Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Still undefeated and looking for more

When Canada defeated Finland on Monday, they sent a message that they were starting to come together at just the right time. No doubt having watched how the Finns battled back against the Americans (assisted by a brutal call by the replay officials), the Canadians left nothing to chance as they continued on towards their goal of a golden finish.

The sound display of hockey put to rest concerns from their less than convincing win against Norway earlier in the tournament, and instead sent the Finns back for a return match with the Americans, for which the US surely owes Canada a thank you card.

The US/Finland match should be the day’s highlight match (ironically not listed as being telecast on TSN”s double header IIHF festival due to TSN"s NHL commitments), such was the animosity generated in the final period of their earlier session.

For Canada, the chance to have another shot at the Norwegians will probably be a welcome thing as well, Norway snuck up on Canada in the early stages, with Canada now finally hitting its groove and with the memories of the first game still rather fresh, reunion day in Halifax should make for an interesting sixty minutes of hockey.

With a perfect 6-0 record and having outscored the competition by a total of 35-10, Canada has quietly taken charge of the tournament, not so much with the flash of past efforts, but with solid hard work and team work. Battling through the tough periods when they got off their game, taking them to the point where a win on Wednesday moves them into a semi final match on Friday in Quebec City.

While overconfidence may be something to worry about, it’s more than likely that Canada will be more than aware of the perils of looking beyond the Norwegians. With six wins under their belt, Canada is three games away from their destination of Sunday’s gold medal game.

The Finland game provided them with the best dose of focus that they have had in this tournament so far, they should be able to carry that into the quarterfinal with Norway and if they perform as well as they have so far, it will be on to Quebec City and their rendez vous with a possible Gold medal.

Halifax Chronicle Herald-- Perfect so far
Canadian Press-- Canada gets ready for quarter-final with Norway at world championship
Winnipeg Sun-- Staal to miss quarters
Winnipeg Sun-- Building a dream
National Post-- Spezza replaces Staal on second line
Montreal Gazette-- Doan takes helm for Team Canada

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