After Canada finished the preliminary round a perfect 4-0-0, They were granted a spot in the semis and had to wait to see the outcome of the Russia/Czech Republic quarter final before they knew their opponent. This game has just finished and Canada now knows it will be Russia who stands in their way to the finals.
After Czech Republic dominated the OT period, a bad turnover allowed the Russians to eliminate any momentum and finish the game in a single play on a goal scored by Grigori Zheldakov.
I was really rooting for the Czechs, not because I saw them as a weaker opponent, but because I thought they played really well in this tournament and deserved at least a berth to the semis. This loss also most likely ruins Czech goalie, Petr Mrazek’s chance at getting the best goaltender award. He was the main contributor to the Czech’s success. The award has been given to non finalist goalies in the past, like Swiss goaltender Benjamin Conz a few years ago. He was awarded this after a 4th place finish. I doubt the tournament officials would go all the way back to a quarter final loss to find their victor.
Tomorrow, Canada will need to be on their toes for every play in the game. It has been well documented how this Russian team can suddenly score, sometimes in bunches, regardless of how dominated they have been.
Canada will try their best to run over the Russians in order to guarantee themselves a spot in the final against either the Swedes or the Finns. This will all take place tomorrow night in Alberta.
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