robert Esche made 21 saves for the US.

Thursday, May 7, 2009
Sweden tops Czech Republic
Mattias Weinhandle had a goal and an assist, Dick Tarnstrom scored the game winning-goal in the second period and Jonas Gustavsson made 33 saves Thursday night as Sweden topped the Czech Republic, 3-1. Sweden is the fourth and final team to qualify for the Semifinal Round, and will face Canada on Friday night in the second semifinal game. Petr Cajanek scored the lone goal for the Czechs and Kenny Jonsson added the insurance marker for Sweden late in the third period. Wild D Marek Zidlicky finished the tournament with one assist for the Czech Republic. The captain also had six PIM, a minus-1 rating and led the team in ice time at 22:35 minutes/game.

Canada defeats Latvia
Dan Hamhuis and Steve Stamkos each had a goal and an assist as Canada defeated Latvia, 4-2, in the first Quarterfinal Round game Thursday evening. Dany Heatley and Matthew Lombardi also scored for Canada, while Herberts Vasijevs and Guntins Galvins scored for Latvia. Canada advances to the semis for the seventh consecutive year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

United States advances to semis
Dustin Brown, T.J. Oshie and Ryan Suter scored in a 3:48 span during the second period, and Robert Esche made 47 saves as the United States overcame a slow start to defeat Finland, 3-2, Wednesday night.

Niko Kapanen and Hannes Hyvonen each scored for Finland, while Pekka Rinne made 32 saves.

The United States will play Russia, the defending World Champions, in the first Semifinal game on Friday. 

Wild RW Antti Miettinen had an assist on Kapanen’s goal and finished the tournament with eight points (3-5=8), 19 shots and a plus-1 rating in seven games.

Russians fight off neighbors

Ilya Kovlachuk scored the game-winning goal 7:22 into the third period and the Russians held on in the final 12 minutes to defeat Belarus, 4-3, in the first Quarterfinal game of the tournament. Belarus held leads of 1-0 and 2-1, then tied the game with :22 left in the second period after Russia fought back to take a 3-2 lead. Belarus finished eighth in the tournament, while the Russians advance to the semis to play Team USA.

Monday, May 4, 2009
The Quarterfinal Round is set and will consist of two games on Wednesday and two games on Thursday.

The first game on Wednesday features top-seeded Russia (#1, Group E) against Belarus (#4, Group F). Ilya Kovalchuk has posted 10 points (3-7=10) and a plus-5 rating to lead Russia.

“He looks like he is in better shape [than the NHL season],” Thompson said of Kovalchuk. “He’s been tremendous here.”

The second game Wednesday night features Finland (#2, Group F) against the United States (#3, Group E).

“The Finns always do better than you think because they’re tough, they’re competitive, and they know how to play in these types of games,” Thompson said. “I think the Finns’ goaltending is better, but, if the United States’ best players play well, they definitely have a shot at winning.”
Wild RW Antti Miettinen has seven points (3-4=7) and a plus-2 rating in six games for Finland.

The first game on Thursday will feature Canada (#1, Group F) against Latvia (#4, Group E). Martin St. Louis leads the Tournament with 14 points (4-10=14).

The final quarterfinal game features Sweden (#2, Group E) against the Czech Republic (#3, Group F).

“Should be a dandy hockey game,” Thompson said. “The best player on the ice in that game will be [Jaromir] Jagr, and, if he is on top of his game, he could make the difference. He has been tremendous.”

Jagr has nine points (3-6=9) and a plus-4 rating in six games.

Canada claims top spot despite loss
Hannes Hyvonen scored the game-winning goal in the shootout and Wild RW Antti Miettinen added an assist as Finland topped Canada, 4-3, in the final game of the Qualification Round.

“[Miettinen] looked good,” Thompson said. “This was his best game; he was smart and played a good solid two-way game.”

Canada received one point for the shootout loss to finish first in Group F with 13 points, two points ahead of Finland, which received two points for the shootout victory. 

Slovakia tops Norway in OT
Ladislav Nagy scored at 2:07 of overtime to give Slovakia a 3-2 victory over Norway in the final game for both teams. Slovakia moved up to 10th in the final rankings, while Norway dropped to 11th. Wild LW Peter Olvecky finished with one assist, five shots and a minus-3 rating in five games for Slovakia.

Relegation Round
Denmark tops Austria
Mikkel Bodker scored two goals and Julian Jakobsen added a goal and an assist, as Denmark stormed back from two goals down to defeat Austria, 5-2, in the final game of the Relegation Round at Zurich-Kloten. The win keeps Denmark in the top division for the 2010 World Championship in Germany. Austria falls to Division 1, Group A (location to be announced at a later date). Wild C Morten Madsen finished with three points (1-2=3) on nine shots and a plus-2 rating in six games for Denmark.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Canada eliminates Norway
Drew Doughty had a goal and two assists as Canada eliminated Norway from the playoffs with a 5-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Zurich-Kloten. Canada improves to 4-0 and will face Finland on Monday; the winner will finish first in Group F. 

Czechs shut out Belarus
Petr Cajanek scored two goals and Patrik Elias scored his second goal in as many games and the Czech Republic defeated Belarus, 3-0, Sunday night at Zurich-Kloten. Belarus finished fourth in Group F and will face Russia in the quarterfinals either May 6 or May 7. The Czechs finished third and will find out Monday who they will face in the quarterfinals.

In Group E, the Russians have claimed the top spot with a 4-1 record and 14 points. Sweden, USA and Latvia are tied for the final three spots with seven points. The Qualification Round will finish Monday with the U.S. playing Switzerland and Sweden playing France.

Relegation Round
Madsen scores as Denmark defeats Hungary
Wild C Morten Madsen scored his first goal of the tournament as Denmark topped Hungary, 5-1, Sunday at Zurich Kloten. Madsen now has three points (1-2=3) and is a plus-2 in five games. The win sets up a showdown on Monday with Austria to determine who will stay in the top division of the World Championship. With Germany hosting the 2010 World Championship, there is only one spot available for Denmark, Hungary and Austria to stay in the top division. Hungary is winless in the relegation round, leaving Austria and Denmark tied at six points heading into Monday’s game.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Jagr scores twice as Czechs route Slovaks
Jakub Klepis and Karel Rachunek had three assists, Jaromir Jagr scored twice, and Patrik Elias also scored in his first game as the Czech Republic defeated Slovakia, 8-0, Saturday night at Zuric-Kloten. Wild defenseman and Czech captain Marek Zidlicky recorded his first point (assist) of the tournament.

“He’s playing well,” said Thompson. “He’s had some good chemistry with guys like Jagr on the power play and he’s just been good.”

Wild LW Peter Olvecky returned to the lineup for Slovakia after missing Friday’s game against Finland.

“He played a solid game,” Thompson said, “but the Slovaks can’t generate enough offense against the good teams, it’s as simple as that.”

Miettenin held scoreless as Belarus defeats Finland in shootout
Oleg Antonenk scored the game-winning goal in the shootout and knocked Slovakia out of potentially qualifying for the playoff round with its 2-1 victory over Finland Saturday night at Zurich-Kloten. Wild RW Antti Miettinen was held scoreless for the second straight game but is still second on the team in goals with three.

“He was OK,” said Thompson. “There’s nothing wrong with him, but when you see Antti play a lot, you know that’s sort of his B game, we didn’t see his A game, so maybe we’ll see that [Monday].”

Friday, May 1, 2009
Kapanen’s OT Winner Lifts Finland Over Slovakia
Captain Sami Kapanen scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime as Finland defeated Slovakia, 2-1, in the Qualification Round Friday night at Arena Zurich-Kloten. Wild RW Antti Miettinen is second on the team in scoring with six points (3-3=6) but was held off the score sheet for the first time in four games.

“He played his usual two-way, strong game,” Thompson said.

Both Finland and Slovakia are back in action Saturday as Finland will face Belarus and Slovakia will play the Czech Republic.

Finland/Slovakia Notes: Former Wild defenseman Petteri Nummelin played for Finland and former Wild forward Branko Radivojevic played for Slovakia. Wild LW Peter Olvecky did not dress after playing the first three games for Slovakia, though there have been no reports as to why Olvecky was not in the lineup. “It’s like the NHL,” Thompson said, “Everyone is pretty tight-lipped on those things right now because the games come rapid fire.”

Madsen’s Assist Helps Denmark Past Germany
Peter Regin scored the game-winning goal with less than 10 minutes in the third period and Wild C Morten Madsen added his second assist of the tournament and Denmark defeated Germany, 3-1, in the Relegation Round Friday night at PostFinance Arena. Madsen now has two points (0-2=2) and is a plus-2 in four games for Denmark, which will play Hungary on Sunday.

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Stamkos Leads Canada Past Czech Republic
Steve Stamkos had two goals and an assist, and Chris Mason stopped 44 of 45 shots as Canada defeated the Czech Republic, 5-1, Thursday night in the Qualification Round in Kloten. Canada scored three power play goals while killing off all eight power plays for the Czech Republic. Canada will face Norway on Sunday, while the Czech Republic will face Slovakia on Saturday.

Canada/Czech Republic Notes: Wild D Marek Zidlicky has recorded nine shots on goal and leads the Czechs in average TOI/game at 21:38 while playing in all four games. Wild G Josh Harding has yet to play in goal for Canada, but according to Thompson, “Tony Dacosta looks sharp behind the bench for Canada as the equipment manager.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Canada defeats Slovakia
D Shea Weber had a goal and three assists and LW Martin St. Louis added four assists as Canada scored five power-play goals in its 7-3 win over Slovakia. Wild LW Peter Olvecky scored his first point of the World Championship with an assist on Tomas Kopecky’s goal in the first period. Both teams are finished with the Preliminary Round and will wait for the Qualification Round to be announced Wednesday night.

Monday, April 27, 2009
Miettinen leads Finland over Denmark
Wild RW Antti Miettinen scored two goals and added an assist as Finland responded from a slow start to cruise to a 5-1 victory. Miettinen is tied for ninth in the World Championship and tied for first on Finland with four points (3-1=4). He is also tied for second in the World Championship with three goals. Finland will play Wild D Marek Zidlicky and the Czech Republic on Wednesday in its final Preliminary Round game. Zidlicky has recorded six shots in the first two games and leads the Czech Republic in ice time at 20:02 TOI/Game.

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Miettinen strikes in 5-0 win
Antti Miettinen became the first member of the Wild to appear on a 2009 IIHF World Championship scoresheet when he struck for a power play goal in the first period of Team Finland's opener vs. Norway. Finland went on to score four more times in the 5-0 win.

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