Luca Sbisa and Team Switzerland dug themselves a hole one game into the qualification round at the World Championships, losing 3-2 to Norway at Steel Arena in Kosice, Slovakia.
Sbisa was held scoreless and finished with an even-0 rating in 20:45 time on ice.
The Swiss have two games left in the qualification round, but might need to win both to place in the top four in a group that includes Canada, the U.S., Sweden and a surprising Norway squad. All four teams are ahead of the Swiss in the standings.
The Ducks can add another Finn to their traveling contingency when they open the 2011-12 season in Helsinki.
According to capgeek.com, the Ducks signed 25-year-old goalie Iiro Tarkki to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $900,000 plus bonuses in the NHL and $67,500 in the AHL.
Tarkki has spent parts of the last six seasons in the SM-Liiga, the top league in Finland. His 2.09 goals-against average last season ranked sixth in the league and his .924 save percentage ranked seventh.
We’ll try to get confirmation of the deal tonight.
Cam Fowler scored his first goal of the IIHF World Championships as the U.S. suffered its first loss – 6-2 to Sweden – a game that is being replayed right now on Versus.
Fowler tipped in a Derek Stepan shot-pass at the front of the net in the first period, temporarily knotting the score at 1-1. But Sweden scored the next three goals of the game, all in the second period. Fowler finished with a minus-2 rating in 18:03.
Now that group play is complete, the U.S. has three games scheduled for the qualification round: Friday against Canada, Saturday against France, and Monday against Switzerland (and Luca Sbisa), all in Kosice.
The Ducks said that forward Matt Beleskey underwent successful surgery today on his left shoulder at the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center in Los Angeles. The surgery was to repair a torn labrum and was performed by Ducks Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Orr Limpisvasti.
Beleskey is expected to be fully recovered in five months, approximately the same situation as defenseman Toni Lydman.
Thanks to the magic of Twitter, we have before-and-after pictures of Beleskey in surgery, courtesy of his Twitter feed:
One blocked shot wasn’t enough for Luca Sbisa and the Swiss national team on Tuesday.
Playing the Canadians in Kosice, Slovakia, Sbisa was on the ice for Alex Pietrangelo’s overtime goal in a 4-3 loss. The Ducks defenseman was doing more than taking up space. From IIHF.com:
Pietrangelo picked up his own rebound after Swiss defenceman Luca Sbisa had blocked his initial shot. The puck came right back to Pietrangelo, who buried it behind Swiss goalie Leonardo Genoni.
Sbisa also had one assist in 21:13 time on ice.
Group play is over for Switzerland. Tomorrow the Swiss will learn the opponent for their next game, which will be played Thursday.
Lubomir Visnovsky made his debut at the tournament for Slovakia, playing a team-high 22:29 and recording an assist in a 4-3 loss to Russia.
Visnovsky had been battling injuries to both shoulders, forcing him to miss the first two games of the tournament on his home soil.
Slovakia also finds out tomorrow who awaits them in their next game Thursday.
The Ducks announced that defenseman Toni Lydman underwent successful surgery on his right shoulder Monday at the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center in Los Angeles. The surgery was to correct a torn labrum and was performed by Ducks Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Orr Limpisvasti.
Lydman is expected to be fully recovered in approximately five months.
“We are certainly pleased that Toni’s injury has been corrected and look forward to him returning to full strength in about five months,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “We also commend Toni for playing through the injury, something he was dealing with since February.”
Cam Fowler was held scoreless by the Norwegians in a 4-2 comeback win for the United States in Kosice, Slovakia.
Norway scored twice in the first period and still led 2-0 until the first of four U.S. goals at 1:16 of the third period. Nick Palmieri broke the shutout with the first of his two goals. Jack Skille and Craig Smith also scored for the U.S.
Fowler played 17:42, second only to Jack Johnson among American defenseman, and finished minus-1 with four shots on goal.
Luca Sbisa was the only Duck in action Sunday in Slovakia. The Swiss defenseman didn’t figure into the scoring in a 4-1 victory over Belarus. He had an even-0 rating in 14:13 time on ice.
The tournament got physical Sunday according to reports out of Slovakia, with the most intense action limited to games involving longstanding Eastern European rivals: Latvia-Czech Republic and Russia-Slovenia. Without delving into the history of regional politics, suffice it to say that some of those countries really don’t like each other. These rivalries often spill over into the rink.
The takeaway: Sbisa and Cam Fowler, who is playing for the United States, shouldn’t be inherently worried about the increased potential for injury.