Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Pyongyang Ice Hockey

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By Gordon Israel – Friendship League

Our team organizes annual ice hockey exchanges between the DPRK (North Korean) men’s national team and international hockey players. The primary goal of our efforts is to create cross cultural engagement with the people of the DPRK and to raise funds for our charitable workshops for athletes with intellectual disabilities in Pyongyang.

We have a few more spaces remaining on the team for our upcoming event in Pyongyang from March 7-15, 2017 and are hoping that we could partner on this occasion and that you might even be able to join us too. Our team has received a small amount of funding for the trip, allowing us to contribute a substantial portion to the total travel fees for some participants (Regular package starting at USD1600). It would be an unforgettable experience for the players and will be documented by a network film crew who will be making a brief film about the trip. This is the second edition of our Pyongyang Ice Hockey League (PIHL), already successfully held back in March 2016, when we brought a group of international players in Pyongyang to play against the DPRK men’s national team, and we hope to organize many more!

Please feel free to check out some pics and video from our event last year:
https://youtu.be/FR1gQHTRKM8 and instagram.com/hifriendshipleague.

You can also check out our website for more information: www.friendshipleague.org

Terry scores shootout gold

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By Andrew Podnieks IIHF.com

Troy Terry has done it again. He was the only scorer of ten shootout shooters tonight, giving the USA the gold medal in an incredible 5-4 win over Canada.

Just 24 hours ago, he scored three goals in a shootout to defeat Russia and advance to today’s championship game.

“Before the shootout, I was thinking about trying something different [than shooting between the legs],” Terry explained. “As I came down, I decided I just had to try to go five-hole.”

“I think it’s a Troy effect,” teammate Jack Roslovic enthused. “No matter what, you can cover it all you want, you can sit in the butterfly, he’ll find the five-hole.”

U.S. goalie Tyler Parsons stopped all five Canadian shooters, none of which came particularly close to scoring.

Canadian counterpart Carter Hart stopped four shots, allowing only Terry’s low shot between the pads.

For the Americans this marks their fourth U20 gold, following 2004, 2010, and 2013.

“It was a great atmosphere in the building,” Parsons said. “It gave me chills. It’s unbelievable to win this for your country.”

“Unbelievable,” said Colin White. “There’s no feeling like it. We came together as a team. Four weeks now we’ve been together, and to win a gold medal together is just great. The calmness we’ve had all tournament was huge. We were down yesterday, down twice today by two goals. We stayed calm on the bench and fought back.We always knew we had each other’s backs all tournament, and we came together so well as a team.”

Canada had an early lead of 2-0–and let it slip away–as well as a more critical 4-2 lead early in the third, but the Americans simply refused to give up or be intimidated by the pro-Canadian crowd.

There were countless scoring chances and giveaways forced by puck pressure, end-to-end action, and blinding speed. Canada outshot the U.S., 50-36, but in the end it was another nifty move by Terry that proved the difference.

“It was such an up-and-down game,” Terry said. “We were down two goals twice. I think when we were down 2-0 and came back to tie it we got some confidence because it sucked to go down two goals right away. But, we knew as a team that no matter how we played, we had the confidence to get back into the game.”

Kieffer Bellows, with his second of the game, and Colin White tied the game midway through the third, and despite incredible opportunities to score, the game went into a fourth and final period.

“The 23 of us, all the way from summer camp to Buffalo camp, we knew we had to come up huge,” said Bellows, the American-born son of longtime Canadian NHLer, Brian. “Our country needed us at this point with the hockey. Kids looking up to us, teenagers, older adults that love hockey so much were looking up to us. We came out on top, and hopefully the country’s proud of us.”

The 20-minute, five-on-five overtime was breath-taking and heart-stopping, Canada dominating but both teams having several glorious chances to win. Indeed, the Canadians had the only power play, called because of a too-many-men penalty to the U.S., but it couldn’t put the puck in.

The Fates seemed to will the puck out of the net, believing a shootout was needed to decide this incredible contest of speed, skill, strength, and determination.

Canada’s defenceman Thomas Chabot, named tournament MVP, played a staggering 43:53 in defeat.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done in this tournament,” he explained, “but it’s so hard to lose this game. I put everything I could into representing my country as well as I could and help the team win. I may have got the MVP, but I’m heartbroken. It’s very difficult right now.”

The game was played before a crowd of 20,173, just shy of the single-game mark set in Ottawa in 2009 between Canada and Sweden (20,380).

Emotions were high and the tension thick as the final game of the 2017 World Junior Championship started. The Americans had defeated Canada soundly, 3-1, just six days earlier, but now the gold medal was on the line.

Both teams had developed and matured over the last two weeks, and with everything on the line players gave it their all, and more.

The game started at a feverish pitch, and the raucous Bell Centre crowd was as loud as it’s been this year for the juniors. But just as the Canadians seemed nervous and tentative on New Year’s Eve, tonight it was the Americans who seemed rattled by circumstance, the intensity, and the relentless puck pressure from Canada.

Canada took control early and maintained high energy throughout the period, getting the puck deep and forcing the U.S. defencemen to turn and skate back to make a play.

The opening goal came at 4:38 off the rush. Matt Barzal made a nice pass to Mathieu Joseph, going to the net. Joseph couldn’t handle the puck but it came to defenceman Chabot who buried the puck as Parsons was playing Joseph to shoot.

Canada made it 2-0 at 9:02 thanks to a scramble in the U.S. slot. Adam Fox made an ill-advised swat at the puck with his glove, and it came right to Jeremy Lauzon who waited patiently before ripping a shot to the stick side of a screened Parsons.

Two goals, two defencemen, two French-Canadians. 2-0.

The Americans had a chance to get back into it with a power play, but they would up incurring a minor of their own halfway through to nullify the chance. 

To start the second, though, the U.S. came out with purpose and turned the tables on Canada, getting the puck deep, forechecking effectively, and putting Canada on its heels.

The reward came just 3:04 into the period when Jordan Greenway made a nice pass from the left-wing boards to defenceman Charlie McAvoy, the trailer on the play. He had plenty of time to take aim and drill a shot over Hart’s glove to cut the lead in half.

The crowd responded with tremendous support, and the Canadian players got their legs going, coming right back at their opponents. This wave was scuttled by a too-many-men penalty, though, and that cost Canada dearly.

A point shot from Fox drifted to the goal and hit Bellows on the way in at 9:30. Tie game.

The Canadians continued to skate and drew two late power plays, but some over-passing on their part and good defence by the Americans kept it a 2-2 game.

A third power play early in the third gave Canada a chance it didn’t pass up. Nicolas Roy ripped a shot over Parsons’ shoulder at 1:52, and at 4:05 they made it 4-2 when Mathieu Joseph raced past Casey Fitzgerald at the U.S. blue line and made a great deke on Parsons.

But the resilient Americans did not go queitly to defeat. Just 38 seconds later McAvoy fed Bellows in the slot, and his quick shot fooled Hart to make it 4-3.

They weren’t done yet.

Fox made a sensational pass to Colin White to the side of Hart, and White’s perfect deflection at 7:07 found the back of the net. Four goals in just over five minutes and the game was tied again, much to the shock of the Bell Centre fans.

“I saw [Fox] get the puck up there,” White described. “I was behind the net, and I knew if I stayed on that low post he’d get it to me. It was a great play by him, and I was lucky enough to tip that in.”

That set the stage for a wild finish that will go down in history as one of the greatest junior games ever played.

Thomas Chabot, a 19-year-old defenceman who plays for the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs and appeared in one NHL game this season with the Ottawa Senators, was also voted to the tournament All-Star Team, and was named Best Defenceman by the tournament directorate. He scored Canada’s opening goal and added an assist in the final against the United States.

Chabot led all defencemen in tournament scoring with 10 points (4+6), and led the World Juniors in ice time, averaging 26:14 per game.

The U.S. and Russia both placed two players on the tournament all-star team. Russian captain Kirill Kaprizov, who led the World Juniors with nine goals, was named Best Forward and an all-star. 

Individual Awards (selected by the directorate)

Best Goalkeeper: Felix Sandstrom, Sweden
Best Defenceman: Thomas Chabot, Canada
Best Forward: Kirill Kaprizov, Russia

Most Valuable Player (selected by the media)

Thomas Chabot, Canada

All-Star Team (selected by the media)

GK: Ilya Samsonov, Russia
DE: Thomas Chabot, Canada
DE: Charlie McAvoy, United States
FW: Kirill Kaprizov, Russia
FW: Alexander Nylander, Sweden
FW: Clayton Keller, United States

Finns win relegation opener

Joona Luoto ja Mareks Mitens nokikkain - ei maalia.

Lucas Aykroyd IIHF.com

Kristian Vesalainen broke a third-period tie as Finland edged Latvia 2-1 to kick off the best-of-three relegation series in Montreal on Monday.

Vesalainen’s long shot with 11 minutes left deflected in off defender Deniss Smirnovs, and the Finns celebrated with relief.

“I just shot the puck to the net and I don’t know what happened,” said Vesalainen. “Pretty lucky goal.”

The underdog Latvians allowed a tournament-worst 29 goals in four group stage games, but hung tough here to keep this one close. Finland outshot Latvia 45-24, and Latvian starting goalie Marek Mitens was tremendous.

“It’s not easy when you have just one goal after 40 shots or something like that,” said Finnish captain Olli Juolevi. “Those guys got more confidence and their goalie was super-hot after that. But the good thing is we finished the job.”

Like Latvia, the snake-bitten Finns scored six goals in group play, also a tournament low. The Finns won gold at last year’s tournament in Helsinki, and originally expected to compete in the quarter-finals. However, they opened with three regulation losses to the Czechs, Danes, and Swedes, and were doomed to the relegation round after Switzerland’s 5-4 shootout win over Denmark.

In a surprising move, coach Jukka Rautakorpi was fired before Finland’s game against Switzerland and replaced by Jussi Ahokas, who coached Finland to U18 gold in April.

Game Two goes Tuesday at the Bell Centre. Game Three is Thursday (if necessary).

Villi Saarijarvi also scored for Finland. Maksims Ponomarenko replied for Latvia.

Asked about coach Erik Miluns’s message to the team, Mitens said: “They were champions last year but they’re not this year. So we’ve got to play on the same level.”

The Latvians came out aggressively, but the Finns soon picked up the tempo. Near the five-minute mark, Henrik Borgstrom and Juuso Valimaki hit posts back-to-back. At 7:43, Saarijarvi stepped in from the point on the power play and wired a high wrister past Mitens for a 1-0 lead.

Midway through the first period, Mitens made a nice in-close save off Julius Nattinen off the rush. He also foiled Janne Kuokkanen, who split the Latvian defence and tried to sift a backhand through the five-hole. Finland outshot Latvia 21-11 through 20 minutes and could easily have led by more, with two late power plays.

“We knew they were going to play pretty defensively,” said Juolevi. “They were trapping a lot in the neutral zone.”

Latvia tied it up at 4:37 of the second period. Ponomarenko’s shot from the blue line whizzed past Finnish goalie Veini Vehvilainen’s glove. It was the first goal of the tournament for the 19-year-old defenceman, who plays for Lorenskog IK in Norway.

Next, it was Finland’s turn to parade to the penalty box, but Latvia couldn’t find the go-ahead goal, even with a long 4-on-3 man advantage.

In the third period, Nattinen and Joona Luoto misfired on a great odd-man rush chance near the six-minute mark. Shortly after Vesalainen’s go-ahead goal, Mitens grabbed an Eeli Tolvanen shot that nearly trickled over the goal line with 8:13 left.

The Latvians got one final gasp with 12 seconds left when Aapeli Rasanen was sent off for cross-checking Eduards Tralmaks in the Finnish zone. But even with Mitens pulled for the extra attacker, they couldn’t cash in.

Mitens stayed optimistic post-game: “We’re feeling confident. It’s only one game. It doesn’t matter. We’ve still got two games left. We’re gonna beat them in two games. That’s it.”

Finland is the first defending World Junior champion in history that has had to play relegation games. The Finns’ previous worst tournament finish was seventh (2000, 2009, 2013, 2015).

Newly promoted Latvia is playing in its sixth elite World Juniors since 2006. The Latvians managed to avoid relegation twice before, in 2009 and 2012.

“That’s our mission to stay in the highest group,” said Latvia’s Tomass Zeile. “If we would knock Finland out, that would be really big, to beat last year’s champions. For next year, to keep progressing for the 98’s and 99’s, to keep investing in hockey in the country, that’s huge.”

Canada survive Swiss scare in overtime

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By The Canadian Press

Team Canada nearly stumbled its way into the world junior hockey championship.

The Canadians saw a 3-0 first-period lead melt away against Switzerland on Friday night, Nicolas Roy staving off a potentially worrisome defeat on the eve of the tournament with the overtime winner. It was a real jolt to the Canadians, who won their first two pre-tournament games by a combined 10-0 margin.

“Every team has to go through some of that (adversity) at some point,” said captain Dylan Strome, who scored once and added an assist in the 4-3 win. “I think it’s good for us to have a game where it was pretty close and we had to battle.”

Nico Hirschier scored a pair for the Swiss in the second period after Canada raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first seven minutes of regulation. Dominik Diem tied it at three moments into the third before Roy banged home the winner in overtime, the six-foot-four Carolina Hurricanes prospect pouncing on a Philippe Myers’s shot that sailed wide of the goal.

Carter Hart yielded three goals on just 14 shots. Head coach Dominique Ducharme wouldn’t confirm him as the starter for Monday’s preliminary-round opener against Russia.

Strome got it started quickly for the Canadians, beating Joren van Pottelberghe with a shot from the right face-off circle on a power play one minute 35 seconds into the opening period. Dillon Dube made it 2-0 just over two minutes later, Dante Fabbro adding another a few minutes after that, his innocent-looking shot from the left point beating the Swiss goalie short-side for the 3-0 lead.

Canada outshot Switzerland 6-1 after the first 12 minutes and 10-3 for the period. Snow piled up in the Swiss zone, the ice remaining pristine on the Canadian side.

Hart wasn’t tested much at all, but did require one quality save in the early going. The Philadelphia Flyers second round draft pick denied Yannick Zehnder on a short-handed breakaway at one point, the Swiss forward getting his chance when Julian Gauthier’s stick shattered in the neutral zone on a Canadian power play.

Switzerland came out strong in the second, finally sustaining some time in the Canada end. They broke through on an odd-man opportunity, Hischier taking a pass in the slot with speed and beating Hart.

The 17-year-old Hischier, a potential top-10 overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, has been called the “Swiss McDavid”. A rookie for the Halifax Mooseheads, he ranks among the QMJHL’s leading scorers this season with 48 points in 31 games.

He added his second of the game about five minutes after the first, again off the rush. Defencenman Noah Juulsen was unable to close the gap on Hischier before he fired a shot past Hart.

Canada still outshot the Swiss 7-4 in the period, but it was clear who the better team was.

“Second periods have kind of let us down and it happened again tonight so we’ll try to fix that,” Strome said. “I think we just kind of took our foot off the pedal. They had some chances where we were back-checking, but we weren’t going full way to the back of the house and they kind of took advantage of it.”

Switzerland scored their third goal to tie it in the opening minutes of the final period. Diem, who notched assists on both of Hischier’s goals, managed to gain a step on Strome as he strode through the slot, his shot just squeaking through the pads of Hart before crossing the goal-line.

It was the third goal on eight shots to beat Hart, still likely to be Canada’s starter when the tournament begins on Boxing Day.

Canada picked up its pace thereafter, Pierre-Luc Dubois nearly scoring on a strong drive to the net during a power play, Blake Speers grabbing another chance from the slot shortly after.

The Swiss didn’t land another shot after their goal for more than 10 minutes, the Canadians noticeably more engaged and in gear, though unable to take advantage of a pair of third period power plays.

Canada went 1 for 4 with the man advantage.

“I liked the way we reacted after the midpoint of the third period, the way we played of the rest of the game,” Ducharme said. “We’re going to be ready to for the 26th.”

Canada has been held without a medal in three of the past four world junior tournaments, including a stinging sixth-place showing last year.

“It’s a free lesson,” Ducharme said of Friday’s close call. “It’s good to be confident, but you have to remember what makes you successful and we got away from that a little bit and we saw the effect of getting away from that. It’s just part of preparing and sometimes you need to face that.”

Ice Skating Rink’ Grand Opening In Bermuda

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Star ice skaters Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn put on a show
before a large crowd during the opening of the St George’s, Bermuda
ice rink on Saturday afternoon.

By Bernnews.com

The ice skating rink at Somers Gardens in St George’s — is holding their Grand Opening today, with a special guest performance by American Olympic ice skaters Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn.

The guest performance was free for the public, thanks to sponsorship from Butterfield Bank, and the skate rink itself is now opening for the whole community to enjoy on scheduled dates until January 2nd.

Graham Redford, Managing Director of RUBiS said they were proud to be lead sponsors of the event and “extremely happy” to see this innovative event come to life.

“We would like to thank Cher Przelomski and Kathryn Massa of the Planning Factory for all of their hard work putting this together, as well as Erica Smith, Raymond Lambert and the exceptional team at Bermuda Economic Development Corporation for the support,” he said.

We would especially like to thank the Mayor and Corporation of St. George for sharing the vision necessary to make an event like this happen.

“I’d like to encourage residents of Bermuda to take full advantage of this opportunity brought to you by RUBiS and Bermuda Gas, and come on down to the East End and get your skates on!”

The cost for up to one hour of skating will be $20 per person including skates and transition time on and off the ice. For more information on St George’s Skates, please visit their website.

 

Kyiv’s historic ice hockey school slides into decay

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By Olena Goncharova – Kyiv Post

Oleksiy Zhytnyk looks sadly at what used to be his ice hockey training venue, the Avangard Ice Rink Arena. It’s where he started his path to professional hockey with the Sokil (Falcon) Kyiv Youth Ice Hockey School.

The arena stands dark and abandoned, its floor covered in dust and building materials piled chaotically all around. Not a single puck has hit the ice here for many years – and there’s not even any ice.

For Zhytnyk, a Ukrainian former professional defenseman, who has played 1,085 games in the National Hockey League, including two Stanley Cup finals — with the Los Angeles Kings in 1992-93 and the Buffalo Sabres in the 1998-99, it’s a depressing picture.

“At least there was ice here before,” he says as the winter dusk begins to settle on this gray, unwelcoming building.

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Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk (C) together with the
representatives of the National Hockey Federation and Avangard Ice Rink Arena
look at what used to be a training ice rink for Sokil Youth Ice Hockey School.

Dim future

Every year Zhytnyk returns from his home in the United States to Kyiv to visit family. He stays connected with Ukraine’s hockey scene, although he’s not hopeful that it will recover quickly.
“We can compare (hockey) to a destroyed house – you can’t fix it with cosmetic changes,” he says, adding that its future is dim.

But things used to be different.

Sokil Kyiv Youth Ice Hockey School opened its doors to children in 1982. Sokil coaches raised a number of homegrown stars on their home rink at Avangard, including Zhytnyk, Dmitri Khristich and Nikolai Zherdev, the highest drafted player in Kyiv’s history.

But after Ukraine gained independence in 1991, many hockey rinks became less used than in Soviet times, when the nation’s clubs starred in the Soviet league. Some have been closed and turned into shopping malls or rented for office space since then.

Ukraine ended up having just 25 professional ice rinks.

In 2014, when the EuroMaidan Revolution forced disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych out of the country, the 8,422 square meter building of the Avangard Ice Arena was returned to the government, after having been managed by trade unions.

A year later, a former Sokil player, Kostyantyn Simchuk, was appointed a head of Avangard, and it was granted the status of the Olympic training base. But in 2016, Avangard still lacks an actual ice rink.

Past glory

Despite the tough conditions, the Sokil School still exists. They train around 250 kids, compared to nearly 500 in recent years when they had a rink in Avangard. Now the children train in Obolon district, where there’s a small rink under a bright yellow tent. According to the National Federation of Hockey, the rink does not meet the requirements to be a proper training venue because of its small size and lack of utilities.

Simchuk has been working side by side with Sports Ministry, National Federation and donors trying to restore the Avangard rink for Sokil Youth Hockey School.

The process is tough, he confessed, as they had to undergo a number of court hearings regarding ownership, and work out reconstruction plans that will help to access how much money they will need to bring hockey back to the Avangard.

The past achievements of Sokil School and its professional team, which won the 1985 bronze medal in the Soviet championship, are of little help when it comes to the school’s survival.

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a hockey player,” Simchuk says. “I can’t even talk about the money Avangard will need, because there’s no plan yet.” He estimates that the skating rink reconstruction could be completed in some five months and it would cost at least $500,000 – but those figures are preliminary ones.

On Nov. 9, Canadian Ambassador Roman Waschuk visited the Avangard facilities.

“We can help to spread the word on potential of (Ukrainian hockey) in Canada,” Waschuk told the Kyiv Post. “But it’s up to Ukrainians to work on the nation’s hockey.”

Hockey hub

Pavlo Bulgak, an advisor to the sports minister told the Kyiv Post that the Avangard Ice Arena is undergoing a facility audit to establish how much equipment it will need to resume work: “Lots of it was stolen before Avangard was returned to the government. We need to find the equipment, so Avangard can become a real hockey hub for the city’s team.”

However, Simchuk is not alone campaigning for Ukrainian hockey. His biggest support, he says, are mostly parents of young Sokil players and hockey enthusiasts.

A couple of years ago, Taras Dumych, a partner with law firm Wolf Theiss, began to help raising awareness about school’s conditions.

Dumych, a native of Lviv, says he’s always been a fan of the Kyiv team. “I believe that Sokil could have a rebirth, like a phoenix,” Dumych said, adding that this could happen if there are joint efforts by the authorities and the hockey fan community.

Future hopes

There are only three rinks in the capital, including one at central Palats Sportu, which will host the World Hockey Championship in Division 1A for the first time in April 2017. In comparison, there are at least seven rinks in Minsk, the capital of neighboring Belarus.

Olga Drobotko, whose 11-year-old son is a goaltender with Sokil, is frustrated by the country’s inability to sustain its ice rinks. She still hopes, however, that Avangard will become a place for her son to train in the future.

Now she regularly drives her son Illiya to a private hockey school so he can master his skills, as well as to Sokil.

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Parents walk the children near Avangard Ice Rink Arena in Kyiv.

Drobotko says she’s happy for her son’s passion, but concerned about his future in professional hockey.
Drobotko sets an alarm for early morning: her son’s daily training routine starts at 5:45 a.m. in the unheated tent where Sokil Youth Hockey School plays for now.

And the Sokil School still is still going, even though Sokil’s professional team was forced to forfeit games in 2013 due to the lack of funding.

“In fact, there’s no hockey in Ukraine,” Drobotko says. “But my son often tells me that hockey is the only thing he excels at.”

That’s what has kept her motivated to wake up early to take her son to training sessions.

HULL PIRATES 3-3 GB U20S

great britian ice hockey

By Tom Carnduff – Ice Hockey UK

A goal on 59:59 from Ivan Antonov ensured Great Britain Under-20s left the Hull Arena with a 3-3 draw on Wednesday evening.

Hull held a 3-1 advantage going into the third period, but GB showed great determination to come back and get a share of the spoils in East Yorkshire.

The Pirates took the lead early into the game, Brad Betteridge alert to a scramble in front of netminder Renny Marr to tap in at the backpost on 3:25.

Great Britain responded well and drew level through Liam Kirk on 4:10 when his effort beat Ash Smith in the Pirates net.

Dominic Osman put the Pirates back ahead with the first attack following the face-off. Osman dumping the puck into the zone and deflecting in with assistance from the plexi-glass behind the net.

Andrej Themar made it 3-1 on 22:23. He capitalised on a loose puck in the neutral zone and shot high into the top left corner of the net one-on-one.

GB cut the deficit to one through Ivan Antonov on 27:35. Josh Grieveson’s pass found Antonov in space out to the left of the attacking zone and the forward’s wrist shot beat Smith low to his left.

On the half-hour mark, Great Britain changed netminder. Denis Bell joining the action in place of Renny Marr, giving both netminders equal playing time.

Powerplay opportunities were presented to Great Britain in the third period, Kirk came close to putting the score level but his wrist shot went just over from close range with 44 minutes played.

On 49 minutes, the Pirates came close to making it four. Themar found Stanislav Lascek in space at the backpost, but Bell was alert to the danger and saved well low with his right pad.

With 53 minutes on the clock, Bell was called into action again. Salem’s shot from the left was finding its way into an open net, but the GB netminder did very well in getting across and making the save with his glove.

The game finished with a dramatic conclusion. Following a spell of attacking play from the U20s side, Antonov’s buzzer-beating effort made it 3-3. The original shot deflecting off the glass behind the net, Antonov alert to the danger to score at the left post.

The draw seemed the fair result. Great Britain having spells of good attacking and defensive play throughout the evening. GB will continue preparations for next month’s U20 World Championship in Hungary.

Team USA Tops Finland, 4-0, at Four Nations Cup

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By USA Hockey

Four different players netted goals and Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) tallied three points as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Finland, 4-0, here tonight in the team’s second game at the 2016 Four Nations Cup.

“We had another strong effort tonight and I’m pleased with the way we played and the outcome,” said Ken Klee, head coach of the 2016 U.S. Women’s National Team. “I like the way our team continues to come together and play with a high compete level, especially on back to back nights.”

Team USA controlled the play throughout the opening period, outshooting Finland 13-3, but was unable to beat goaltender Noora Raty. Finland nearly took the lead on a two-on-one rush in the closing minutes of the stanza, but Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.) made a sprawling glove save to keep the game scoreless entering the first intermission.

The U.S. broke through just 2:15 into the second period when Decker deked around Raty and slid a pass across the crease to Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill), who poked the puck into the empty net.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Grand Forks, N.D.) extended Team USA’s advantage to 2-0 with a slap shot from the point at 9:09 of the frame.

Megan Keller (Farmington, Mich.) gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead 1:15 into the final period when she collected the rebound from a shot by Decker, and backhanded the puck into a wide open net.

Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Grand Forks, N.D.) netted a rebound with 9:14 remaining to make the final 4-0.

Hensley finished with 18 saves to earn Team USA’s second straight shutout to open the tournament.

Canada defeats Sweden at Four Nations

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By Canadian Press

Canada defeated Sweden 3-1 on Wednesday to set up a pair of showdowns with the archrival Americans at the Four Nations women’s hockey tournament.

The first game will close out round-robin play Friday. Since both teams will enter with 2-0-0 records, they have already locked up berths in the championship game Saturday.

“We’ve got to make sure that we play a good puck possession game,” said Canadian assistant coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk. “We have to have a good puck management game. The U.S. are going to be prepared. They’re a very skilled team and we’ve got to make sure we bring our A-game on Friday when the puck drops.”

Marie-Philip Poulin’s power-play goal at 10:22 of the second period stood up as the winner. Melodie Daoust iced the victory with an empty-net goal with 66 seconds left in the third period.

“The Swedes played a tough game,” Gylywoychuk said. “They played us hard, they have a lot of pride in their game and a lot of pride in their defensive game.

“We knew we had to get a lot of pucks to the net to have success.”

Hanna Olsson opened the scoring for Sweden at 11:48 of the first period and Haley Irwin pulled Canada even at 14:40. Canada outshot Sweden 13-2 in the opening stanza and 38-13 overall.

Sara Grahn was in net for Sweden while Genevieve Lacasse was the Canadian goaltender. Laura Fortino had two assists for Canada.

“We knew Sweden would come out hard,” Poulin said. “We’re really happy to come out on top here.”

The United States blanked host Finland 4-0 in Wednesday’s other game.

Canada, which opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Finland, has dropped its last six meetings against the U.S. The world champion Americans haven’t lost to Canada since dropping a 3-2 shootout decision in the 2014 Four Nations final.

“We know it’s really intense every time we play them,” Poulin said. “So we have to play physical, put a lot of pressure on them and a lot of shots.”

Canada has won gold 14 times in the tournament’s 21-year history.

Canada tops Finland in Four Nations tuneup

http://www.leijonat.fi/media/k2/items/cache/368ec28fce9e1527ef83f405d682c88c_L.jpg

By Canadian Press

Finland — Bailey Bram scored the eventual winner near the midway point of the second period as Canada’s national women’s team topped Finland 4-1 on Sunday in a tune-up match ahead of the Four Nations Cup.

Meghan Agosta, Laura Fortino and Marie-Philip Poulin also scored for Canada. Emerance Maschmeyer and Genevieve Lacasse shared goaltending duties for the win. Maschmeyer turned aside 7-of-8 shots, while Lacasse made nine saves.

Jenni Hiirikoski responded for Finland in the first period. Goaltender Noora Raty stopped 19 shots.

Bram created a turnover in the Finnish zone, then went five-hole for the unassisted goal at the 13:26 mark of the second to give Canada a 2-1 lead. Canada outshot Finland 23-17 overall.

“It was a good first game for us, I think we did a lot of little things well,” said Canada’s head coach Laura Schuler. “Finland always plays a hard game against us and I think moving forward that was a great game that will help us identify the areas where we need to continue to get better, but for the most part I was really happy with our effort.”

Sunday’s game was Canada’s only pre-competition contest. It faces Finland once again on Tuesday on the opening day of the Four Nations Cup. Canada then meets Sweden on Nov. 2 and the United States on Nov. 4. The medal games will be played on Nov. 5.

Canada took silver last year. It’s won the gold medal 14 times in 20 tournaments, overall, mostly recently in 2014.

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