Canada Crushes Europe 4-1; Awaits Semi-Finals Opponent

While both of tonight’s World Cup of Hockey combatants entered their showdown with a spot in the semi-finals assured, there were high stakes at play for this clash between Canada’s hockey establishment and the European conglomerate cobbled together for this tournament’s sake. 

A win tonight and the victor would avoid Team Sweden and wait out a match with Team North America or Team Russia — opponents that seem favourable relative to the Tre Kronor.

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With tonight’s 4-1 victory, Canada now awaits either their time honoured cross-Atlantic rivals in Russia or some of their country’s young in the semi-finals. And they made it look so, so easy. Without Shea Weber, Ryan Getzlaf and Carey Price, the Canadians dispatched Europe in short order, outshooting Europe 46-20 in the process.

It didn’t take long for the Canadians to find the scoresheet. Sidney Crosby converted on a broken play behind the European net, catching Jaroslav Halak out of position and sending the wraparound home.

The Canadians continued to press, outshooting the Europeans 6-3 in the opening ten minutes, but couldn’t find paydirt again until a Jonathan Toews goal in the dying seconds of the period. Surely it wasn’t the most difficult goal of Toews’ career either. All Toews’ had to do was redirect the Matt Duchene shot after the setup man caught a misplayed puck by Halak and launched it on the open net.

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This must’ve been especially painful for Halak, who’d robbed Steven Stamkos and Brad Marchand in a two-minute span prior.

The Canadians left the first leading 2-0 with a 17-4 mark on the shot-clock. For the Europeans, this was getting ugly quick. With a little puck-luck though they were able to pull within one. Marian Hossa, the ageless wonder himself, was able to convert on a half-wall rush, banking the puck off an unsuspecting Corey Crawford for the European’s first goal of the game. It would prove to be their only marker.

That goal seemed to wake the European’s up. Though the shot clock remained lopsided as ever, they seemed to tilt the ice ever so slightly in their favour, if only for a short while. Unfortunately for them, they weren’t getting any more easy bounces from Crawford. The Blackhawks netminder held the fort for Canada, and the host nation found their legs and pushed back.

On one such push, the Canadians capitalized on a bad Luca Sbisa pinch and converted on the two on one, with Toews putting his second goal past a stickless Roman Josi and Halak alike for his second goal on the night. 

The Canadians pulled away at that point and more-or-less played keep-away en route to a 4-1 victory over the Europeans, with Logan Couture potting the final marker in the third period.

Team Europe will now play Sweden and the Canadians await North America or Russia.

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  • BlueMoonNigel

    Whenever I watch the games in this tournament I cringe at the thought that if some had had their way and some of the games were played outside of Toronto, including at the Saddledome, what a shocking embarrassment it would be for the city of Calgary, Calgarians and the Flames org for national and international audiences to see such an outdated and decrepit facility hosting a world-class event. Couple that with the news that the former police chief is now spearheading a group looking into the viability of Calgary hosting another Winter Olympics. Nigel can save the ol’ chief a lot of dough and shoe leather by saying the IOC ain’t even gonna look at Calgary unless a brand new arena is up and running, and to have that in place along with new facilities for the other events by 2026 is as realistic as the Flames winning the cup this season.

    Instead of doing another feasibility study for a future Olympics, why isn’t the city considering alternatives to Calgary Next’s idiotic and self-serving West Village proposal?

    As much as I am enjoying the tournament, I am so thankful none of the games are at the Saddledome so Calgary’s dirty little secret doesn’t get national and international exposure.

    • TS

      “Whenever I watch the games in this tournament I cringe at the thought that if…games were played…at the Saddledome, what a shocking embarrassment it would be for the city of Calgary…” Trouble is a) this is not the forum for this issue and b) the vast majority of Calgarians don’t support public funds being used for the proposed arena.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Vast majority of Calgarians don’t support the new provincial carbon tax but they are getting it one way or the other.

        Once Edmonton starts ramming their new barn down the throats of Calgarians in the coming months, the idea of public money being spent to build a sports palace for the Flames will be very desirable. Ditto when Hansen’s team says Calgary needs a new glitzy barn ASAP or the Olympics are out.

  • s8cc

    I hope Canada takes on Russia.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with that game, I just hope Team NA is sent home early so we can resolve the Trouba contact situation.

    Flames may feel the same way about Johnny Hockey …

    • Arod

      while I would also love to see Canada humiliate the Russians, and opportunity to watch Canada take on NA would be just phenomenal. This would be the best team (of all time, perhaps) taking on the most exciting hockey team ever.
      I don’t think NA would win by any means, but I think it would be a great lesson in where the game is at today.