Monday, January 05, 2009

(semi) LIVE! blog - Russia v Slovakia

Below the jump

3:48 - We'll be back in this spot tonight for the gold medal game, but for now some updates throughout the bronze medal game - let's say every 10 minutes or so...

3:45 - Pavel Chernov gives Russia a 1-0 lead on a nice little play during a delayed penalty. He showed poise to wait to Superkeeper! Jaroslav Janus to commit. It looks like a nice crowd in Ottawa. Of course, they are all dead (or so it would seem)

3:50 - Russia likely carrying the play a bit, but it has the feel of a shiny game. The Motherland is going on the PP. With 10 players in the KHL, you have to like this Russian team. Canada was probably more than a little lucky to advance to tonight's game with Sweden.

3:56 - All and all it's not a bad game. Watching Russia is always worthwhile. My dirty little secret? After Canada I've always sort of cheered for the Russians. I think it's kind of like how fighters can have a beer with someone that they tried to kill for 12-rounds -- there is a certain respect there. I've always thought that Russia made Canada better (by forcing a little more flair and skill into the Canadian game) and Canada made Russia better (by making them learn how to play the physical game). International hockey was missing something the last few years when Russia took a step back. Forget USA v Canada for gold in 2010. Give me a back to the future game against our old foes...Still 1-0 Russia.

4:05 - Slovakia manages to kill a two man disadvantage and are holding tough...Pierre McGuire doesn't like international officiating, did you know that?

4:09 - And the first period is over - 1-0 Russia. Not a bad period of hockey, pretty free flowing, if a little lacking in passion (to be expected. Two days ago, Russia was six seconds from playing for gold and midnight came for Slovakia). There are worse ways to spend a Monday afternoon, however.

4:15 - Bob McKenzie now pushing for a tournament format change that looks a whole lot like the one I proposed last week...

4:27 - And we're back...the longer Slovakia hangs around...

4:29 - A nice stretch for Slovakia ends with a PP chance.

4:34 - Oh man, bad luck. Maxim Goncharov scores coming out of the penalty box after Slovakia has several great scoring opportunities. Sport is cruel sometimes. 2-0 Russia.

4:41 - Superkeeper! Jaroslav Janus!! He can play the game AND SLOVAKIA SCORES! Martin Stanjnoch on a blast from the side boards.

4:46 - The game has really picked up since the Slovakia goal. The underdogs seem to smell the possibility of an upset. (cliche alert) The next goal is huge! Actually, it says here next goal wins. Just 6 min left 2nd.

4:53 -
Another couple saves from Superkeeper! Jaroslav Janus as Russia starts to reestablish itself. Meanwhile, TSN game crew barely hides desire to see Slovakia win game. 1:08 left in 2nd.

4:56 - Poof! And the bubble bursts when Nikita Filatov blasts one through Superkeeper! Jaroslav Janus to give Russia the 3-1 lead heading into the third...we'll be back for that third in 15 min or so...

5:13 - The third is underway. Slovakia likely needs to score soon to have a chance. Pretty much all the energy was sucked out of the rink with Russia's last goal.

5:22 - Russia in control mode now. Slovakia will need to open it up and hope that Superkeeper! Jaroslav Janus can be, well, Super.

5:28 -
Less than 10 minutes left. TSN already talking more about Canada v Sweden than the game currently being played.

5:29 - Nikita Filatov decides that he's had enough of this nonsense and makes it 4-1 by picking the top corner above...wait for it...Superkeeper! Jaroslav Janus!!

5:39 - Well isn't that interesting. Slovakia scores on the PP with the goalie pulled to make it 3-2. Game on, surprisingly.

5:43 - But not for long. Dmitri Kugryshev puts it away with the empty net. 4-2 will probably be the final. Unless there is anymore action, we'll shut it down here. But, we will be back for another LIVE! blog tonight. A golden LIVE! blog that is.

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