Sunday, February 21, 2010

USA-Canada: Game Log

Pregame: Commentators remarking on how young and inexperienced Team USA is compared to Canada. They said the same thing about the 1980 US Olympic Team vs the Soviet Union.

4:45pm- Puck drops and we begin.

1st Period

19:46- quick shot by Team USA but Canada goalie Martin Brodeur covers it.

19:19- A shot from the blue line by Brian Rafalski is accidentally redirected by Sidney Crosby and Team USA scores! 1-0 to the red white and blue.

18:17- Goalie interference call on Ryan Getzlaf gives Team USA a powerplay.

14:17- Canada kills it.

11:07- Eric Staal gets the puck on the blue line and fires it past Miller for Canada's first goal. Tied at 1-1.

10:45- Rafalski gets his second of the game to put USA back on top. 2-1 USA

13:53- penalty to Joe Pavelski on Team USA for hi-sticking.

12:34- couple shots but nothing's going in for Canada.

11:53- PK for Team USA

7:33- Shots coming from all over, but Team USA's defense staying strong. Miller's had more than a few sweet stops.

6:05- Majority of shots coming from blue line. Marleau takes a shot as he skates through the neutral zone that hits Team USA's goalie Ryan Miller in the chest.

4:32- Miller looking absolutely fantastic this period. Almost as good as Jonas Hiller. :)

3:34- USA's consistent at clearing the zone, but the puck is rarely being played past Canada's blue line. It's about time Team USA went on the offensive.

2:10- Shots favoring Canada at 17 to just 6 from Team USA.

0:0- End of first, and while Team USA is winning with 2 goals to Canada's 1, they're being outshot 18-6. Hopefully USA gains some control on the game and gets more shots off in the 2nd stanza.

2nd Period

20:00- Here we go in the 2nd, Team USA wins the face-off.

19:38- Team USA fires off a shot that's quickly acquired by Brodeur, but players stop for a friendly chit-chat in front of the goal. Zebras break up the scrum.

16:28- Canada's Jonathan Toews gets the puck in front of the crease and passes it in front of Miller to a waiting Dany Heatley who fires it in to tie the game. 2-2.

15:34- Chants of "Miller" fill the Hockey Place stadium.

14:17- Patrick Kane carries the puck through the neutral zone, weaving through Canada's defensemen and fires wide on Brodeur.

13:56- Fans are tossing a beach ball in the crowd that is coming dangerously close to the ice. Never seen that at a hockey game before...

11:09- Team USA still having trouble keeping the puck out of their zone. Bobby Ryan finally breaks through and passes it to Kane who puts a shot on Brodeur.

9:35- Puck stops after Marleau doesnt clear the crease fast enough, blocking Miller's ability to play. USA wins the face-off.

8:20- Hi-stick violation stops the play just as Canada clears their zone after USA gets a brief chance to get some shots on Brodeur.

7:59- USA wins the face-off in front of Canada's goal crease, and gets three quick shots on Brodeur. Close, but no cigar, with some fantastic goalkeeping by Brodeur.

3:58 Eric Staal and Corey Perry collide and Chris Pronger dog-piles on them as all three are looking for the puck. Play stops as all three struggle to clear their heads.

3:14 Brodeur is caught way out of position as he scrambles to cover the loose puck in front of the net. He moves too far out of the crease and Team USA's Chris Drury puts the puck in the net behind him. 3-2 for Team USA!

1:38- Three separate breakaways leave players and fans out of breath as USA gets a breakaway that leads to a Canada opportunity that is in turn denied and sent back for a USA breakaway that is finally covered.

0:53- A hit by Eric Staal earns him a penalty and Team USA is given a powerplay opportunity.

0:0- 39-19 shots favoring Canada still. Players shove each other after the buzzer. USA will have a man advantage at the start of the 3rd. USA's still winning 3-2.

3rd Period

20:00- 3rd period starts with a USA powerplay.

18:53- Canada kills the man advantage, but USA keeps firing away at the goal.

18:16 Sidney Crosby swings his stick at a USA player's head and USA goes on another powerplay!

16:16- Canada kills yet another powerplay.

13:55- Delayed penalty to Canada gives Team USA their third powerplay in just 7 minutes. Corey Perry earned the slashing call.

12:51- HAT TRICK TO RAFALSKI! Team USA goes ahead by 2 as Brian Rafalski shoots a one-timer from the blue line to earn a powerplay goal and his third for tonight. 4-2 to Team USA.

10:00- Canada gears up for a rush as we're halfway done with the last period, score of 4-2 to Team USA.

9:11- Powerplay goes to Canada as Patrick Kane gets his stick stuck between the legs of a Canada player. Team USA hoping to hold them off. This could be the play of the game, if Canada gets some momentum back. Lot of pressure resting on Miller right now.

8:16- Puck is tossed out of play as Team USA struggles to clear it.

8:06- I was expecting a good game but this has gotten really intense. Totally sitting on the edge of my seat right now.

7:10- Powerplay is killed! Crosby dives for an open puck in front of the goal, but Miller covers it. Play stops as Miller and Crosby untangle themselves from one another in front of the goal.

5:12- Offsides call brings the puck back to Team USA's zone, and seconds after the face-off, a tripping call on Erik Johnson gives Canada a powerplay opportunity. Good luck, Miller.

4:08- Careful passing by Canada finally opens up a shot opportunity but Miller jumps on it.

4:04- Puck cleared.

3:47- Three rapid shots has Miller sprawled in front of the net as he struggles to block rebound after rebound. Although he looks like he's standing on his head at one point, he's successful at stopping the puck. Just incredible.

3:09- Rick Nash redirects a pass directly to Sidney Crosby who's camped out in front of the goal. He shoves the puck in for a powerplay goal to put themselves within one goal of Team USA.

2:34- Timeout. I can't sit still.

1:30- Shot after shot after shot on Miller and he's blocked them all.

1:10- Puck is cleared and Canada regains control as Brodeur heads to the bench for an extra attacker for Canada.

0:44- Ryan Kesler dives for the puck with one hand on his stick and sends the puck into the empy net! 5-3 for Team USA!

0:16- Dogpile in front of the net and sticks are just jabbing at the puck. Marleau and Jack Johnson shove each other but no one throws down.

0:0- Team USA wins. :)

USA vs Canada

In the greatest match-up day for Olympic hockey, Team USA faces Canada for bragging rights and a shot for gold.

While it is not a medal round, the loser of this game will likely have to play an extra game to move into the final rounds. But this game is so much more than just seeding. In a rivalry that spawned when there were only 6 teams in the NHL, 4 of them being US teams, and has amplified with the Suter-Gretzky rivalry and various competitions with mixed results, this may be the most important game either one of these teams play in this Olympics.

Every expert agrees that this game will be close, most predicting that the end score will be within two goals of each other. But the winner of the game is still contested.

USA must win this game in regulation if they hope to get the bye. While both teams have won both games they've played, Canada is a point behind from the shootout win they had against Switzerland. If Team USA wins the game in regulation, they'll earn the bye that puts them in the final seed. If it goes into a shootout, Canada will tie the points and win the bye because they've scored more goals in their last two games.

This game is just one of three iconic match-ups. Russia has already defeated the Czech Republic in a physical game, with an end score of 4-2. Later tonight, rivals Sweden and Finland will face off for bragging rights. But first, the game that matters.... USA and Canada.

I'll do my best to present the game this live blog, but I hope you have the opportunity to watch this game live, as it promises to be incredible.

Lets go...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ducks Watch Day 1, Part 2

Canada faced off Norway earlier today, and with 3 of the Duck's top scorers on the roster, it's no surprise they came out on top.

8 goals on top.

Ducks players Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry both contributed a goal to Team Canada's 8-0 shutout against Norway. Scott Niedermeyer came out of the game with an assist.

Of course, Team Canada's roster is thick with talent, comprised of the some of the top NHL players in the league. The showstopper came in the form of a hat trick to Jarome Iginla, from Calgary. But he wasn't alone in racking up the points. Sharks player Dany Heatley scored 2 goals to put Canada ahead, and Penguin's star Sidney Crosby had three assists to put Team Canada ahead. Goals from both Rick Nash from the Washington Capitals and Mike Richards from the Philidelphia Flyers gave Team Canada the outrageous 8 goals.

Team Canada laid 42 shots on two of Norway's goalies, while Canada's netminder Roberto Luongo from Vancouver earned a shutout.

Update: Hey all! Dingbat here. While I was rushing to get my last post in about the Canada game, I overlooked Iginla's hat trick, and only credited him with two goals.

I beg your forgiveness. Surely it's not that hard to read a stats sheet and see Iginla's name next to three separate goals, but here's proof that maybe I am not infallible. I also must ask for your patience, as it will be near impossible for me to update this blog immediately after each game. While I wish I had nothing better to do than this blog, I do have to answer to the demands of my responsibilities that take priority over this hobby. I thank you for your continued support.

Ducks Watch, Day 1!

Hello and welcome to Duck Watch, your coverage for all of the Ducks playing for their respective teams in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics!

Today's opening match features two of the Duck's stars, Bobby Ryan and Jonas Hiller, in addition to Ryan Whitney and Luca Sbisa, as Switzerland faces the USA Hockey team in the preliminary round.

Team USA is expected to win this round, and they've already made a start towards that goal.

Currently, it's the start of the second stanza and Team USA is leading with one goal from Ducks superstar Bobby Ryan. Ryan scored in the first period on the other fan favorite, Jonas Hiller, who is netminding for Switzerland.

Update: Team USA is now up by 3 goals to none, with a goal by David Backles of the Sabres five minutes into the second period, and a powerplay goal by Tampa Bay Lightning player Ryan Malone just three minutes later, after a hooking call to the Swiss.

Update: 12:30 in the third period, Swiss go on their first powerplay after a hooking call on Joe Pavelski.

Update: USA with a successful PK, go right back to being shorthanded as Ryan Suter is sent to the sin bin for roughing. Swiss dont repeat their first mistake, Roman Wick scores the first tally for Switzerland, 9:45 in the third.

Update: Final score, 3-1 to Team USA! Next game is Thursday, vs Norway.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Perry Kills Kings

The Ducks continued their 10 home-game win streak and broke the King's 9 game win streak, with a score of 4-2 at the Honda Center.

After losing in Los Angeles last Thursday, the Ducks were eager for a little revenge, and tonight's game showed their intensity.

The Kings put up the first point off a backhanded goal by Oscar Moller at 12 minutes in. Moller twisted the puck behind his back to beat Ducks netminder Jonas Hiller. Hiller, who was signed onto a four year extension in January, has had four wins in his last five starts, and has stopped 169 of 179 shots.

It would be the only time the Kings would lead in the game, and it was a short-lived victory. Teemu Selanne found the back of the net, off a Corey Perry rebound, on the Duck's first powerplay, a five-on-three opportunity, after a delay of game and bench minor call for the Kings, just five minutes after the Kings put up their first point.

Just before the end of the first period, Teemu Selanne and Dustin Brown exchanged words after Brown's stick is broken by a hit from Teemu. Somehow, Ducks player Matt Beleskey and Kings player Wayne Simmonds were both given a 2 minute roughing call, going into the second period with each team a man down.

Ryan Getzlaf opened up the scoring in the second stanza three minutes in. Corey Perry beat Davis Drewski to the boards and sends the puck backwards to the wide-open Getzlaf who fired it in past King's goalie Jonathan Quick.

The Kings gave the Ducks another opportunity to score after a slashing call on Kings defenseman Matt Greene just one minute later. Saku Koivu got a backhanded rebound just as the penalty expired to put the Ducks up 3-1, 6:24 into the second period.

The Ducks earned a penalty two minutes after their goal, as Ryan Carter gets sent to the sin bin for boarding. The Ducks were able to kill the penalty, though there were a few close shots. Kings right winger Brad Richardson was called for tripping just seconds after the Duck's penalty ended, but the Ducks weren't able to capitalize on the opportunity.

The Kings got their next chance to score on a powerplay after Ryan Whitney was called for tripping. One second after the penalty expired, Kings star Anze Kopitar got the puck past the pipes to put the Kings within one of the Ducks, 3-2.

But Corey Perry wasn't happy that the lead he worked so hard to earn was about to be thrown away. Picking up the puck at the red line and weaving through Kings players, he puts one past Kings netminder Quick for a 4-2 lead.

While there was no scoring in the third period, it wasn't completely devoid of action. The Kings had half of their shots (18) in the last period, compared to the 7 that the Ducks were able to manage. The defensive prowess of Jonas Hiller kept the Kings at bay, stopping 35 of 37 shots throughout the game. The only penalty of the third period was to Ryan Whitney for holding, but the PK unit was able to shut down the Kings.

Tonight's game marked the 10th win for the Ducks at home, and have won four of the last five games. Teemu Selanne scored his 597th goal tonight as well, and is looking for #600 sometime after the Olympics.

The Ducks next face the Edmonton Oilers at home on Wednesday.

Lets Go Ducks!