Thursday, May 15, 2008

No way for Norway

For about twenty minutes it was closer than the home side might have liked, but in the end the gallant struggle of underdog Norway to derail the Canada express seemed destined to fall short and short it did fall.

Canada finally untracked their game midway in the second period, when they moved beyond a 2-2 tie to rattle off six consecutive goals on the way to their 8-2 victory and a berth in the semi finals of the World Hockey Championships, set for Friday against Sweden.

Derek Roy found the mark three times to lead Canada in the goals parade, with Rick Nash collecting two goals, while Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf and Dany Heatley all scored one each to push the Norwegians off the world hockey stage for another year, who despite the loss must be happy with the signs of progress for their hockey program, as they finished in the quarter finals for the first time in the history of the tournament.

Despite the close nature of the first period, the game was mostly Canada’s for the taking they controlled most of the play for the majority of the game, only the occasional mental lapse led them into any kind of danger and while not spectacular, the under worked Cam Ward provided steady enough goal tending to make sure that the Norwegians never could get ahead of Canada and give cause for the need of a come from behind finish.

Norway’s ability to keep close in the preliminary round was no doubt in the back of the Canadians mind in that first period as they employed much of the same strategy of trying to slow down the game and take advantage of any opportunity that came along. But Canada finally broke free of the Norwegian game plan in the second and once they started moving the puck and firing off shot after shot, it seemed only a matter of time before the Norwegians were forced to capitulate.

The win continues Canada’s string of victories in the International tournament and sends the team off to Quebec City with only two more games to go to complete the goal of a home nation Gold for the first time in a number of years.

The path to Sunday’s Gold medal game finds Sweden on the horizon for Friday and if the hockey Gods are smiling a match up with either Finland or Russia on Sunday.

The pending match ups set the stage for some exciting hockey in the Quebec capital this weekend, making Le Colisee Pepsi once again the setting for the international hockey world’s full attention.

Montreal Gazette-- Canada beats Norway 8-2
Globe and Mail-- A few anxious moments
Halifax Chronicle Herald-- Cruch time
Edmonton Sun-- Bring on Sweden!
Edmonton Sun-- Pedal to the medal

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