Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Andrew Podnicks of IIHF.com,
This is Canada's first gold since 2007, and with the win Sidney Crosby becomes the 26th member of the Triple Gold Club and the first to captain all three championship teams.
The penalty-free opening period was a blend of nerves and skill, fear of making a critical error and blazing speed. Both teams had great chances to score, although Canada held a wide margin in puck possession. Sean Couturier fired a rebound over the open net while being checked, and Alex Ovechkin made a great rush only to fire high when the time came to shoot.
Cody Eakin opened the scoring at 18:10 when Viktor Tikhonov failed to clear the zone. Tyler Ennis got the puck and curled through the middle, then turned and fired a low shot that went off Eakin’s skate and in. The goal, by Canada’s fourth line, came on Eakin’s third shift of the game.
The player of the period, though, was Sidney Crosby, who made several great passes to create good scoring chances for linemates Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
from Andy Potts of IIHF.com,
Canada vs. Russia. The birthplace of the game against one of its most artistic disciples. A clash of styles and cultures, steeped in history on and off the ice. And, this year, a battle between a heavyweight roster that cruised through the early stages and an injury-hit team steadily gaining in momentum. The collision course is set; the confrontation will be intense.
The stellar Canadian offence has gathered most of the plaudits in this tournament, and not without justification. With 60 goals in nine games Canada boasts the four leading point-scorers – Jason Spezza, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Matt Duchene – as well as seeing Brent Burns in the top 10 as the second most productive defenceman of the competition. Spezza and Hall were on the scoresheet yet again to lead the team to a 2-0 win over the Czechs and it’s tempting to assume that this roster will simply blow the opposition off the ice.
The puck drops just after 2:30pm ET and is on NBCSN and TSN.
from the CP at TSN,
Canada will play for the gold medal at the 2015 world hockey championships after defeating the Czech Republic 2-0 on Saturday at O2 Arena.
Canadian goaltender Mike Smith recorded his second straight shutout, making 23 saves to hold down a fired-up Czech squad.
The home team showed great jump early in the game — inspired by its loud, partisan crowd of supporters — but a series of early saves from Smith kept the game scoreless.
Taylor Hall opened the scoring at the 8:40 mark of the first period, converting a slick feed from his Edmonton Oilers teammate Jordan Eberle past helpless Czech netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
Centre Jason Spezza increased Canada's lead to 2-0 at 9:02 of the second period on a sharp-angle shot that snuck inside the far post.
Canada will face the winner of USA/Russia game which starts at 1:15pm ET today.
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
The 2015 IIHF World Championship has been such a blast, even from six time zones west, so let’s say it: this is the best one ever. At least through these North American, NHL-trained eyes. Seriously.
Can you recall a previous edition of the Worlds — such a poor man’s Stanley Cup Playoffs that the spring tourney has been relegated to punch-line status, alongside golf jokes — being so rich with stories and rewindable plays and intrigue heading into the medal round?
Saturday offers two hand-plucked semifinals -- USA versus Russia, Canada versus Czech Republic -- that will lead to a fantastic, star-studded gold medal matchup Sunday no matter how it shakes out.
Would you like Canada-USA and watch Sidney Crosby face Jack Eichel? How about Late addition Alex Ovechkin's attempt to avenge the Capitals' elimination and snuff out Crosby's bid to join the Triple Gold Club?
Both semi-final games will be streamed in the US on NBCSports Live Extra.
All times are ET..
Canada vs. Czech Republic 9am
USA vs. Russia 1pm
God medal game is at 2:30pm ET on Sunday and is on NBCSN.
Team USA vs. Team Russia is on NBCSN at 10:15am today.
from Andy Potts of IIHF.com,
It’s a rivalry steeped in history – sporting, cultural and even political – and it’s a game that guarantees a big audience whenever the teams meet.
But while it’s no surprise to see a Russian team line up with several players who ply their trade in America, team USA has seldom called up anyone playing in the Russian provinces. But that’s the story for Dan Sexton, who spent last season in Tatarstan with the KHL’s Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. Now he’s preparing for battle against many of the stars he’s been facing all season.
“Playing Russia is always a big game,” he said. “They’re going to be a really strong team. Some of our guys might not know all their players but I know a lot of them from this season. They’ve got a load of great skill players and we’re going to have to be on our ‘A’ game to shut them down.”
Sexton’s KHL experience could prove invaluable, both in terms of second-guessing some of his Russian opponents and getting practice on the bigger ice used in IIHF competition.
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2015 – NBC Sports Group will present exclusive, comprehensive coverage of the 2015 IIHF World Hockey Championship from Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic – NBC Sports Group’s fifth consecutive year covering international hockey’s premier annual tournament – totaling more than 40 hours of coverage across NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
“As the U.S. television home of hockey, we’re thrilled to present comprehensive coverage for the fifth consecutive year of IIHF World Hockey Championship, the sport’s premier annual international tournament,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “The World Championship is another example of our commitment to hockey, from our near-200 games of regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, to our presentations of international hockey at the Olympic, Paralympic and Championship levels.”
Live coverage begins on NBCSN on Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m. ET, when Team USA faces Finland, the 2014 silver medalist, in the first of seven preliminary-round games, which will all air on NBCSN. Team USA’s preliminary-round matchups also feature a showdown with 2014 IIHF gold medalist Russia, on Monday, May 4, at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Last year, Team USA finished second in preliminary-round play before losing 4-3 to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The good news is Team USA at this year’s World Championship has an NHL 50-goal scorer among its forwards. The bad news is it’s a committee of seven guys. Of the 12 forwards named to this year’s team, there are just 59 goals at the NHL level this season. That’s six fewer than Sidney Crosby and Tyler Seguin have between them.
It’s strange how good the United States is at almost every level of hockey. It has owned the under-18 World Championship, recently picking up its sixth gold medal in the event in the past seven years. The Americans are a force at the World Junior and women’s level, but have been a bust on the international scene with their NHL players.
The Americans have yet to win an Olympic tournament with Olympic participation and their results in the World Championship have been downright dismal. USA has not won a true World Championship gold medal since 1933 – it was given World Champion designation in 1960 by virtue of winning the Olympic gold medal – and has a paltry three bronze medals to show for the past 20 years.
Perhaps that’s because they treat the World Championship as though it’s the Podunk Regional Silver Stick. Whether it’s by design or due to the fact that their top players don’t seem terribly interested in going, the tournament has been something of a petry dish for the Americans where they can watch their young players germinate in an international tournament.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – NBC Sports Group -- via NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra -- will provide exclusive live broadcast coverage of all Team USA games during the 2015 IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship.
The tournament, which runs from May 1-17 in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic, features a collection of the best players in the world from 16 nations.
Team USA opens play Friday (May 1) against Finland, with live coverage on NBCSN at 10 a.m. ET, in what will be the first of seven preliminary round games for the U.S. Five of Team USA's seven preliminary round games will air live on NBCSN with the other two slated to be broadcast on a same-day delayed basis. In addition, NBCSN will likely air all other Team USA games, including possible action in the quarterfinals, semifinals and the gold or bronze-medal game.
via the CP at NHL.com,
International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel says it will "not be easy" to reach a deal for NHL players to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Fasel tells The Associated Press that the IIHF has started the process of consulting players and officials over a deal for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Fasel says "our goal is to bring the NHL to Korea," but he adds that it is a "long process" and "will not be easy."
The IIHF must reach a deal with NHL officials, the NHL Players' Association and the International Olympic Committee. Insurance for player injuries is a perennial sticking point.
For the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, a deal was reached seven months before the games.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today the first 15 players of the 2015 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship May 1-17 in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic. The initial group of players includes one goaltender, six defensemen and eight forwards.
The group is highlighted by defenseman Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes), a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. In five previous IIHF-sanctioned events, Faulk has helped the U.S. to three medals (2013 men's worlds-bronze; 2011 world juniors-bronze; 2010 U18 men's worlds-gold). The U.S. roster will also include 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medalists Jake Gardiner (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Jeremy Morin (Columbus Blues Jackets), and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medalistsConnor Murphy (Arizona Coyotes) and Mike Reilly (University of Minnesota).
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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