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Audio: U.S.-Canada semifinal matchup

News Sports Reporters Mike Harrington and Miguel Rodriguez review Canada's 4-1 win over Switzerland in today''s quarterfinals and look ahead to the Canada-USA game in Monday's semifinals.


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Live: Canada-Switzerland

Greetings from HSBC Arena as we get set to start the knockout round of the World Junior Championships. Somehow, that term makes me laugh for some reason. And it's really not a knockout anyway. You just play in lower-level placement games until you lose. In any event, we've got Canada and Switzerland coming with a 3:30 faceoff.

I know the Swiss played well in Friday's 2-1 loss to Team USA but I see no way Canada loses this one. The Canadians are 18-0 all-time against the Swiss in this tournament with an aggregate goal advantage of 122-32. This is a pretty good Switzerland team but Canada will have Zack Kassian back and you have to figure the red and white will be sharp after Friday's 6-5 shootout loss to Sweden.

And you know who tournament organizers want to win. We all get what we want -- Canada vs. US, Monday night at 7:30 -- if the Canadians take care of business here.

Couple bits business before this one: Canada is changing goalies and going to Mark Visentin of the OHL's Niagara Ice Dogs in place of Olivier Roy, who struggled Friday. Good call there. This will easily be the smallest crowd of the tournament for a Canada game. Remember, this one wasn't on anyone's schedule until the Canadians lost Friday. I'm still thinking we get to 10,000 or so. Then look for the house to be just about filled the next three nights.

---Mike Harrington

Third Period

5;13 p.m.: Game on.

15:43 left: You just felt the pressure bubble lift. Cody Eakin finds Louis Leblanc in the right circle after a nice tap pass from behind the net by Schenn. LeBlanc beats Conz short side. Bad gol. Canada leads 3-1.

10:00 left: Shots are 9-3 in this period and 43-20 for the game.

8:13 left: Canada goes for the clincher as Benjamin Antonietti goes for slashing.

5:38 left: Clock running down with Swiss no real threat. Shots at 46-20. Just 5 1/2 minutes away from THE showdown.

5:07 left: Tristan Schwerney for a head check (two minutes) and 10-minute misconduct. Knocked Ashton's helmet clear off his head.

2:41 left: Conz with two more great saves. Swiss call a timeout. No real threat in a 3-1 hole.

2:20 left: Crowd starts chanting "We want U-S-A".

1:59 left: And they will get USA as Kassian scores into the empty net on Canada's 50th shot to make it 4-1. Swiss star Nino Niederreiter, who has been no factor in this one, gets a misconduct. You'd think the No. 5 pick in the draft would have more impact than he has.

1:31 left: Another penalty on frustrated Swiss, a roughing call on Bartschi, and a roughing penalty to Canada's Gudbranson.

It's over: Canada wins 4-1 and meets Team USA here Monday night at 7:30. Final shots on goal in this one were 50-22.


Second Period

4:28 p.m: Game on.

14:55 left: Canada's first shot, an easy one by Johansen. Swiss have three. Better start for them. They found their equilibrium at intermission.

12:34 left: Hard to believe Canada can be this lethargic with this much on the line. One shot in 7 1/2 minutes. They took the day off yesterday after losing to Sweden. Maybe they should have practiced?

11:20 left: Good Canada shift results in a couple good chances by Howden and Connolly. One good Conz save, one shot wide.

8:42 left: Conz robs Foligno from in front after feed from Johansen from behind the net. Best chance of the period.

6:08 left: Carter Ashton for slashing. Wow, what a mistake by Visentin. He sprinted to the bench thinking the penalty was on the Swiss and left the net open. But they couldn't get a shot at the empty goal from the other end.

4:00 left: Visentin has such a shaky glove. Never catches anything. Stabs at the puck. Dropped on there. Lucky no Swiss around to tap it in. Shots are 9-6 for Switzerland in this period.

2:32 left: On shot No. 30, Canada finally breaks through for a 2-1 lead. Casey Cizikas beats Conz high over the glove on a 2-on-1 with Louis Leblanc. Great feed by Carter Ashton. Canada leads, 2-1.

End-2nd: Canada leads 2-1 and has a 34-17 edge in shots (11-9 in that period, including the last five). Cizikas had a chance in the final 20 seconds for another one on a 2-on-1 but Conz made the save. Should have really passed it to the slot to an open Foligno.

First Period

3:39 p.m.: The puck is dropped.

18:51 left: Whoa. First shot of the game goes by Visentin and it's a brutal goal as Inti Pestoni dribbles one just inside the goalie's right skate and post as it's deflected in by Ryan Ellis. Switzerland, 1-0, and the crowd is stunned.

17:39 left: Canada to the power play as Schappi goes for delay of game. Kassian on the ice for Canada after serving his suspension. 

16:21 left: Now it's a 5-on-3 for 46 seconds as Nicholas Steiner goes for closing his hand on the puck.

14:30 left: Couple chances but no goals. Shots are 2-2. So far, the Canadians look like a tight, nervous team. And that early goal certainly didn't help.

13:46 left: Not much confidence in the building in Visentin. He just fumbled Reto Schiappi's easy flip shot from the left before covering it in front of him. You could hear the murmurs going through the stands. Shots are 5-3 for Canada. Couple nice saves in the last minute by Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz. Remember, he made 40 saves Friday against Team USA. There's a big edge in net for the Swiss in this one. Canada has to counter that in other areas.

12:26 left: One of the Swiss coaches just got plugged on the side of the head by a puck over the boards. He's off for repairs and pounded the wall as he headed down the runway.

11:23 left: Brett Connolly stopped in front on a one-timer. Great feed by Couturier. Conz is a stud. Scary for Canada. Shots are 9-3.

9:36 left: Visentin holds the post after Schiappi steals in from Ellis and gets in tight. Can't even imagine how high the pressure meter would get if the Swiss got another here.

7:20 left: That was, in fact, Swiss head coach Richard Jost who was struck on the bench. He's back and went down the line of his players tapping them on the back to tell them he had returned.

5:07 left: Bartschi goes for slashing. Comes a few seconds after Dylan Olson goes in on goal but is stopped by Conz.

4:54 left: Canada ties it at 1-1. Pass by Schenn from right circle was stopped by the defense but Ryan Johansen scooped the puck up first and slid it along the ice under Conz. Shots are 15-6.

3:32 left: Conz stops Barrie on the backhand. Swiss need to hold on here and get to the locker room tied to stem this momentum. Canada takes the lead and all its confidence comes back. Shots 16-7.

3:21 left: Conz with the glove save on a laser from Johansen streaking down the right wing.

2:51 left: Johansen robbed again from in front. Sick backhand pass from the wall by captain Ryan Ellis.

End-1st: It's tied at 1-1 but it turned into a shooting gallery over the final 10 minutes as Canada has a 23-8 bulge in shots on goal. Johansen stopped again in the final minute and so was Kassian on a feed from Marcus Foligno. Those three put together for a great shift.

Audio: United States discusses Monday's semifinal contest

Here is audio from United States coach Keith Allain and alternate captain and forward Ryan Bourque discussing Monday's medal-round semifinal contest against a to-be-determined opponent (although most of the fans and media figure it will be a U.S.-Canada semifinal).

Keith Allain

Ryan Bourque

---Miguel Rodriguez

A word of thanks

There's been plenty of things pro and con written and said about Buffalo during the tournament, as Gene Warner wrote about in today's paper. But the words of IIHF blogger Szymon Szemberg certainly resonate with us.

Go to this link to read Szemberg's full entry that Warner discussed (be sure to scroll down to the item headlined, "Buffalo deserves better"). Szemberg really gives it up to The News and we truly appreciate his words. The process of covering this tournament under the direction of Sports Editor Steve Jones was several months in the making and changes by the day. It's the kind of resources we've used only for events like NCAA basketball tournaments, the 1999 Stanley Cup finals or the 1993 World University Games.

So far, so good on our end. But, like the teams feel, there's a lot of hockey to be played. Keep reading. Keep logging on to the Web site and blog. The good stuff is just facing off today.

---Mike Harrington

Audio: New Year's Day with Canada's Cameron

Happy New Year everyone.

Canada coach Dave Cameron is giving his team the day off the ice before facing Switzerland on Sunday in a medal-round quarterfinal.

However, Cameron did talk with the media this morning and had perhaps his most engaging press conference of the tournament.

This is a good listen, in which Cameron talks about the return of Sabres prospect Zack Kassian, more thoughts on Friday's loss to Sweden, and a comment regarding Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg's take on the preliminary games against Russia and the Czech Republic being a little tougher for his team than the shootout triumph over Canada.

---Miguel Rodriguez

Audio: Canada coach Dave Cameron and Sweden's Roger Ronnberg

Here is the post-game audio featuring Canada coach Dave Cameron and a slighly late arriving Roger Ronnberg of Sweden. Also included is audio of Sweden's Carl Klingberg and Canada's Ryan Ellis. First the coaches, then Klingberg and then Ellis.

Feel free to comment.

Cameron and Ronnberg



---Miguel Rodriguez

Live: USA-Switzerland

We're back at HSBC Arena for the final game of the round-robin portion of the tournament as the USA looks to wrap up Group A with a win over Switzerland. There were around 17,000 folks in the building for Canada's shootout loss to Sweden. Right now, I'd say there might be 7,000 here for this one. A shame really but what can you do?

Scenarios: The US would play Canada in Sunday's quarterfinals if it loses this one in regulation. Things get all wacky with a US loss in overtime or shootout. We'll worry about those possibilities if we get there. A US win lines up a US-Canada semifinal.

---Mike Harrington

Third Period

9:49 p.m.: Game on.

15:52 left: Campbell with a good save on Schappi. US pretty loose in its own zone thus far. Playing with fire. 

15:10 left: Sven Bartschi drills a slapshot off the right post past a beaten Campbell. Close, close call.

10:00 left: US still hanging on. Shots are 37-21.

9:56 left: Schappi is dangerous. Nice pad save by Campbell.

4:30 left: Pounding story on print deadline as well. Nothing new to report. Still a tense, 2-1 game.

3:59 left: Campbell with the save of the night as Bartschi breaks in alone. Wow.

2:03 left: Shots are 41-26 for the US. These two goalies have played well above Roy and Lehner did in Canada-Sweden. Campbell looks like the difference maker for the US in this tournament.

1:00 left: Conz to the bench.

IT'S OVER:  US holds on 2-1, Final shots were 42-26.

Second Period

8:58 p.m.: Game on.

16:45 left: Impressed by the Swiss. Speedy bunch. Not intimidated at all. Solid goaltender. The USA certainly has an issue on its hands. 

16:33 left: Mitch Callahan robbed on the doorstep by Conz with the left pad.

13:31 left: Like how the Sabres put a few volunteers up on the HD board and salute them during a break in a game. The folks in the powder blue jackets are everywhere. And the PA announcement is right. They have a huge role in the tournament.

12:30 left: You wonder how in tune the Canadian fans in the building are to things. You're not hearing a lot of anti-US sentiment. I think they know enough to realize a US loss means a Canada-US quarterfinal, which is something neither side nor tournament organizers would really want.

12:09 left: The puck is behind Campbell and Switzerland leads, 2-1. Or do they? Under review. It's a deflection off the backboards. And it's NO GOAL. Puck was under Campbell's right pad in the crease, not his left pad inside the left goalpost and over the line.

10:07 left: Just about halfway home and still tied at 1-1. Shots are 29-13 for the US. A hot goalie can get you in these kind of tournaments.

7:57 left: Shots are 31-14.

6:07 left: Finally the breakthrough. Callahan with the wraparound from behind the net, beating Conz to the right post. US leads, 2-1.

40.7 left: In a fast-moving game, US goes down a man as Brian Dumoulin goes for holding.

End-2nd: It's 2-1 for Team USA. Shots are 34-17 (15-7 in that period). More dominant period.

First Period 

8:08 p.m.: The puck is dropped

18:00 left: I feel like I'm at a World Cup soccer game with vuvuzuelas around. The place is filled with people blowing New Year's Eve noisemakers. Ouch to my ears. Although blowing them in rhythm to the organ is actually kind of cool. Good thing they are to give us some noise here because so many of the Canada fans left. Think the loss means more or less drinking tonight on Chippewa Street on New Year's Eve? Tough call.

13:40 left: Shots are 4-4. No real solid chances for either side. Noisemakers starting to drive me so insane I'm actually rooting for the Thunderstix the Canadian fans had.

12:59 left: What's up here tonight? Switzerland takes a 1-0 lead as Inti Pestoni burns Jack Campbell with a quick snap shot on a 2-on-1 break. Pestoni's third of the tournament. It's the first time the US has trailed in any game.

10:44 left: Nino Niederreiter for cross checking for the Swiss 23 seconds after Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz turns away Ryan Bourque's slapshot on the Americans' first 2-on-1. Niederreiter is the No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft by the New York Islanders.

9:45 left: US ties it on the power play at 1-1 as Chris Krieder pounds home a one-timer after a great back pass from behind the net by Charlie Coyle.

8:17 left: Bourque stopped on another 2-on-1. But he's been flying. He's due. And the "USA, USA" chant goes up.

7:09 left: Shots are 12-8 for US. And here come the stupid blooper films we see at Sabres games. Maybe the folks here will make a New Year's resolution for 2011 to stop. Please? 

6:00 left: Are you making plans for Sunday? Canada will play in the 3:30 quarterfinal -- unless the US loses this game in regulation, in which case Canada and the US would play in the 7:30 game.

4:49 left: Vicious hit into the end boards by Tristan Scherway on Patrick Wey. Pretty much from behind. What's the call? He's get a two-minute minor and a 10-minute misconduct.

4:01 left: Coyle just misses on a great feed by Krieder but now it's a two-man advantage for 1:12 as Reto Schappi goes for slashing.

3:19 left: Campbell helps the US avert complete disaster by stopping Gregory Hofmann on a 2-on-1 after a great feed from Sven Bartschi. No excuse for that to happen when you're two men up. None. An aside: I'm feeling these Swiss names. Easier than doing a game with, say, Russia or the Czechs or Slovaks.

1:00 left: Conz is doing the job for Switzerland in goal. Shots are 19-9 for the US although it doesn't feel like there's that big an edge. The Swiss have had good chances in those nine shots. Campbell has made some tough saves.

End-1st: We're tied at 1-1. Shots are 19-10 for the US. Nervous time for the Americans in the wake of what happened to Canada.

Live: Russia/Czech Republic

Third Period:

8:56 p.m.: Puck drop. Unless Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin suddenly become Czechoslovakians, a heck of a lot younger and walk through that door, this one's over.

12:00: Looks like we'll coast to a merciful finish. Russia has been tapping the brakes since the middle of the second period.

8:59: GOAL, Czech. Ahhh, the pity clap. Michal Hlinka scores for the Czech Republic and the fans here cheer on. Something like routing for the straggler in a two-mile run in track.

0:00: There you have it. Game. Russia moves on. Czech heads to the consolation. FINAL: RUSSIA 8, CZECH 3.


Second Period:

8 p.m.: Puck drop.

17:26 left: GOAL, Czech. Petr Straka cleans up the trash in front of the net for a much-needed goal there. 4-2, Russia.

15:32: GOAL, Russia. Weak goal. Defenseman Georgi Berdyukov just throws the puck at the net from the blue line and it sneaks through. 5-2.

13:30: GOAL, Russia. Tarasenko is for real. Another assist for the St. Louis Blues 16th overall pick. His shot bounces off the goal and a teammate buries it. 6-2. Czechs are dazed and confused. One player just broke his stick across the Russia goal.

9:38: GOAL, Russia. Or, um, sort of. That was sad. Czech defenseman scores on himself to give Russia a 7-2 lead.

9:00: GOAL, Russia. Kitsyn taps in the puck on a 2-on-1. This has become a laugher. Russia is creating offensive rushes at will. 8-2.

0:00: For nine minutes, Russia plays patty cake. Really showed some mercy the rest of the way.


First Period:

7:08 p.m.: Puck drop.

19:12 left: Ding! Russia's Maxim Kitsyn hits the post right off the bat.

18:07: GOAL, Czechs. Jakub Orsava has his initial shot saved, the puck ricochets back to him and he finishes it. 1-0, Czech Republic.

17:03: GOAL, Russia. Quick answer on the power play. Russia's Dmitri Orlov unleashes a slapper from the blue line to tie it up at 1-1. High-energy game out of the gate.

13:37: GOAL, Russia. They're flying now. End-to-end Russia is creating chances. An initial shot on a rush leaks through the Czech goalie's pads and Yevgeni Kuznetsov buries it. 2-1.

11:30: GOAL, Russia. Russians are starting to pour it on now. Czechs look slow, uninterested defensively. This time, Russian Vladimir Tarasenko sifts through the Czech 'D' almost untouched and drops a pass to teammate Denis Golubev at the doorstep for an easy tap-in. 3-1.

9:12: GOAL, Russia. Shorthanded, Russians are even creating offense at will. Tarasenko rips through the Czech defense and eventually finishes what he started. Orlov's shot hits the post, falls to the right doorstep and Tarasenko scores it. 4-1, Russia.

3:50: Czech defenseman crosschecks Tarasenko into the neck after the whistle. No penalty. Czechs looking desperate, trying to agitate the Russians. Tarasenko didn't take the bait, calmly skating away.

0:00: That's it for the first. Russia in complete command of this game. Sure, it's against a slow Czech team but they look like a threat tonight.


Win and you're in. It's as simple as that for Russia and the Czech Republic here at Dwyer Arena.

The winner secures the final quarterfinal spot in Group B and the loser heads to the relegation round. Both countries have certainly had their struggles in the top-heavy division. Russia, always a heavyweight, lost its first two games --- and even was tied with Norway, 2-2 --- before waking up. The Czech? Same story. Both teams ran into the Canada and Sweden buzzsaws.

A ton on the line tonight before a reported sold-out crowd. We're 25 minutes away. Keep it here for live updates all game.

---Tyler Dunne


Live: Canada vs. Sweden

We're close to faceoff for the big dukaroo, with the winner receiving a bye into the medal-round semifinals.

Thunderous cheers for Canada as it takes the ice. Sweden gets some boos briefly as it was introduced a few seconds after Canada.


Sweden wins it, scoring twice on three tries against Roy as Anton Lander - who decreed the U.S, as the tournament favorite much to Canada's ire a week ago - clinches it. Calle Jarnkrok scored on first shootout try for Sweden. Robin Lehner bounces back after shaky start between pipes for Sweden as he stops Ryan Ellis and Brayden Schenn - who entered the game as the top scorers in the tournament.

Final score, Sweden 6-5 in a shootout. Carl Klingberg is player of game for Sweden, Marcus Foligno for Canada.


6:31: Puck drop.

1:13 left: Time to catch up. Swedes have been buzzing throughout period. Have faceoff to left of Roy.

18.2: Schenn has best Canada chance of OT and shot from right circle is gloved and held by Lehner. Timeout Canada.

End of OT: Bring on the shootout. Shots 2-1 Sweden in OT and 41-34 for game. First shootout of the tournament.

Third period

5:54 p.m.: Puck drop.

16:38 left: Until this period, Sweden did fine job of staying out of box and not letting Canada's lethal power play go to work. That changes as back-to-back penalties leads to 5-on-4 goal by Brayden Schenn, his seventh of the tournament. On door step, he knocks in rebound of Ryan Johansen redirect shot off Calvin de Haan pass. Canada leads, 5-4.

14:22: Shots are now 33-27 in favor of Sweden. 

8:17: Patrick Cehlin had a tiny window to shoot at during a rush up the left wing but he beat Roy high stick side. Tied, 5-5.

3:54: After Canada fails to convert on its power play, Sweden receives one and catches a break as a Tim Erixon turnover to Howden produces three-quarters ice breakaway stopped by Lehner.

2:05: Lehner save of the game. With traffic in front of him, he gets right pad on Couturier blast from between the circles and freezes the puck quickly.

1:39: Sweden's Calle Jarnkrok misses glorious chance alone in front off feed from Johan Larsson as Canada defenseman just stretches stick out enough to tip puck over glass.

End of third: Tied 5-5. Overtime on horizon. Shots 39-32 Sweden. It is 4-on4 for five minutes and if no one scores, we go to a shootout, just like the NHL.

Second period

5:01 p.m.: Puck drop.

19:08 left: Klingberg knocks in a rebound during scramble seconds after ringing one off the post. Tied, 3-3.

17:19 left: Jesper Thornberg lets one rip from just outside left circle that ticks either stick or shin pad of defenseman Erik Gudbranson and beats Roy high stick side. Swede leads, 4-3.

15:23 left: Canada ties it short-handed and goal that survives review as Hamiton is rewarded for driving hard to net on 2-on-1 as feed hits his skate and beats Lehner. Not a distinct kicking motion as Hamilton was stopping and waiting for pass from Brayden Schenn. Tied, 4-4.

13:08: Shots are 24-11 in favor of Sweden. Swedes survived initial intimidation period and 10 miuntes of the game and haven't backed down a lick from physical play from Canadians.

6:00: Swedes come close as Anton Lander on doorstep as Roy stops bouncing puck. Roy briefly shaken but not stirred on play. He's staying in there.

5:34: It's a tie game and the Canadian fans are still doing the wave. Gotta love it.

End of second: Tied 4-4. Sweden holds 33-19 edge in shots, 18-10 in second period. Yes, Olivier Roy gave up two quickies in the period but Swedes would be leading by more if not for his work in the net. Swedes also would be leading if not for a soft goal and bad bounce that led to another against Lehner.

First period

4:09 p.m.: Puck drop.

19:02 left: That didn't take long for Canada to get this place rocking. Marcus Foligno in front of net tied up with Swedish defenseman and puck apparently went in off Swede as Sean Couturier is credited with unassisted goal initially given to Foligno. Canada leads, 1-0.

17:45 left: Max Friberg baseball swings rebound of blocked shot past Olivier Roy for power-play goal. Tied, 1-1.

16:40 left: Hello Mr. Larsson. Adam Larsson sent flying into his own net after making breakout pass by Canada's Ryan Johansen, Play stopped as net knocked off. Fans erupt into thunderous cheers.

12:04 left: Olivier Roy played like a king in helping Canada kill off Sweden power play. Four quality saves - two glove stops through traffic - and five saves overall as Canada kills off penalty.

5:48 left: Shots are 10-5 in favor of Sweden. Bobby Orr in attendance and receives a big cheer upon being introduced to the crowd from his seat in one of the suites during a media timeout. Wow, Bobby Orr's in the house. Huge.

5:05 left: Sweden strikes again. Carl Klingberg corrals rebound in left corner skates out to circle and fires shot that appeared to deflect off defenseman Ryan Ellis. Sweden leads, 2-1.

4:22 left: Cue up the Mr. Softee music. Robin Lehner, who has seen time with Ottawa and plays with Binghamton Senators of AHL, gives up long one on floater by Quinton Howden as it appeared the shot ticked off his glove or arm before tricking into the net. Tied, 2-2.

2:25: Foligno gets another rise out of the crowd with another thunderous hit on a Swedish defenseman,

:00.5: Just when it seemed like this thing would be tied, one of the arena's caroms works in Canada's favor as Curtis Hamilton knocks in rebound of shot by Johansen that went high and wide, hit a partitian in the left corner and ricocheted off a swedish defenseman into the crease where Hamilton poked in the gift with Lehner down and out. Canada leads, 3-2.

End of first: Canada leads 3-2 but it could easily be losing this one. Olivier Roy makes 13 saves as Swedes hold 15-9 edge in shots. Other observation, Foligno is playing like a man possessed, throwing his weight around at will against Swede crew that isn't very small. 

---Miguel Rodriguez

US looks to keep taking care of business

Team USA and Switzerland are both moving on to the medal round and the US can clinch a first-round bye with a win tonight at 8. The Americans took care of business Thursday night against overmatched Germany, posting a 4-0 win in which they really could have named their score. In three games, they have outscored their opponents, 13-3.

"We're really pleased," coach Keith Allain said today. "It's an identity I hoped we'd develop and we have. You win championships with good defensive play and I think we've been great on that side on the puck."

Nino Niederreiter, the top Islanders prospect who was taken fifth overall in last June's draft, has two goals in the tournament for Switzerland and is certainly a dangerous player.

"He's their key offensive guy," Allain said. "He appears he's doing a lot of it by himself but you never play one guy in hockey. Our impressions of Switzerland are that they appear to be a more aggressive forechecking team than Swiss teams of the past so we'll be ready for that."

Team USA has taken over the Sabres' locker room for the tournament. Check it out:

---Mike Harrington

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