A four goal fourth frame was what it would end up taking for Canada to go to the finals, earning a birth in 2015 Inline World Championship gold medal game on Saturday following a 6-2 win over Sweden.
It took about eight minutes of conservative hockey before the game’s first goal would come to fruition. While Canada has struggled at points defensively, especially in their 6-5 win over the much weaker Slovenian team yesterday, they have been able to exploit their opposition with their drive to the net attitude and quick speed. Their ability to do so resulted in a goal with 4:42 left in the first period after Dave Hammond sent a long back-door pass to Josh Foote, who got his stick on the deflection to send the puck over Swedish goalie Ludvig Engsund and in to make it 1-0 Canada.
The second quarter was a safe one of both teams. As you’d expect in an important game, neither team wanted to make a mistake that would change the course of the game. The Tre Kronor worked really hard to make sure they wouldn’t allow another goal, clamping down on their defensive responsibilities. Canada did the same thing, but unfortunately for them, the men in blue and yellow scored to tie it up with just under two minutes to go. It wasn’t a great one for Brett Leggat in Canada’s net, who allowed a far shot from outside the right faceoff circle on Carl Berglund, who tied the game up at one apiece heading into the second period.
Sweden found themselves up a goal just over a minute into the second half. This time, another weak goal on Leggat saw Emil Bejmo crack the back of the net thanks to a short side goal below the blocker.
Almost immediately after, Canada found a way to tie the game back up. If anyone was going to do it, Dave Hammond’s spin deke at the left faceoff dot turned into a beautiful five-hole goal, making it 2-2 with a good portion of the game still left to go.
With 8:39 left in the game, Canada got the all-important third goal of the game. Once again, Foote was able to pot one behind Engsund, faking the pass to Hammond before deking out Engsund for the 3-2 goal. Over a minute later, Hammond grabbed his second of the night after stealing the puck to the right of Engsund, crossing in front of the crease before using his patience to flick it over his blocker for the 4-2 goal. Brett Bulmer would get Canada their fifth goal of the game with a beautiful breakaway goal,blowing past everyone before deking out Engsund to give his team the unerasable three goal lead with three minutes to go. Chris would score the empty net, finishing off the four goal fourth period to secure the win and earn a birth in the finals for the fourth fifth straight year.
With the win, Canada will once meet up with Finland for a chance at winning the Inline World Championships. A year ago, the Finns took the gold thanks to a 5-2 victory, so winning another championship, especially on home, seems like something they’d want to do. Canada last won the tournament back in 2012, taking down Germany by a score of 9-5. The finals are set for 1pm EST tomorrow, while Slovakia and Sweden will compete for the bronze at 10:30am.
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