Jan Holub, No points, ten minute penalty and two miunute penalty.
Czech Rep 0 Play Off Round
Saturday, January 4, 2003
The Czech Republic and Slovakia were at battle on the ice again today.
On a blustery Saturday afternoon in Halifax, the two teams finished
off the tournament vying for fifth place in the world. The game wasn't
as fast-paced as it could have been, since these two teams often play
heated games when they face each other. Both teams looked like it was
the end of the tournament for them, and they were just playing it out
to see who would get bragging rights for the year.
The first goal was scored by Anton Zagora with 30 seconds left in the
first period, and that looked like that would be it. The game had a
soothing rhythm, with occasional moments of excitement around the net.
It seemed that the goalies were there to put on a show, when the
offensive players wanted to play. The second goal came at 15:00 of the
third, scored by Ratislav Lipka. The Czechs lined up after the game,
looking dejected and tired. Across the way, the Slovaks held their
heads high and proud that they had won.
Tomas Slovak plays with the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL. He has made
the jump overseas, and compares the play of his team. "In the first
round, the team played very good in tactics, structure and we listened
very good to our coaches. In the playoffs, we didn't have much
confidence. We were nervous on the ice, so I think that's why we lost.
Today we played more confident, we won more battles than the Czechs.
So we won."
He laughs when asked about his play on the ice. "You know, so many
people say, `You only have one point, eh?' because in the WHL I have
many points. I only have one point because our coaches here have said
to play defence, so I focused only playing more defence."
National bragging rights aren't the only thing that comes out of this
tournament. This tournament is about the development of 17-19 year old
hockey players. For some Europeans, it is the first time playing
overseas. For others, the pride of playing for their national team is
enhanced by the fact they are playing in a familiar country. All
players, however, have learned something about themselves and the game
of hockey. They will all have something they will remember about this
"I think I will remember the national anthem after the game, when we
won the three games in the pool. I played for Russia in the World
Juniors two years ago, so I had some experience. I think that every
tournament and game is some experience. This team, these guys, I will
Switzerland 5 Play Off Round
Saturday, January 4, 2003
Marcus Paulsson, two pim.
Switzerland Upsets Sweden, 5-3
Upstart Switzerland played a solid game this afternoon and soundly
disposed of perennial achiever Sweden 5-3 today in front of 6,288
devoted hockey fans in Halifax. The Swedes fell to 8th place this
year, their worst performance at the World Juniors since 1997.
The Swiss attack looked very poised against Sweden, and their goals
came from a variety of sources. Cyrill Buhler opened the scoring at
10:17 of the first period with a rocket shot to the top corner from
the deep slot that eluded Swedish goaltender Mathias Fagerstrom.
Switzerland also got a pair of goals from player-of-the-game Patrik
Bartschi and single goals from Severin Blindenbacher and Kevin Romy to
send Sweden to their worst finish since 1997 when, ironically enough,
the Swiss beat Sweden 6-2 for seventh place.
At least at the junior level, Sweden does not appear to be the
powerhouse that most people assume them to be. They brought some
sensational talent to the tournament but played undisciplined hockey
for the tournament's duration. Today's game was no exception, as they
took 26 minutes in penalties and relinquished two power-play goals.
They haven't won a medal since taking home a bronze in 1996.
The bright spots on the Swedish side this afternoon were Yared Hagos,
Andreas Jamtin, and player-of-the-game Alexander Steen, who each
capped off a solid individual tournament performances with a goal.
Goaltender Mathias Fagerstrom also had his strongest showing of the
tournament against the Swiss, despite allowing five goals. His team
allowed at least six breakaways to the Swiss as well as a variety of
chances at even strength and on the power play. Had it not been for
Fagerstrom's amazing mobility the Swiss score could have easily been
in the double digits.
The game kept the Halifax crowd on the edge of their seats for its
entirety, with the last major flurry coming at the 19-minute mark of
the third period when Swedish sensation Robert Nilsson got his best
chance of the contest, firing the puck just over the crossbar. As luck
would have it, the puck caromed off the boards right back to his stick
and he was promptly robbed by goaltender Daniel Manzato, who was solid
between the pipes.
Tempers flared up at the end of the game when both teams left the
bench and started to push and shove at center ice, but the referees
were able to keep the ruckus to a minimum. Both teams then lined up
for the customary handshake after the national anthem.
Game Night Reporter