Sunday, August 29, 2004

Just like kissing your sister!

Team Canada’s final tune up game in the World Cup of hockey ended up as a draw, as the Canadians and the Slovaks played to a 2-2 tie in Ottawa Saturday night.

Jarome Iginla scored midway through the third, helping the Canadian squad to battle back and get the game even. Vincent Lecavalier had the other Canadian marker and Dany Heatley registered two assists in the Canadian cause.

Martin Brodeur worked the entire game facing nineteen shots in 60 minutes, giving up two goals one to Marion Hossa and the other to Vladimir Orszagh. The Slovaks featured Rastislav Stana in the nets; the Washington Capital faced 31 shots. As the Canadians pressured late in the game, he lifted his game a notch to hold off the attack and keeping the Slovak team in the game.

A sloppy first period almost proved deadly for the Canadian team as they found themselves guilty of standing still and watching the fast moving Slovaks travel up and down the ice. Pat Quinn again tinkered with his lines, juggling the first two lines regularly through the game. The movement of Iginla off of Mario Lemieux’s line worked in this game; it sparked Iginla onto that goal in the third. Lemieux himself had a golden chance to put the game away late in the third but missed the puck on a shot attempt on an open net.

Canada carried the play into the overtime, and found itself frequently in the slot or to the side taking a shot or making passes. A few breaks and they would have won the game in the OT.

The Canadians rest up on Sunday and then head for Montreal, they face the American team on Tuesday night as they get this World Cup underway with a game against their main rival these days. Considered to be the front runner in this tourney, there’s nothing like jumping into the competition right off the bat, no lesser skilled warm up teams to run up a score against. Instead it’ll be hard nosed North American hockey in game one. No doubt Pat Quinn wouldn’t have it any other way.

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