Wednesday, January 5, 2011

That is Why There Are 3 Periods

So imagine how many members of the media thought the gold medal game was over when Canada pushed their lead to 3-0 in the 2nd period? We will fess up and admit that we had written up about how Canada owned everything Russian in the first 2 period as even we were handing the Canadians the gold medal.

40 minutes of Canadian domination wiped out in just 5 minutes by the Russians and then before you can realize what happened the Russian did what really nobody but Russian fans thought was possible and won the gold medal 5-3.

For the 2nd straight year mighty Canada has to explain to a shocked fanbase why they lost. This one is going to be even harder for Canada to deal with because they really looked like they had this game won.

Nobody thought Russia had a chance to even medal when they lost their first 2 games including 6-3 to this very same Canadian team in their opening game. Here is a very scary thing to think about; the Russians junior program was supposedly one huge mess with next to no funding back home.

If this was disorganized then pray that the Russians never figure out how to become a well run program.

The person the we are the happiest for is Igor Bobkov who plays for the London Knight in the OHL. Bobkov is one of the nicest kids we have ever met. Always a smile on his face, never complained when he lost his starting job with the Knights; just promised to work harder.

Bobkov in many ways is a symbol about hockey is supposed to be about. The last person anyone thought would be a factor in the gold medal game comes in at the 6:27 mark of the 2nd period after Canada scored their 3rd goal.

The afterthought did what you pray your backup goalie is going to do; stop the bleeding and give you a chance to get back in the game. Bobkov did exactly that stopping all 20 shots he faced as the only Russian player playing the CHL winds up the most surprising player of the game.

5 goals in the 3rd period all at even strength and this one is going to hurt Canada even more than losing to the USA last year in overtime.

Our Prospects

Calvin De Haan (NYI 2009 1st) had an assist for Canada while Casey Cizikas (2009 4th) was scoreless. Yes Canada lost but it was not because Canada did anything wrong but rather that the Russians refused to quit.

De Haan finished 0-5-5 +2, Cizikas 2-1-3 and Brock Nelson (2010 1st)  0-1-1 -1 for the Islander prospects

In the Bronze medal game, Chris Kreider (NYR 2009 1st) showed off some of his game dominating skills with a 2 goal effort as Team USA defeated Sweden 4-2 to earn back to back medals. The real winners actually were the Ranger fans as while Chris Kreider was showing off his offensive game; Ryan Bourque (NYR 2009 3rd) showed he is a strong 2 way player.

But Ranger fans have to be happy after seeing Jesper Fasth (NYR 2010 6th) introduce himself to the Ranger Universe as he winds up the leading scorer for the Ranger prospects at 4-2-6 +4 to Chris Krieder's 4-2-6 Even.

Ryan Bourque was 0-3-3 -1 while Roman Horak was 0-1-1 -2.

Ryan Bourque as a junior winds up with 2 gold medals and 2 bronze medals which to us says a lot about his


WJC Thoughts

The question that will be up for debate is did Team USA disappoint or underachieve? In our eyes it was both as returning 8 players, a team built upon an Under-18 team which was a 2 time gold medal winner should have been better. 

We also died of laughter watching IIHF President Rene Fassel and USA Hockey's Executive Director Dave Ogrean lauded the attendance of the games. It was the best attended IIHF international hocker every in history better than the Salt Lake Games. 

What they really should be doing is thanking Canada for being so hockey crazy because that is why over 330,000  attended these games. If Canada was playing in a hockey tournament on Pluto there would be Canadians traveling to watch the games. 

Americans did not show up and support this tournament; the Canadians did and sorry USA Hockey if this hurts your feelings but it is the truth. Thats who you should be thanking for why so many fans showed up, they all were wearing a Maple Leaf.


Only one game tonight but Jason Wilson (NYR 2010 5th) missed it sitting out the 2nd game of his 2 game suspension (automatic for 3rd man in) as his Niagara IceDogs missed out on a chance to pull within 7 points of division leading Mississauga losing 4-2 to the Erie Otters.

(Bobkov courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

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