Monday, May 22, 2006

WC: Canada Comes up Empty

It's been a terrible past few days for Team Canada, who fell to evil Sweden (the eventual champs) and then to Finland in the Bronze Medal game by a 5-0 score, coming home with nothing but porridge...

It wasn't a pretty game to watch, with little flow, plenty of weak penalty calls, and, of course, Team Canada doing little offensively.


With a 5-0 blanking of Canada on Sunday evening, Finland captured the bronze, its first IIHF World Championship medal since earning silver in 2001.

The Canadians, meanwhile, failed to get a medal for the first time since 2002. It was a rough, chippy affair as both teams were visibly grouchy after failing in the semi-finals

Despite being held pointless, Sidney Crosby finished with 16 points and should still win the tournament scoring derby.

Finnish goalie Fredrik Norrena had 37 saves for his third shutout of the tournament, blanking a Canadian team that had scored at least four goals in each of its previous eight games. Alex Auld, getting the start for Canada after relieving Marc Denis in the semi-finals, replied with 28 stops.

In front of 9,365 fans, the teams combined for 66 penalty minutes in the early game at Riga Arena (32 to Finland, 34 to Canada). Tournament PIM leader Tuomo Ruutu finished with 49 minutes in total after taking a checking to the head penalty in the second period.
All in all, it was typically BAD IIHF officiating, there is no other way to slice it. If you think NHL refs stink, you ought to watch more IIHF-reffed games some time. IIHF refs rarely recognize a true dive, and call incidental contact way too often.

Full game recap here.

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