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hckosice

Men's Ice Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games 2018

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German goal fest

Japan no problem in opening game

German goal fest

                                    German forward Marcus Kink with a scoring chance in front of the Japanese net.

 

 

Germany had a good start into the Final Olympic Qualification by opening Group E in Riga with a 5-0 blanking of Japan

 

The Japanese are not the favourite here but didn’t come to Riga to be a pushover. In the first game against Germany that was easier said than done though in a clash between two countries that are separated by 11 places in the World Ranking. Having seven NHL players on the German roster didn’t make it easier for the Asians either.

 

“They have a lot of skill, it was very hard,” said Yuki Miura, “but we didn’t give up.”

 

The Germans needed less than four minutes to open the scoring. Brooks Macek capitalized in front of the net after a diagonal pass to the crease from Leon Draisaitl at 3:26.

 

With 2:38 left in the period and Takeshi Saito in the penalty box, Patrick Hager sent a shot from the face-off circle after a drop pass from Tobias Rieder. Florian Schutz screened Japanese goalie Yutaka Fukufuji and deflected the puck but didn’t interfere the goalie in the crease as the video review showed. It was one of two goals for him.

 

“It’s never easy to win a game despite them probably not playing at the same level like us in European leagues. But they can play too and made it difficult at the beginning. After the first goals it became easier for us,” Schutz said.

 

Germany scored three of the five goals on power plays and outshot Japan 51-13. Early in the middle frame Tobias Rieder added another marker after a horizontal pass from Leon Draisaitl to make it 3-0 for the black-and-yellow team. With the next power play Tom Kuhnhackl increased it to a four-goal lead. Schutz followed suit on a rebound during the next man advantage for the Germans forcing Japan head coach Greg Thomson to use his time-out. For the last period he replaced Fukufuji with Takuto Onoda in the net.

 

For the Germans the high-score game was a good opportunity to gel together with the new players on the team.

 

“Most of the NHL players were already with us at the World Championship except for two who are new but we know each other and it’s great for German hockey they can play here with us,” Schutz said. “It’s noticeable that they’re playing at the highest level.”

 

The Germans will continue tomorrow against Austria and on Sunday against host Latvia. Last time in the Olympic Qualification Austria succeeded against Germany to qualify for Sochi 2014.

 

“The score [against Japan] has no meaning for the next games. Austria is at par with us, we didn’t succeed against them last time. It will be the two most important games of the year for us. We feel great and have self-confidence,” said Schutz.

 

 

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France squeaks by Italy

Da Costa wins game for Les Bleus in OT

France squeaks by Italy

 

France dominated the game but couldn't find a way to get around the Italian defense. Stephane da Costa fired the game-winner in OT.

 

France outshot Italy 31-24 in the game and dominated the play for long periods at a time but could only beat Italy’s goaltender Andreas Bernard once in regulation time. Stephane da Costa won the game for France with his shot just 26 seconds into the overtime.

 

Veteran goaltender Cristobal Huet made 23 saves for France.

 

“I just thought, ‘finally’, when I saw the shot go in,” said France’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who picked up an assist to the goal.

 

“We had several chances but couldn’t capitalize on them but we found a way to win the game. In the Worlds, we’re the underdog but now we had to carry the game and we got a little tired in the second period,” he added.

 

On the back of the French team practice jerseys it says, “tous ensemble pour 2017”, a call for action for the 2017 World Championship that will be held in Paris and Cologne. Paris will be hosting the tournament for the first time since 1951, and qualifying for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea would certainly help keep the game in the spotlight. 

 

But for that, they need to win their qualification group in Oslo.

 

“Four years ago, we only had a couple of days to prepare and found ourselves down by two goals after the first five minutes in our first game. It all comes down to details,” Team France coach Dave Henderson told IIHF.com after the team’s morning skate.

 

In their first game in Oslo, they looked nervous during the first five minutes but Italy couldn’t score early on and the longer the period went, the more France took over the game. They started to find the opening in Italy’s defense in the neutral zone and could send long passes through it, creating several good chances. However, Andreas Bernard in Italy’s goal was excellent.

 

Early in the second period, Jordan Perrett received a major penalty for checking from behind when he pushed an Italian defenseman into the glass behind Italy’s net. Halfway through the powerplay, the Kostner brothers found an opening. Simon Kostner passed the puck from the corner to Diego, who took a few strides towards the French net and shot the puck in through Cristobal Huet’s five-hole to give Italy the lead in the game 3.20 into the period.

 

France could tie the game just 2.20 later when Kevin Hecquefeuille found Florian Chakiachvili open in the slot. Chakiachvili turned and fired the puck past Bernard with a hard wrist shot.

 

Italy defended with a lot of heart and managed to keep France on the outside, making it easier for Bernard to turn away the shots that came all the way to his net.

"It went according to our plan. They had some great chances in the second period, but we defended really well," said Italy's goaltender Bernard. 

 

France never got the big push it would have needed and the game ended in a 1-1 tie in regulation time. The 3-on-3 overtime was just 27 seconds old when da Costa fired his shot topshelf, ending the game

 

“It’s the win that counts, I don’t think this [lost point] will matter, especially if we keep our focus in the next game,” said Bellemare.

 

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Outskated, outshot, outscored

Host Latvia lands perfect start against Austria

Outskated, outshot, outscored

                          The Latvian players listen to the anthem after the 8-1 win against Austria.

 

Latvia took first place in the standing on the opening day at the Final Olympic Qualification Group E on home ice in Riga after demolishing Austria, 8-1.

 

It was an unusually high score considering that Latvia needed overtime to beat Latvia at their last World Championship game against Austria in 2015 and even lost 6-3 in 2013.

Seven different scorers netted the puck for Latvia led by Kaspars Daugavins with two goals and an assist.

 

It was not like the Austrians were without chances in Riga. The hosts allowed them to come into the game in the beginning and were hospitable enough to play Austrian folk music during one or the other game stoppage. A strong Kristers Gudlevskis with 22 saves in the net prevented the Austrians from taking the lead while the Latvians widened the gap with six unanswered goals in the second and third period.

 

It was a game the Austrians could have needed their best goalie Bernhard Starkbaum, who didn’t travel to Riga due to injury. The Austrians started into the game wanting more. They had more puck possession in the beginning of the game but it was the hosts who opened the scoring on a Daugavins shot at 5:41.

 

In the following minutes the Austrians had two power plays and some scoring chances but no luck in front of Gudlevskis’ net. They didn’t score and even conceded a shorthanded goal. Lauris Darzins left for a breakaway. He lost the puck against a defender in the offensive zone but Andris Dzerins got it and beat Austrian goalie David Kickert top-shelf.

 

With 3:21 left Thomas Hundertpfund brought Austria onto the scoreboard and new hope, which was destroyed in the second period.

 

After a face-off won by Zemgus Girgensons, Roberts Bukarts sent off a shot top-right to restore the two-goal lead. Captain Daugavins even made it 4-1 after accepting a horizontal pass in the middle of the offensive zone to beat Kickert just two-and-a-half minutes after the last marker.

 

With 2:22 left Kristaps Sotnieks missed on a breakaway when coming out from the penalty box but one minute later Ronalds Kenins concluded a 2-on-1 with the 5-1 goal before the second intermission.

 

Austria changed goaltenders for the third period but to no avail as the scoring didn’t end there. At 3:57 Miks Indrasis shoveled the puck on the left side around David Madlener while falling to make it a five-goal gap. Martins Dzierkals added another marker with his shot from close to the net just two minutes later and in the dying minutes of the game Rodrigo Abols used his chance to land on the scoreboard too after a fast attack for the final score of 8-1.

 

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Kazakhstan shocks the hosts

Norway rallies back, loses in OT

Kazakhstan shocks the hosts

 

Norway controlled the game, Kazakhstan scored the goals. Then Norway rallied back to tie the game in regulation, only to lose it in the first shift of OT 4-3.

 

It was supposed to be a big Norwegian party at the old Jordal Amfi but apaprently, nobody told told Kazakhstan that and they pushed the hosts to their heels. In the last 1.17 Norway rallied back from 3-1 to tie the game and take it to OT. 

 

In the first shift of the 3-on-3 overtime, though, Kazakhstan's Brandon Bochenski scored the game-winner. 

 

"It's in the details. They played a good game and capitalized on their chances," said Norway's captain Ole-Kristian Tollefsen. 

 

Norway outshot Kazakhstan 9-5 in the first period, out-chanced them 5-0 and dominated the game for long periods at a time but Kazakhstan - whose team consists of only Barys Astana’s players - played smart and kept Norway on the outside, blocking the shots from the point and let goaltender Vitali Kolesnik take care of the rest. 

 

Norway’s first line with Patrick Thoresen - son of head coach Petter Thoresen -, Anders Bastiansen, and Mats Zuccarello carried the play and created several chances but couldn’t beat Kolesnik. 

 

Whatever plans Norway had for the second, they surely didn’t include Kazakhstan scoring but that’s what happened. Just 1.23 into the period Yevgeny Rymarev went around Norway’s net, and passed it behind his back, fooling both the Norwegian defenseman in front of the net and goaltender Lars Haugen so that Roman Starchenko saw nothing but the net and could score easily. 

 

Norway paid it back, though, 2.25 later when Bastiansen sent a backhanded pass to Mats Zuccarello who ied the game with a wrist shot from a sharp angle. 

 

Norway outshot Kazakhstan 20-10 in the second period, and except for the early Kazakh powerplay, the puck stayed mostly in the Kazakhstan zone. However, at 11.27 into the period, Nikita Ivanov won a faceoff in Norway’s zone, sent the puck to Kevin Dallman at the point, and his shot floated in through a lot of traffic in front of Haugen. 

 

Three minutes later Starchenko scored his second of the night when he won a race to the puck and his wrister from a sharp angle found its way to the back of the net. Norway had their chance to get back into the game thanks to two Kazakhstan penalties at the end of the period, but they couldn’t beat Kolesnik. 

 

The hosts got another powerplay opportunity to start the third period, but Norway couldn’t figure out a way to get to the best scoring areas even when Kazakhstan had just four skaters on the ice. Norway was 0-for-4 on powerplay tonight. 

 

Six minutes into the period, Kolesnik hurt his leg making a save. He left the ice in obvious pain and Dmitri Malgin took his place between the pipes. 

 

Then Norway got into some penalty trouble, and Kazakhstan go to play a minute and 50 seconds with a two-man advantage but couldn’t extend their lead.

 

With 1.17 remaining, Jonas Holos made it a one-goal game with a slap shot from the point. Then, with 14 secinds remaining, Bastiansen re-directed Zuccarello's hard pass to the back of the net to tie the game. 

 

Then, just a few minutes later, Norway came crashing down from the highest of highs.

 

Jordal Amfi, the arena, was originally built for the 1952 Olympics, as an outdoor arena, and it’s served Norwegian hockey well and the idea was to have the arena do one last Olympic favor by sending this team to the 2018 Olympics before it’s demolished in 2017. 

 

The Norwegian Olympic dreams aren’t dead yet, but the wrecking ball is already waiting outside.

 

"We have a new game tomorrow, let's see what happens in the other games," Tollefsen said. 

 

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Lalande on song

Netminder hero as Belarus downs Denmark

Lalande on song

 

Inspiring goaltending and efficiency when surging forward sends Minsk Arena rocking as Belarus charges ahead to a momentous 5-2 win against Denmark in Group D.

 

In front of a crowd of 15,086, Lalande stopped 30 shots while at the other end, Sergei Kostitsyn scored a brace while Andrei Stas bagged 1+1 to give Belarus a perfect start in their quest for a place at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

 

"I think you could have given it to 20 guys tonight," said a humble Lalande after collecting the man-on-the match accolade. "Everybody did something but it is an honour to get this kind of award."

 

Denmark who got in front in this seesaw battle are left to rue spurned opportunities in a contest where they won the shots 32-22. Nicklas Jensen and Jannik Hansen got on the scoresheet for the Scandinavians.

 

Speaking ahead of their opening game at the Final Olympic Qualification, Denmark's head coach Jan Karlsson had predicted a Belarusian onslaught right from the outset.

 

Instead it was Denmark that drew first blood. First Peter Regin had came close at the opening stages, before Jensen burst through with speed and trickery to cut inside from right point to weave past a Belarusian rearguard and hit home a top-draw finish just 2:46 into the game.

 

"The first ten minutes Denmark were all over us, but Kevin (Lalande) made some saves which calmed our players," said Dave Lewis, head coach of Belarus.

 

As Denmark failed to convert further chances to go ahead, it was the home favourites who grafted themselves back into the game roared on by a full house inside Minsk Arena.

At 11:50, a free-flowing move saw Charles Linglet and Stas combine to set up Alexander Pavlovich to tie the game and before the first frame had come to a close Denmark was caught sleeping while on the powerplay with Yevgeni Lisovets and Artyom Volkov converted to put Belarus in front 2-1.

 

"They get two easy goals, the first one is a 3-on-1 and their second is 2-on-1 while playing shorthanded," lamented Karlsson after the game.

 

While the second period finished goalless chances appeared at both ends. Belarus hit the post from blueline while Denmark work themselves back into the game during the second half of the period.

 

With all left to play for heading into the third period, Belarus hit home their third goal of the evening at 43:46. Oliver Lauridsen served a tripping call when inspirational Sergei Kostitsyn converted his first of the evening at a precarious time for Denmark.

 

"The 3-1 goal is a tough goal with just a few second left of our boxplay," said head coach Karlsson. "But in hockey things can happen fast. Two shifts later, Mads Christensen got a totally empty net and you have to score those chances."

 

But it was not to be Denmark's night with the killer blow arriving soon after. A tenacious Geoff Platt charged ahead and snapped up the puck of Jesper B. Jensen in Denmark's defensive zone to pick out Stas for 4-1 with 6:33 left of the game.

 

A Hansen slapshot from the right point high past Lalande offered little consolation with 1:19 left of the game and it was Belarus who scored the final goal of the night with Sergei Kostitsyn's empty netter.

 

Despite a victory against your top contender for a place in PyeongChang 2018 now successfully out of the way, Belarus refuse to take anything for granted as they head into their second game against Poland tomorrow evening.

 

"This was the most important game tonight and tomorrow's game is the most important game tomorrow," said head coach Lewis ahead of the game against Poland who will be next up. "The player can enjoy this victory until midnight, but we have three tough opponents in this tournament and we must prepare to play with the same amount of emotion and passion as we did tonight."

 

With the odds now stacked against Denmark in their quest for that elusive first Olympic appearance a lot is still left to play for as the Scandinavians recharge to face Slovenia next.

 

"We cry until midnight, but tomorrow we have a new game," said Karlsson.

 

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14 hours ago, hckosice said:

 

do you mean the winner of Beijing 2008 under 53kg ? :d because thats definitely yes the most. unbeatable :d

 

oh yes great day, still the NOR vs KAZ to finish. but what a day, Italy play with a totally new team, I am not familiar with at least 60 % of your players playing in Oslo. Great and all my respect for the way Italy choosed to go, despite the importance of the tournament there no so many "naturalized" North Americans with Italian "decents" but you are trying with many young new faces. respect. ofc there still the top leaders in the team as Larkin or Scandella and great Bernard in the goal but many new faces are trully refreshing this new Italy team :yes

 

Slovenia played very good, a lot of very nice actions and goals. They have a great team, but I still think this BLR group will be opened untill the end.

 

Austria is a joke really, they don´t deserve to be there, some teams from the previous round like HUN for example deserved more to play this final qualification round than this joke team..

 

yes, of course I immediately thought about her...:d

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prapawadee_Jaroenrattanatarakoon

 

about Italy...well, it's already quite a while that we don't use many North American born Italians...after our championships' decline, we simply can't afford them anymore (to be honest, it's also a political decision by the new officials of our federation, but I'm sure that if we could still call up a few of the best NHL/AHL player with Italian descent, we would do it despite all the the announces in the opposite direction)...

so, the only thing we could do, it was to start sending our best youngsters in a better youth system (junior Swiss league or junior EBEL) so to give them a chance to play at a higher level day in and day out and be useful to our National team one day...

now these politics start to pay their prize and we have a good bunch of youngsters playing in Bozen (EBEL) and/or around good European leagues, like SUI/GER and also some Finnish and KHL teams (even Slovan Bratislava have 1 of our former Canadian born Italian from the last generation, Nick Plastino...I saw him last night against Sochi spending quite a few minutes on the penalty bench...his real strenght...:rofl::facepalm:), where we can call them up from...

by the way, we still have 4 players not raised in Italy in our team (Cloutier, who's naturlized because of wedding, Trivellato, who's a German-born Italian and Di Casimirro and Scandella, who are North American born Italians)...

all the others (including Thomas Larkin, who was born in London and raised here in Italy, despite his name could suggest a different story) are Italian born and raised players (even Zanatta and Gellert, whose fathers were "outside Italy born" Italians playing in our championships in the 80's and 90's)...

that's the full genesis of our current team...

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5 hours ago, phelps said:

 

yes, of course I immediately thought about her...:d

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prapawadee_Jaroenrattanatarakoon

 

about Italy...well, it's already quite a while that we don't use many North American born Italians...after our championships' decline, we simply can't afford them anymore (to be honest, it's also a political decision by the new officials of our federation, but I'm sure that if we could still call up a few of the best NHL/AHL player with Italian descent, we would do it despite all the the announces in the opposite direction)...

so, the only thing we could do, it was to start sending our best youngsters in a better youth system (junior Swiss league or junior EBEL) so to give them a chance to play at a higher level day in and day out and be useful to our National team one day...

now these politics start to pay their prize and we have a good bunch of youngsters playing in Bozen (EBEL) and/or around good European leagues, like SUI/GER and also some Finnish and KHL teams (even Slovan Bratislava have 1 of our former Canadian born Italian from the last generation, Nick Plastino...I saw him last night against Sochi spending quite a few minutes on the penalty bench...his real strenght...:rofl::facepalm:), where we can call them up from...

by the way, we still have 4 players not raised in Italy in our team (Cloutier, who's naturlized because of wedding, Trivellato, who's a German-born Italian and Di Casimirro and Scandella, who are North American born Italians)...

all the others (including Thomas Larkin, who was born in London and raised here in Italy, despite his name could suggest a different story) are Italian born and raised players (even Zanatta and Gellert, whose fathers were "outside Italy born" Italians playing in our championships in the 80's and 90's)...

that's the full genesis of our current team...

 

Thanks for all the informations :)

 

Yes ofc I know Plastino, nah you are too harsh to him, he is a good player :d

 

btw do you know whats the current situation about Ihnacak ? is he still a part of the let say larger Italian roster or his times in Italian NT are over ?

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Slovenia :yes

 

Denmark :(:cry: terrible..I´m so sorry for them. I was absolutely sure that this time they will qualify...incredible waste to not succeed with such team

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Logic and deserved win of France over Kazakhstan 4-1, The French are now really close to Pyeongchang 2018, win over Norway will qualify "Les Bleus"  to the games, which will be huge for the hockey in France. The return to the olympics after last appearance in Salt Lake 2002 14th place.

 

btw last France match at olympics bring one of the most beautiful and most memorable goals but also surely the most arrogant goal of the whole olympic history scored by Marián Hossa :d

 

 

 

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Crazy 1st period between Belarus and Poland. Belarus from 0-2 is now leading 4-2 after 20 minutes. Pitty for Poland they played really good, but once again very stupid penalties --- got 2 mins for too many players on ice when you are already playing shorthanded is something we don´t see so often even in junior level :facepalm:

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