World Hockey Chamionship Roundup: Blowouts Abound

In the second day of action, eight more teams got underway. Four of the powerhouse teams had relative tune-up games with the USA, Sweden, Finland, and Czech Republic trying to get off to strong starts.

Group C: USA 4 vs. Latvia 2 – No one will ever mistake Latvia for a hockey superpower but after today’s game, they may be taken a little more seriously. Latvia led 2-1 midway through the second but the Americans picked up two goals only four minutes apart to take the lead and the win. Defenseman Jack Johnson scored a pair of goals, including the game winner, to make up for the US giving up a goal while Johnson was in the penalty box. There wasn’t a lot of physical play in the first half of the game which favoured the Latvians. When the Americans picked up the intensity, the game shifted in their favour. The US should have an easier time with Austria in their next game while Latvia will be in tough against Sweden.

Group C: Sweden 7 vs. Austria 1 – They started strong and finished stronger. Kenny Jonsson scored a minute-and-a-half into the game, one of three Swedish goals in the first period, to lead the Swedes to a domination of Austria. The Swedes finished the game with four goals in the final frame after going scoreless in the second. Forward Linus Omark had five assists in between spending six minutes in the sin bin. Sweden has another tune-up against Latvia next while Austria will still have a fight on their hands next time with a game against the USA.

Group D: Finland 5 vs. Norway 0 – Pekka Rinne decided to show everyone how wrong they were to leave him off the ballot for NHL rookie of the year. Rinne made 30 saves for the shutout. Antti Miettinen had the first goal of the game which was all the offense that Finland needed. Finland controlled the game and despite giving Norway 30 shots, Norway didn’t have much in the way of quality chances. The Fins will play Denmark next while the Norwegians will face-off against the Czechs.

Group D: Czech Republic 5 vs. Denmark 0 – Another game that would be better described as a tune-up rather than a tournament game. The Czechs scored only once in the first but put home three power play goals in the second to bust the game wide open. It was a relatively light day for Czech goalie Jakub Stepanek who only had to make 21 saves for the shutout. Jaromir Jagr and Petr Cajanek each had a goal and two assists to lead the offense. The Czech Republic should have a similarly easy go in their next game against Norway while things won’t any easier for Denmark as they battle Finland.

Three Stars of the Day:
1. Jack Johnson (USA) – 2 goals
2. Pekka Rinne (Finland) – 30 saves, shutout
3. Linus Omark (Sweden) – 5 assists

Sunday’s Schedule:
Group A: Slovakia vs. Belarus
Group A: Canada vs. Hungary
Group B: Switzerland vs. Germany
Group B: Russia vs. France

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