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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ivan Hlinka roundup Day 3: Canada rolls in Group B, USA, Sweden, Czechs also in the semi-final

Team Canada continued its dominance in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament Wednesday in Slovakia, thrashing the host team by a 6-1 score to go 3-0 in the tournament.

The Canadians won it thanks to a pair of first period goals from defensemen Duncan Siemens and Scott Harrington, which gave them a 2-0 lead before Matt Puempel, Myles Bell and Boone Jenner (two goals) closed out the scoring. Puempel and Siemens also added helpers to the scoresheet, while Garett Meurs and David Broll each had two assists on the game.

Team USA closed out Finland to move to 2-1and win the Group A round robin while dropping their opponent out of medal contention with a 5-2 victory today. Cason Hohmann had another two point contest with a goal and an assist, John Gaudreau scored for the second straight contest. Justin Selman, Tanner Sorensen and Sean Kuraly also scored for the Americans. Connor Murphy (two assists) paced the USA blue liners in scoring today. USA got a solid performance in net from Nutmeg stater Steven Michalek, who made 26 stops. Markus Granlund had one of Finland's goals in the loss, Robert Leino the other.

Sweden blasted the Swiss to earn a spot in the semifinal round against the USA on Friday, topping their opponent 7-1. Oscar Klefbom (four assists) Pontus Åberg (3 points- too bad he's a 2012-eligible or the Swedish class would be even more insane this year), Joachim Nemark and Mika Zibanejad paced the Tri Kronor assault, who popped in the first four goals of the game and cruised from there.

The Czech Republic defeated Team Russia 3-2 to eliminate them from medal contention, again leaving the highly-skilled Russians to wonder why they weren't more successful in this tournament, where talented individuals couldn't do enough to form a team dynamic. The Czechs will hope goalie Jaroslav Pavelka can be as sharp against Canada as he was today. On paper, they don't have the talent and ability of Canada, but they did take them to OT in the exhibition round, and could pull an upset if they can pull it together for 60 strong minutes.

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