In a matchup between arguably the most talented teams in Vancouver, Canada eliminated Russia from the Olympics in a surprisingly lopsided game.
Ducks forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, still alternating with Brenden Morrow and Eric Staal as their third linemate, had a big hand in the victory. Perry had two goals, including Canada’s seventh, while Getzlaf had two assists and scored Canada’ first goal.
They advance to the semifinals, where they will play either Sweden or Slovakia.
Jonas Hiller’s Olympic run has come to an end, while Team USA rolls on.
Hiller made it perilously close, however, stopping 42 of 43 shots and not allowing a goal until Zach Parise deflected a Brian Rafalski shot at 2:08 of the third period. Parise added an empty-netter with 12 seconds left and Hiller on the bench.
The U.S. had two goals disallowed including this one, which Hiller tipped off his stick, off his shoulder and into the net – one-tenth of a second after time ran out on the second period.
Anaheim teammates Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney were held without a point; Ryan has a goal and an assist through four games of the tournament, while Whitney is scoreless.
Hiller might crop up at Ducks practice one of these days (they’ll be at Anaheim Ice tomorrow at 11 a.m.), while the U.S. moves on to a semifinal matchup with either Finland or the Czech Republic on Friday.
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.
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.
Jonas Hiller did not have to be the winning goaltender on Thursday to become the talk of Vancouver.
In what he told reporters was the “one of the best games I’ve ever seen for the Swiss national team,” Switzerland pushed Canada to a shootout before losing, 3-2. Hiller stopped 45 of 47 in regulation and allowed the only goal in the shootout, to Sidney Crosby, after stopping Crosby, Jonathan Toews and teammate Ryan Getzlaf in the first three rounds.
San Jose Sharks teammates Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau scored for Canada in regulation.
Some good morning reads on Hiller:
From the Montreal Gazette
From the Vancouver Sun
Brian Rafalski scored twice, and Chris Drury, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel and Ryan Malone scored once in a 6-1 win for Team USA over Norway at the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament.
The Ducks’ Ryan Whitney and Bobby Ryan were kept off the scoreboard. Only an assist by the Kings’ Jack Johnson (when Malone buried the rebound of his slap shot) gave Southern California a share of the victory.
Jonas Hiller and Team Switzerland take to the ice against Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Team Canada at 4:30 p.m. (CNBC)
Three minutes, 24 seconds.
That’s how long it took Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu to produce a goal for Finland for the first time in these Olympics, when the Ducks teammates assisted on Olli Jokinen’s first-period goal against Belarus. Finland rolled to an easy 5-1 victory in its Vancouver debut.
For Selanne, the assist gave him a share of the Olympic record for most career points, according to NHL.com.
Selanne has 20 goals and 36 points in five Olympic appearances. Citing the IIHF record book, NHL.com reports that Selanne is now tied with Czechoslovakia’s Vlastimil Bubnik, Russia’s Valeri Kharlamov and Canada’s Harry Watson. With five more goals in the tournament, Selanne will tie the Olympic record for most career goals in the modern era, which begins with the 1956 Olympics. Sweden’s Sven “Tumba” Johansson holds the record with 25.
With the assist, Koivu also moved two assists closer to tying the Olympic record of 22, held by Russia’s Kharlamov.