With Roberto Luongo in goal, Canada aced its first elimination-game test and cruised into the quarterfinals, where Russia awaits at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.
As for the Ducks involved, Ryan Geztlaf and Corey Perry had a better game Tuesday than they did Sunday against the United States – though that isn’t saying much. Their third-linemate rotation continued, alternately featuring Rick Nash and Brenden Morrow, but no combination produced a goal.
The best sequence involving any Duck belonged Scott Niedermayer. The Canadian captain was able to outhustle the Germans to a loose puck in the third period, skating alone through the neutral zone then shooting under the pads of Thomas Greiss to make it 7-1 at the 11:22 mark. It was a loud blast of speed from a player criticized often lately for his declining skills.
Tomorrow could see some, but not all, of the Ducks’ Olympians knocked out of the tournament: Swizterland’s Jonas Hiller and Luca Sbisa are playing Team USA’s Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney at noon. A rested Russian squad, meanwhile, is expected to give Canada all it can handle.
From the official team Web site:
The Anaheim Ducks Player Rink Tour will be stopping at Ontario Ice
Skating Center and Riverside Ice Town on February 25 at 6:30 pm. Ducks
players (to be named later) will be on hand to practice with youth
hockey teams and sign autographs.
As part of the Anaheim Ducks Future Ducks Rink Program, the Ducks have
visited several rinks in the Southern California area, a tour that
started in October.
Players have visit seven of the program’s rinks, where they have
interacted with a youth hockey team by visiting their locker room or
actually lacing up their skates with the team during their practice.
Not only do youth hockey players get the chance to meet their favorite
Ducks players, but they have the opportunity to get some advice or
learn from them on the ice as well.
Ontario Ice Skating Center
1225 W. Holt Blvd.
Ontario, CA 91762
Riverside Ice Town
10540 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92505
Jonas Hiller rebounded from some shaky moments in regulation to stop two of three attempts by Belarus in the shootout, and lift Switzerland to a 3-2 victory and a berth in the quarterfinals against Team USA.
The Ducks netminder stopped 20 of 22 shots over 70 minutes of hockey, surviving some long rebounds against a relatively weak opponent. Flash forward to the second round of the shootout, where all Hiller has to do is stop Dzmitry Mialeshka’s shot for the win. But Mialeshka embarrasses the Swiss goalie, faking him face-first to the ice then rattling the puck up and over Hiller, between the pipes.
Onto the third round, where Switzerland couldn’t score on the other end, putting the pressure back on Hiller. Belarus’ Sergei Kotstitsyn tried to wrap the puck around Hiller’s right leg, but Hiller made like a snow angel, sticking his skate out to stop the puck at the goal post. It amounted to a poor start but strong finish for the Anaheim goalie, who will probably need a better effort tomorrow to thwart the top-seeded U.S. squad.
Haven’t mentioned Luca Sbisa much because he’s generally been having quiet games for the Swiss. But on Tuesday, Sbisa stood out with an aggressive game. He didn’t figure into the scoring but put two shots on goal and seems to have adapted to the in-your-face North American style of defense. It stood out.
Ducks defenseman Ryan Whitney talks to NBC (therefore preventing me from embedding video) about Team USA’s 5-3 win over Canada in the Olympics.
Just passing this along as I get it:
Statement by NHLPA and Paul Kelly
TORONTO (February 23, 2010) –
The parties have resolved all matters regarding Paul Kelly’s employment
with the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The Association
and its members appreciate the service and contributions of Mr. Kelly,
as well as his commitment to the National Hockey League Players’
Association and its members.
The Association and Mr. Kelly will be making no further statements regarding this matter.
Check out the latest installment in Jonas Hiller’s Olympic diary. Turns out he’s got good reason to be worried about today’s opponent, Belarus: They beat Switzerland in one of two exhibition games prior to the Olympics. Game starts at noon on the USA network.
The Swedes outplayed their rivals in every facet of the game, holding the Ducks duo of Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu scoreless along with the rest of their countrymen.
Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for the shutout, ensuring a bye into the quarterfinals for Sweden as the second seed. So does Finland, the fourth seed.
Believe it: The United States beat the Canadians on their own soil, going a perfect 3-0 in Group A and earning a bye into the quarterfinals of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament.
With Corey Perry in the penalty box for slashing, Jamie Langenbrunner scored the eventual game-winning goal with just under 13 minutes left in the third period.
Brian Rafalski scored twice, Chris Drury scored once, and Ryan Kesler poke-checked the game’s final goal past Perry and into an empty net to seal the victory. The Ducks’ Bobby Ryan picked up the assist on Drury’s second-period goal, the only point among the five Anaheim players in the game.
Ryan Miller made 42 saves for the victory.
Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller had more trouble holding off the Norwegians on Saturday than he did the Canadians on Thursday.
Only this time, Hiller came out on the winning end of the overtime result, stopping 19 shots as Switzerland beat Norway 5-4. Romano Lemm scored 2:28 into the extra period to clinch third place in Group A for Switzerland, and eliminate Norway from the medal round.
With his team leading 4-3 at 12:18 of the third period, Hiller allowed the third goal of the game by Norway’s Tore Vikingstad. Writes the Associated Press:
(Patrick) Thoresen stole the puck from Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks, who played it outside what would be the trapezoid area in the NHL, and couldn’t get back in time to stop Vikingstad’s shot off Thoresen’s feed. Hats littered the ice, including one with Viking horns.
Teemu Selanne became the all-time leading scorer in Olympic ice hockey history Friday when he assisted on Team Finland’s third goal in a 5-0 win over Germany.
The 39-year-old Ducks forward, playing in his fifth Games, got the second assist on Kimmo Timonen’s second-period, power-play goal for his 37th career Olympic point. That broke a tie with Canadian Harry Watson, former Soviet Union great Valeri Kharlamov and Czechoslovakia’s Vlastimil Bubnik who have 36 each.
Ducks teammate Saku Koivu also picked up an assist Friday on the Finns’ second goal.