Date: September 14, 2016

Getzlaf scores in OT as Canada clips Russia

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By The Associated Press

Ryan Getzlaf beat Sergei Bobrovsky on a breakaway at 3:29 of overtime to give Team Canada to a 3-2 victory over Team Russia in a World Cup of Hockey exhibition Wednesday night.

Bobrovsky made 45 stops, some of them spectacular, but couldn’t wrangle the puck when Getzlaf slipped it between his pads during the 3-on-3 extra session.

John Tavares and Patrice Bergeron scored for Canada. Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby assisted on Bergeron’s score while playing on home ice at Consol Energy Center.

Carey Price had 24 saves for Canada, which finished 2-1 in exhibitions before the eight-team tournament begins in Toronto this weekend.

Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for the Russians. Alexander Ovechkin also scored. Evgeni Malkin assisted on Ovechkin’s goal to match longtime Pittsburgh teammate Crosby.

The Canadians open the tournament Saturday against the Czech Republic, while Russia begins on Sunday against Sweden.

Canada is a heavy favourite to continue its run atop international play, a surge that started with a triumph at the 2010 Olympics and continued two years ago in Sochi when they grabbed gold again while the host Russians missed the medal stand completely.

Anything less than hearing “O Canada” play after the finals at the end of the month would be a disappointment, particularly on home ice. It’s a role Crosby and his countrymen thrive in though they’ve been a bit uneven during their three exhibitions, following up a 5-2 romp over the US last weekend with an up-and-down performance against Russia.

Crosby and Malkin both joked about facing off against each other on the same sheet of ice they’ve shared as teammates for a decade, with Crosby good naturally saying he may take a friendly shot at Malkin if the moment called for it. The moment ended up coming in the first period, when the two briefly met in the corner before Malkin skated away with both players unharmed.

Canada dominated the first period and took the lead when Crosby fed a streaking Bergeron, who slipped it by Bobrovsky to put the Canadians in front during a 20-minute stretch in which they out shot the Russians 14-5 and tilted the ice heavily to once side.

Russia slowly found its footing and finally converted when Malkin won a faceoff and dropped it to Panarin, who slipped it across the ice to Ovechkin. The Washington Capitals star drilled a one-time from his familiar spot in the left circle to tie it 3:40 into the third. Panarin put Russia up less than four minutes later when he jumped on a rebound to give the Russians the lead.

Tavares picked up his third goal in as many exhibitions by threading a wrist shot from the top of zone by Bobrovsky at 13:58. Bobrovsky sent the game to overtime with a series of spectacular stop in the final minutes of regulation, including a slick glove hand save against Crosby from in close.

Leon Draisaitl’s hat trick powers Europe past Sweden

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By The Associated Press

Henrik Lundqvist got the hook after allowing five goals on 22 shots in Sweden’s 6-2 loss to Team Europe on Wednesday night in each team’s final pre-tournament game before the World Cup of Hockey.

Leon Draisaitl had a hat trick and Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek scored on the New York Rangers goaltender, who was a victim of giveaways and defensive miscues but wasn’t at his best. Jacob Markstrom replaced Lundqvist in the third period.

European captain Anze Kopitar added an empty-net goal.

Daniel Sedin scored on the power play and Patric Hornqvist at even strength for Sweden, which opens the World Cup on Sunday against high-powered Russia.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced to solidify the No. 1 goalie job for Europe, which looked ready to face the United States on Saturday after losing twice to the 23-and-under Team North America.

Czech Republic holds off North America

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By The Associated Press

Tomas Plekanec banked a backhander off Connor Hellebuyck’s pads with just over eight minutes remaining and the Czech Republic held off Team North America 3-2 in a World Cup of Hockey exhibition game Wednesday.

North America — comprised of players 23 and under — overcame a 2-0 deficit to tie it midway through the third period on goals by Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere and Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews against Petr Mrazek.

Plekanec answered 53 seconds after Matthews’ goal by taking a feed from Ales Hemsky from behind the net and knocking it off Hellebuyck’s leg and over the goal line for his third goal in as many exhibition games.

Ondrej Palat and Radek Faska also scored for the Czech Republic. Mrazek stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced after coming in for Michal Neuvirth at the game’s midway point.

Matthew Murray, who helped the Pittsburgh Penguins to the franchise’s fourth Stanley Cup last spring, made 16 saves for North America before being replaced by Hellebuyck.

The eight-team tournament begins Saturday in Toronto. The Czech Republic opens Saturday night against Canada. North America faces Finland on Sunday.

2016 HKAHC Invitational Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament

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By South China Morning Post

The international tournament stage has been set for another special weekend of hockey in Hong Kong.

The 14th annual BOCI-Prudential Asset Management 2016 HKAHC Invitational Ice Hockey Tournament begins Friday, September 16th and will feature more countries and more young players than ever before. The field of nine teams have been selected and are set to compete in the weekend event.

Last year’s Gold Cup Division Champions Philippines return to the tournament, and will look to defend their title. They were victorious over Mitsubishi (Japan) who will also return to avenge last year’s loss in the finals.  Also in last year’s Gold Cup grouping were the United Arab Emirates, who had a strong showing in their first year in the competition, and we welcome them back for a second year.

Last year’s Silver Plate Division Champion Chinese Taipei also return to the tournament, who took the Gold Cup Championship the previous year. They were victorious over Capitals (Mongolia) who will make their second straight appearance in the tournament. Long time participants HAMA Club (Japan) were also in the Silver Plate Division and will look to make a stronger showing this year.

Bauhinia Division Champions Macau will be back for another year, as they look to defend their title in this division. The runner up in this division was Qatar however they are unable to participate this year, which opens the door for newcomer Oman to the tournament. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the new team can make on this year’s tournament field.

The home squad of the HKAHC is also in the mix and they are looking stronger than ever. Principal Standard League Coach Barry Beck will be head coach for this team and will add assistant coach Robert Kang to the staff. With a stronger line up and additions behind the bench, they are looking to reach a higher level than in the past.

With this stronger and diverse tournament field, it is any teams’ race to the Gold Cup Championship. Games begin Friday September 16th, with Oman taking on Philippines at 1930 hrs, Mega ice.

Schedule here