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Live: Finland-Slovakia

The final day in the year 2010 features a tripleheader of action here at HSBC Arena with the officials taking the ice just before Finland and Slovakia.

This is the last day of preliminary round action for all teams. Finns have already clinched medal-round berth. Slovaks will be in the relegation round. Finns have outside chance of earning bye should they win and the Swiss upset the U.S. later tonight.

Finns wearing their white jerseys, Slovaks the dark blues that sort of resemble the old Winnipeg Jets uniforms.

Third period

2:21 p.m.: Puck drop. New goalie for Finland is Sami Aittokallio, who takes over for starter Joni Ortio - who was rarely tested in stopping all 10 shots he faced.

13:37 left: Not much happening. Some minor pushing at times during whistles but it's just hockey. Finns trying to get out of this one without any serious injuries.

6:00 left: Shots are 40-15 Finland as very few whistles and not too many scoring chances although a Finn player did just take a run at a Slovak near the benches.

2:11 left: Finland's Joel Armia hits the post. Second post for Finns in period.

Final: Finland wins, 6-0.

Second period

1:32: Puck drop.

13:15 left: Joonas Donskoi's one-timer on power play from just inside the blue line (in the middle) adds to Finns' lead. Finland leads, 4-0.

11:20: Haula scores his second of the game, this one short-handed, as Finns chase Holly from the game. Shots at this point, 24-7, in favor of the Finns. Finland leads, 5-0.

2:21 left: Thanks for the gift. Slovak defenseman loses puck between own circles, resulting in a tic-tac-toe finish goal for Valtteri Virkkunen. Finland leads, 6-0.

End of second: Finns lead 29-10. More talent than Slovaks to begin the tournament. Even more with Slovaks missing defensemen Martin Marincin (Edmonton Oilers prospect) and Peter Hrasko due to suspensions they earned for hitting U.S. hockey players with shots to the head Tuesday.

First period

12:39 p.m.: Puck drop.

18:20 left: Finland strikes first with Mikka Salomaki whacking in the rebound out of midair of shot by Julius Juntilla that handcuffed Slovak goalie Juraj Holly. Play reviewed and on-ice call stands. Finland leads, 1-0.

13:28 left: Jyrki Jokipakka with nifty redirect in front of a fine pass from the point by Toni Rajala on the power play. Finland leads, 2-0.

9:24: Erik Haula scores with relative ease. Rush down right wing, cuts in front and beats Slovak goalie high glove side. Slovaks take timeout after the goal. Finland leads, 3-0.

End of first: Finns dominating. Could be leading by more if not for a couple nice saves by Holly. Shots 17-2 in favor of Finland.

---Miguel Rodriguez

Live: USA/Germany

Third Period:

18:30: And we're back! Arena is still fairly full. No, there haven't been any "Canada" themed chants yet.

17:26: Penalties to Germany's Woidtke and USA's Brown. Two minutes apiece.

10:00: USA is really playing it safe. Since building that 4-0 lead, the Americans have been content.

8:00: Americans switched goalies at 9:02 mark, going to Andy Iles. Campbell appeared roughed up a bit after stopping a German rush in the second period. Here's thinking this is a precautionary move more than anything. Campbell appears fine on the bench. Don't want to fall victim to any Germany shenanigans.

3:22: Bourque gets two minutes for tripping. Right now, USA just needs to get out of the game without doing anything it'll regret. This game's been over for, well, about 2 hours.

0:00: Very solid team win for USA. Raced ahead early, clamped down defensively and stay undefeated.

FINAL: USA 4, GERMANY 0.

-----

Second Period:

15:00: Nothing of note thus far. Germany is still lifeless offensively, while the Americans pretty much do whatever they want.

12:05: GOAL, USA. Jon Merrill fires a shot from just inside the blue line off a pass from Bjugstad to put his team up, 3-0. Shots? 28-4. Germans are playing like a team that's already relegation bound.

7:30: Team USA hasn't unleashed as much fury on Treutle this period but Campbell still hasn't had any action at all on the other end.

7:01: Scrum breaks out behind the Germany net after Bernhard Keil gets two minutes from cross-checking. Looks like Germans were doing anything to get a spark. Not working.

6:40: GOAL, USA. Kyle Palmieri toys with the Germans. Holding the puck from the side, the Syracuse Crunch forward waits and waits and feeds Chris Kreider for a one-timer. 4-0, USA.

2:43: And there -- ladies and gentlemen -- was Germany's first great scoring chance of the night. Marcel Ohmann gets behind the 'D' but goalie Jack Campbell sprawls out to make the stop with his left foot. He was wiped out in the process. Is it worth sitting him if this game gets out of hand? Sure wouldn't want your stud goalie getting injured at this point.

0:00: Each USA player taps Campbell on the head and the Yanks head into intermission ahead 4-0. This one isn't in doubt.

First Period:

18:08: Germany's Marius Mochel beelines Chris Brown and the USA forward stands him up. Sound, physical play. Brown saw Mochel coming and unloaded his left shoulder into him. Great hit.

14:44: Ryan Bourque hits the right post on an odd-man rush for USA. Had a lot of net there. Rough break. Meanwhile, the Germany goal light finally stopping flashing. It was shining for at least three minutes.

13:58: Dumb penalty for the Germans. After a near US goal, Germany's Tom Kuhnhackyl takes the bait and roughs it up.

12:05: Germany goalie Niklas Treutle finishes a great sequence. Jamming at a loose puck in front, neither Nick Bjugstad or Brian Dumoulin can score.

9:16: Bourque gives Emerson Etem a beautiful feed and the Buffalo-basher can't finish. Etem had the entire net and missed it. Would have been interesting to hear the fan reaction had Etem scored.

7:56: Power play coming for Team USA, which holds a 12-2 edge in shots.

7:23: GOAL, USA. With four players fighting for the puck near the blue line, it squirted out to Charlie Coyle who easily skated in and roofed it for the game's first goal. 1-0.

6:35: GOAL, USA. And...the dam may have broken. German defender panics and drops the puck to Jerry D'Amigo and he does the rest. 2-0, USA. HSBC is not full here but definitely rocking. Lots of American flags out there.

4:36: Oh yeah, shots are in favor of Team USA, 17-2. Another PP coming...

0:00: Dominating first period by USA. Peppered the Germans from start to finish with a 23-2 advantage in shots.

----

Time to switch gears to a game that may mean a tad more to you guys out there.

In game one, the Switerland survived a scare from Slovakia. In game two, Old Glory looks to stay undefeated against Germany. On paper, Team USA shouldn't have a problem. While the Germans (0-3) have suffered some excruciating losses, the Yanks were sharp in a 6-1 win over Slovakia Tuesday.

Still, this is a battered group. Jason Zucker, clobbered in that game against the Slovaks, is not dressed tonight. Jerry D'Amigo also had his clocked cleaned and did return. He's warming up as we speak.

Keep it here for updates all game. We're 20 minutes away.

---Tyler Dunne

 

Live: Russia-Norway

LEWISTON -- It's a battle of winless teams in the second half of an IIHF World Junior doubleheader at Dwyer Arena as Russia and Norway are set to face off at 7 p.m.

Russia has losses to Canada and Sweden, being outscored, 8-3 and shutout by the Swedes on Tuesday.

Norway is playing its final game of the preliminary round with losses to Sweden, Czech Republic and Canada. The Norwegians have been outscored, 19-2, in the tournament though that number is somewhat skewed by the 10-1 drilling it endured against Canada Wednesday night.

Check back for live updates throughout the game.

Final: Russia 8, Norway 2.

Third period

8:46 p.m.: Puck drop!

19:42 left: Russian strikes quickly for a two-goal lead as Danil Sobchenko's goal puts Russia up, 4-2.

11:31 left: Maxim Kitsyn scores to make it a 5-2 lead for Russia.

8:03 left: Skating 4-on-4 Russia takes a 6-2 lead.

4:42 left: And fans are starting to file out as Russia extends its lead to 7-2.

4:23 left: Make that 8-2.

Second period

7:57 p.m.: Puck drop! The teams start the period with 4-on-4 hockey after Russia's Maxim Berezin (roughing) and Norway's Mats Rosseli Olsen (cross-checking) were called for penalties after some rough-housing at the horn to end the first period.

15:57 left: A power play goal by Vladimir Tarasenko gives Russia a 3-2 lead. The Russians had good puck control and movement during the power play, putting players in front of the net and generating shots.

End of the second: Russia leads, 3-2.

First period

7:07: Game on! From introductions it feels like a pro-Norway crowd.

13:02 left: Russia takes a 1-0 lead when its rush yields a goal by Nikita Dvurechenski.

8:01 left: Dwyer comes alive with a goal by Norway. Nicholas Weberg jumped on a giveaway in the Russian zone and drilled it past goaltender Dmitri Shikin to tie the game, 1-1.

7:06 left: And just like that, Russia regains the lead, 2-1, as Danil Sobchenko put in a rebound that Norwegian goalie Lars Volden failed to control.

4:01 left: After a plethora of good chances, Norway cashed in with four seconds left on the power play to tie the game, 2-2.

End of the first: All tied up, 2-2.

--- Amy Moritz

Audio: Team Canada's Cameron, Foligno, Schenn and Schwartz

I'm still fascinated by the media coverage the Canadian junior team gets by our neighbors to the north. Press conferences for the team feel like major events.

I took part in one Thursday at HSBC Arena, as coach Dave Cameron discussed the injury to Jaden Schwartz, and his team's preparation for Friday's showdown with Sweden.

Here's audio from Cameron, Schwartz, Sabres prospect Marcus Foligno and Brayden Schenn, the tournament's leading scorer to this point.

Coach Dave Cameron

Marcus Foligno

Jaden Schwartz

Brayden Schenn

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Live: Slovakia/Switzerland

Third Period:

14:30: GOAL, Slovakia. That'll wake everybody. After a sloppy start to the period, Slovakia's Andrej Stasny scores to cut the Swiss lead to 4-3. Stasny slams his stick on the ice in celebration.

12:00: Swiss getting very sloppy. From afar, Switzerland has the better team. Faster, better goaltending, etc. But its defensemen are getting very careless with the puck. Slovaks could easily steal this one.

9:50: Niederreiter loiters into the slot untouched and gets a little too cute. Instead of shooting, he drops a pass to a teammate who cannot convert.

7:52: GOAL, Slovakia. We're all tied up at 4-4. Richard Panik roofs it on a hard drive in. Great goal.

5:54: GOAL, Swiss. Samuel Walser scores on the rebound to put his team back up by one, 5-4. Goal is reviewed and stands.

1:50: Switzerland's defense is clamping down. Not many open lanes for Slovaks out there.

0:59: Suddenly, Slovakia looks tired, uninspired. Your entire tourney is on the line, fellas.

0:30: And there you go. Game, set, match. Pestoni slices throught two Slovak defenders for an empty-netter. 6-4, Swiss.

0:00: That's all from here. Switzerland wins and should have enough points to reach the quarterfinal round. Wasn't pretty but they'll take it.

Second Period:

20:00: Surprise, surprise. Slovaks make a goalie change. Riecicky is on the bench. In is backup Juraj Holly.

18:31: GOAL, Slovakia. We have a game again. Slovak forward Marek Hrivik scored to cut the Swiss lead back to one, 3-2.

11:39: Tremendous individual effort by Switzerland defenseman Nicholas Steiner. Slovakia created a 2-on-1 inside the blue line and, somehow, Steiner sprawled out to poke away the puck. This just two minutes after the Slovaks botched another 2-on-1. With a wide-open net, Tomas Jurco couldn't score on the rebound. The red light behind the glass even came on in anticipation of a sure goal. Still 3-2 here.

9:45: GOAL, Swiss. Niederreiter sends a missile in from the left circle to give his team a 4-2 lead.

5:54: Swiss penalty on Tristan Scherwey for cross-checking. Slovaks have the edge in shots, 20-19, and have dominated most of the period.

2:54: GOAL, Swiss. But it's disallowed. Easy call there. Another player clearly in the crease.

0:00: Slovakia plays a much better period of hockey but still down two goals. Not easy to swallow.

First Period:

19:19: And we're off. Swiss in red. Slovaks in white. Swiss Gregory Hofmann rips a hard shot from the left circle that Riecicky stops.

17:05: A little trickeration. Switerland's Reto Schappi drops a no-look pass to Niederreiter behind him and the forward fires a wrister that's saved. Look for Niederreiter to shoot early and often today. Swiss star only had three shots in his team's shutout loss to Finland.

15:10: Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz poke-checks away a good Slovak chance right in front. After a pair of penalties, we'll have some 4-on-4 action now.

11:45: GOAL, Swiss. Puck careens off back wall, out in front and Gregory Hofmann (sounds like a good realtor name, eh?) stuffs it home. 1-0, Switzerland.

10:35: GOAL, Slovakia. And the Slovaks answer immediately. Working behind the net -- a Swiss player jamming his stick in his game --- Michael Vandas somehow flips the puck to Peter Sisovsky in front. Sisovsky scores it and we have a game. Both teams have picked up the tempo after a sluggish start.

8:10: GOAL, Swiss. Wow. Never seen anything like this before. This tops Derek Plante's goal on Ron Tugnutt by a long shot. Swiss defenseman Dominik Schlumpf simply flings a half-hearted shot from the red center line at the goalie in the the middle of a change.....and the puck trickles through Riecicky's five-hole. Just an atrocious goal to let in. That was youth soccer-esque. 2-1, Switzerland. Poor goalie gets a resounding mock cheer after his next save.

1:57: Switzerland will finish the period on the power play after Inti Pestoni beats a Slovak defender and is held.

1:43: Move aside, Riecicky. A new goat is in town. Shorthanded, Slovakia's Juraj Majdan breaks free, is taken down and is promptly rewarded with a penalty shot. Only, on his attempt, Majdan completely whiffes. Maybe this ice needs a Zamboni fast, but that was just hard to watch. Again, HSBC Arena breaks into laughter.

1:08: GOAL, Swiss. Sven Bartschi connects on a slap shot to put his team up, 3-1. After those two Slovakia blunders, the score feels a lot worse than that too.

0:00: Switzerland plays well, sure. But Slovakia sure is trying its best to give this game away.

----

After an uplifting overtime win to begin the tournament, Slovakia took a harsh plunge to reality against Team USA Tuesday in a 6-1 loss. Today, the Slovaks will face a Swiss team that's been up and down thus far. After hanging on to beat Germany, Switzerland was shut out, 4-0, by Finland.

In short, urgency is high for both teams today here at HSBC Arena. The player to watch is no doubt Swiss captain Nino Niederreiter. The New York Islanders' fifth overall pick in the 2010 entry draft struggled big time in his team's loss to Finald. Coach Richard Jost said Niederreiter was pressing.

Really, can you blame him? Nino is the highest drafted Swiss ever. A year ago, he was named a tournament all-star at the World Juniors. Only 16 Swiss players have made it to the NHL. For a 19 year old, he's facing a lot of pressure.

For Switzerland to get back into the medal picture, Niederreiter needs to produce against a reeling Slovak bunch. For Slovakia, goalie Dominik Riecicky needs to recapture his 47-save magic from a few days ago. Keep it right here for updates all game gang. We're roughly 20 minutes away.

---Tyler Dunne

 

Live: Sweden-Czech Republic

LEWISTON -- The press seating was nearly filled an hour before game time at Dwyer Arena as Sweden commands an audience.

The Swedes are second in Group B, three points behind an in idle Team Canada today. They face the Czech Republic which is 1-1 and in third place in Group B.

Patrick Cehlin of Sweden ranks fifth in the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament scoring list with four points and is the first non-Canadian on the list.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final: Sweden wins, 6-3. The win brings the Swedes in a tie for first place with Canada in Group B. Canada and Sweden face off Friday at 4 p.m. in HSBC Arena.

Third period

4:51: Puck drop! Sweden has 1:34 of power play time remaining to start the period.

14:12 left: Sweden takes a 6-3 lead on a goal by Calle Jarnkrok after the Czech Republic had some good scoring chances to open the period.

Second period

3:56 p.m.: Puck drop!

15:01 left: With good pressure, solid skating and effective screens in front of the net, Sweden takes a 4-1 lead on a goal by Sebastian Wannstrom.

14:18 left: Another power play tally for the Swedes, and the second goal of the game for Fasth, makes it a 5-1 game. Sweden is now 3 for 4 on the power play today.

11:53 left: Don't count the Czechs out just yet. A strong rush into the Sweden zone resulted in a goal for Martin Frk, cutting the Swede's lead to 5-2.

5:09 left: Frk scores again, this time on the power play with a clear shot just inside in the blue line, to make it a 5-3 game.

End of the second: Sweden leads, 5-3. The Swedes will start the second with 1:34 left on a power play.

First period

3:07 p.m.: Game on!

16:51 left: Czech Republic takes a 1-0 lead thanks to a power play goal by Michal Hlinka, who tipped in a bouncing puck to the right of the Sweden goaltender. 

14:07 left: Sweden evens the game on its first power play on a goal by Johan Larsson. Czech goaltender Marek Mazanec made the initial save but lost sight of the rebound to his left.

9:41 left: Still 1-1 thanks to some great saves from Czech goalie Mazanec who kept Sweden off the board on their last power play.

4:01 left: Give a talented offensive team like Sweden power play opportunities and they will cash in. With good puck movement, the Swedes kept solid pressure on the Czechs with Max Friberg getting the goal for a 2-1 lead. Sweden is now 2-for-3 on the power play.

2:51 left: Get the puck on net and good things happen, even if it goes off a skate. Jesper Fasth's goal gives the Swedes a 3-1 lead.

End of the first: Sweden leads, 3-1.

--- Amy Moritz

Canada's Schwartz has broken ankle

Canadian forward Jaden Schwartz will miss the rest of the World Juniors with a broken ankle. Team Canada coach Dave Cameron confirmed that diagnosis Thursday afternoon in his meeting with the media at HSBC Arena.

Schwartz was hurt during Canada's 7-2 win over the Czech Republic. He initially left the game in the first period, though he later returned and scored a power-play goal to give his team a 2-1 lead.

Canada, of course, will also be without Sabres draft pick Zack Kassian for Friday's showdown against Sweden. Kassian will be serving the second game of his two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Czech defenseman Petr Senkerik on Tuesday.

Cameron also said that defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Cody Eakin, both of whom missed Wednesday's 10-1 win over Norway, will return to the lineup against the Swedes.

We'll have a separate blog post up with audio from Cameron, Schwartz and Sabres draft pick Marcus Foligno.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Audio: Canada and Norway coaches discuss game

Here is post-game audio of Canada coach Dave Cameron and Norway counterpart Geir Hoff following the Canadians' 10-1 win Wednesday night at HSBC Arena.

---Miguel Rodriguez 

Audio: Kassian surprised he received a one-game suspension

Sabres prospect and Team Canada power forward Zack Kassian spoke with the Buffalo News late Wednesday night following the Canadians' 10-1 rout of Norway.

He expected to miss that game after he receiving a five-minute match penalty for a hit to the head, game misconduct and automatic one-game suspension following a thunderous hit that KO'd Czech Republic defenseman Petr Senkerik in Tuesday's win over the Czechs. He was a little shocked IIHF Single Disciplinary Judge Dan Marouelli added an additional game to the penalty.

That means he'll miss Canada's heavyweight matchup with Sweden on Friday in a game that will likely determine which tournament favorite receives a bye into the medal-round semifinals.

Kassian appeared to accidentally hit Senkerik in the jaw while hitting him an instant just after he made a pass. Marouelli in a press release cited that the reason for the additional game is as follows.

"The IIHF has very specific rules regarding dangerous hits. These are not limited just to the head but to the neck area as wekk, which is defined by that part of the body above the collarbone and shoulder pads (i.e. unprotected areas)."

Here is audio of the interview with Kassian, who was one of three regulars out of the lineup Wednesday. The other two, forward Jaden Schwartz and defenseman Calvin de Haan, were scratched due to injuries.

---Miguel Rodriguez

 

 

Live from the World Junior Championship

We're a few minutes away from puck drop here at HSBC Arena for Canada's clash with Norway. Canada is a heavy favorite, as expected, heading into the game against a team that needed to win the lesser version of the tournament in order to qualify for this year's top division of the world championship.

Third period

9:18 p.m.: Puck drop.

16:29 left: Popular belief heading into this game was that Canada goalie Mark Visentin, making his first start of the tournament, wouldn't be too busy. He has faced 27 shots, although only a few high quality ones. Goal he gave up was one he'd probably like to have back.

6:18 left: Canada has had some chances in this period as even though they're not going full throttle- a by product of the difference in skill level between the two teams. Shots 36-31 Canada.

3:25 left: Canada is still trying. Schenn lays out and knocks in rebound in front of the net for his fourth goal of the game. Canada leads, 8-1.

2:42 left: Will they reach double-digits? Sean Couturier scores. Canada leads, 9-1.

1:14 left: Potential 10th goal disallowed as refs rule net knocked off before puck crossed goal line, prompting Canadian fans to boo.

29.0 left: They get to cheer one more goal as Gudbranson scores for his second of the game. Canada leads, 10-1.

Final: Canada wins, 10-1. Canada outshoots Norway, 43-32.

Second intermission update

Zack Kassian watching from the press box and ushered out by Team Canada official, declining interview request, although he did say on the record the apple he was eating while waiting for the elevator "is delicious."

Second period

8:30 p.m.: Puck drop.

19:16 left: Hats off to Schenn, he nets his third of the game. Canada leads, 7-1.

8:33 left: Canada at this point has kind of taken the foot off the gas although Norway's Volden made a fine glove save on Connolly's breakaway chance.

End of second: Canada is now outshooting Norway, 29-23. At this point, Canada is just trying to get out of the game healthy and is playing as such.

First period

7:38 p.m.: Puck drop.

18:19 left: Four crushing hits within a 40-second span by the Canadians, including one by Marcus Foligno.

17:59 left: That didn't take long. Canada scores the first of what could be many goals with Casey Cizikas finishing off a 2-on-0 pass from Brett Connolly after a Norweigan defenseman lost an edge and turned the puck over in his own zone. Canada leads, 1-0.

15:10 left: Brayden Schenn gets his second goal of the tournament and event leading eighth point. Canada leads, 2-0.

9:15 left: Erik Gudbranson's screen shot from the point finds the net. Canada leads, 3-0.

6:33 left: Louis LeBlanc scores on a wrap-around. Canada leads, 4-0.

6:25 left: Rasmus Juell's shot hits Mark Visentin's glove and trickles in to break the shutout. Canada leads, 4-1.

5:26 left: Canada chases Norway goalie Steffen Soberg as Schenn's wrister from the left circle caps a three goals in 1:07 sequence. Canada leads, 5-1.

2:00 left: Foligno's change up along the ice fools Norway goalie Lars Volden. Canada leads, 6-0.

End of first: Canada leads 6-1. It's a blowout. Foligno didn't even really celerate his goal except for business as usual type of high five line going past the bench. If it's any consolation, Norway outshot the Canadians, 16-15.

---Miguel Rodriguez

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