Sunday, January 02, 2005

Czechs back for some deja vu?

For the second year in a row, the Czech Republic will be the crossroad for Canada to advance to the World Junior Hockey Championship Final. Team Canada will face off against the Czechs at 3:30 North Dakota time on Semi Final Sunday. When the two teams last renewed acquaintances in a semi final one year ago, the Canadians easily took care of the lads from the Republic by a score of 7-1.

With a juggernaut of a squad from Canada this year, the Czech coaching staff will have their hands full putting together a plan of attack to keep the Canadians off the score sheet. Canada while suffering a couple of key absences on the Defensive side held a practice on Saturday and feel ready to get to the task at hand. While nothing is ever certain, many observers believe that Brent Sutters charges are unstoppable in their quest this year for Gold.

We will find out if that bid continues or will be sidelined by 7:00 in Grand Forks. It should make for a great day of hockey. The prime time match up on Sunday will feature the USA and Russia, the Americans rebounding from some questionable games to crush the Swedes in action on Saturday. The puck drops at 7:30 Grand Forks time with a noisy pro American crowd expected to sell out the home rink. Three hours later they'll know if they can hold onto their tickets or find a scalper to sell them off. Canadian fans are hoping to be looking for tickets for Tuesday's final. If they continue their domination from the last week, they'll have a three hour head start to begin the search!

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