Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Canada/USA Live Blog

Well folks, we’re here…another year, another shot at gold for Team Canada at the World Juniors!

This year, it’s Canada and the United States going head to head for the first time since 2004, a meeting won by the US on an own-goal by the Canadians, who blew a 3-1 lead. The two teams have already met once this tournament, a 5-4 shootout win for Canada in a game that featured shorthanded goals, a penalty shot, a couple of lead changes and was branded an instant classic.

Who will come out on top this year? Follow along with me as I try to do my first live blog…just hit refresh every now and then.

PREGAME MUSINGS

-Hey, what's up? I'm all settled in and ready to "live blog" and I encourage you to comment as we go here...I'm pretty pumped for this game, but nervous at the same time. Anything can happen, up to and including this game being a total letdown, which I hope doesn't happen. You know what I mean? You look forward to a game that should be awesome, but it just winds up being totally boring. I wouldn't mind seeing Canada blow the States out though, which would be boring, but in an awesome way.

-How bout that bronze medal game earlier today? What a joke. At least the Swiss made a game of it...if you can call losing 11-4 "making a game of it," which I guess you can, considering it was 7-0 at one point.

-Gotta love the pregame shots of guys walking to the rink with the long white ipod headphone cords hanging out of every guys jackets. It's a constant Apple/Starbucks commercial.

-Canada's got to watch the turnovers tonight...last game, they gave the puck away far too often. They're far too good to be playing like that.

-Anyone else getting a bit nervous? Less than 10 minutes to go before puckdrop...although it probably won't start right at 6pm...you know, just to build the suspense a bit...

-WOW another Gatorade "hydration" infomercial. I was "tweeting" about this earlier today...they show these far too often. For serious.

-AHHHHH!!!! It's 6pm! Oh good, more analysis...Okay...HERE WE GO!

FIRST PERIOD

-Interesting...injured Canadian blue liner Travis Hamonic is on the bench in uniform.

-GOAL!!!!!!!! Beauty rush by the Canadians, finished by Luke Adam who slides it between the wickets and into the back of the net. 1-0 Canada, about three minutes in. Nice feed from Jordan Caron to start the play.

-Very quick, hard start to this game. A few big hits, some chances both ways. Exactly the way you want to start a game like this.

-Seems to me that Canada has the better of the possession so far. OH! An American player falls as he breaks in on the Canadian goal...no call, and upon further review there was no actual contact.

-Some big hits from the US so far...aaaaaaand it's all tied up at 1-1. Canada's Taylor Hall turns it over, Chris Kreider fires it over the shoulder of Jake Allen.

-GOAL USA...America's all-time leading scorer, Jordan Schroeder puts it high glove-side on Jake Allen on a mini 2-on-1, 36 seconds after the Kreider goal. 2-1 USA.

-Great defensive play by Canada's Ryan Ellis to stop another potential break for the US. Canada's got to get back in this game!

-GOAL!!!!!! And there it is...just as I finished typing that, Canada came down on a sort of three-on-three...Greg Nemisz takes the puck from his skate to his stick and puts it home. 2-2.

-First power play of the game goes to the USA...BIG SAVE by Jake Allen on the penalty kill. Allen is standing on his head on this PK...Late on the US power play, Allen takes a shot off the mask...puck stays out.

-Bad news for Team Canada as Alex Pietrangelo gets two and ten for a hit from behind at centre ice with 38 seconds to go in the opening frame. That will hurt them on the blue line.

-Okay, time to breathe...first period is over, with the scored tied 2-2. The US will be on the power play to start the second period and Canada will be without its top defenceman for the next 11-ish minutes. Check back here in a few minutes, I've got to get some work done during the intermission (haha).

-Are you still with me? Shoot me some comments if you're enjoying my first ever live blog! It definitely doesn't help that I'm watching this game in a room that is unseasonably hot...from here on out I'll be on the air @iNews880, so the updates may be a bit slower. Bare with me!

SECOND PERIOD

-The US gets on the board first in the third period, with John Carlson hammering one from the point, 1:03 into the second. 3-2 US.

-Just like that, it's a 3-3 game...Taylor Hall gets credit for a funny-looking goal that appears to have been knocked in by an American defender. Luke Adam gets his second point of the evening. Boy is this ever an exciting game...

-Canada STILL waiting for its first power play chance...meanwhile, another power play for the States...AND Canada finally gets its first PP coming up here on a tripping call.

-Furious action around the US goal as the tournaments 2nd best power play gets to work. Oh, and to the person who called my cellphone just before 7pm - sorry, there's too much going on at the moment and I couldn't pick up.

-Some good chances, but no goal on Canada's first power play opportunity. Looked promising though.

-I just roared through a sportscast while trying to watch the Oilers/Phoenix game as well as this game and the nine other NHL games for any updates. I feel like Superman.

-The IIHF webpage says the shots are 13-5 for the US. I'm pretty sure that's wrong.

-If you're working right now...are you having a tough time paying attention to the task at hand?

-TSN just showed a couple of beauty hits from the game so far. Gotta love the style of play both teams are bringing to the game right now. After two periods, we're all tied up at 3's.

-What do you think of the game so far? For those of you just tuning in...once the third period starts I'll be doing my best to give some insight and reaction to what's happening on the ice between Canada and the USA. As I'm doing this, I'm also reading the news at iNews880...so I'm all over the place right now, but having fun!

THIRD PERIOD

-We're underway it what could be the last bit of action tonight...unless we go to extras!

-Two GREAT penalty killing teams going at it tonight. It's a joy to watch...but my stomach is in knots! Another penalty killed by the States, but Canada had some great pressure. Maybe not the best decisions on when to shoot though (ex. Kadri into the shinpads when he had Hall low)

-Ahhhh crap. Shortly after the Americans killed off the Canadian power play, Jerry D'Amigo scores on a two-on-one, beating Allen low. He's got five goals in three games. 4-3 USA.

-Uh oh...Jake Allen misplays a puck, and it's now 5-3 USA. Martin Jones is in for the Canadians. Jerry D'Amigo shoots it in, Allen bobbles it and Derek Stepan makes no mistake...It's now a two-goal game, just like it was on New Years. Can they do it again?

-If they want to get back into this game, Canada's got to get pucks deep and stay hard on the forecheck and not allow the US to get anymore chances. Twelve minutes is an eternity in a game like this...though maybe that's just the optimist in me talking.

-Ughhh I'm not feeling good about this one...although I've counted Canada out before in a game like this. Time is running out though.

-Boy they're just not getting the bounces tonight eh? There's been a few times where the US goalie has been sprawled out with no idea where the puck is, but somehow it stayed out of the net. BIG PP for Canada...

-HUGE GOAL for Team Canada to make it 5-4...can they seal the deal with less than 2:30 to go? Jordan Eberle coming through in the clutch...seen that before anywhere? OMG another pretty darn close chance there for the Canadians...

-GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! CANADA TIES IT!!!!! Looks like Eberle again...WOW. Just like I said, I've counted them out before and they continue to prove me wrong!

-Alright folks, we've now got a full intermission and then a 20 minute overtime period, followed by a shootout if necessary.

-That Eberle is one hell of a player. If I'm not mistaken, he takes over the all-time goal scoring lead for Canada, one up on John Tavares with those two goals. What an end to regulation. I've got goosebumps over here!

OVERTIME

-We're underway in the extra frame...it's ALL on the line. Discipline will be key for both clubs here...

-Don't worry about being fancy Canada...remember Matt Halischuk's OT-winner two years ago, he just drove the net and banged 'er home! Damn this is making me nervous...especially since I can only watch every few seconds...

-GOAL USA...Canada gives up another odd-man rush and the US shooters make no mistake - John Carlson with his second goal of the game, low blocker side on Martin Jones.

-That's a tough pill to swallow for Team Canada, who showed a lot of heart coming back to tie it up there...great game though and the US deserved the hard-fought win. Congratulations to them and I hope we meet 'em in next year's final!

POSTGAME THOUGHTS

-It was only a matter of time before the US managed to beat Canada after all the comebacks in the past few, but it's ashame we weren't able to pull it out and win that elusive sixth straight gold medal. Maybe we're just being greedy eh?

-Great class shown by the Americans in the postgame handshakes there. It's good to see that despite the competitive nature of the game, guys can still be classy when it's all over.

-Another feather in the hat of Edmonton Oilers prospect Jordan Eberle, who scored a pair and was named tournament MVP...he definitely came back and dominated this year after a strong tournament last year. I believe he has points in something like 15 or 16 straight World Junior games, which is pretty impressive.

-Two parting thoughts - Was it me, or did Canada miss a TON of chances on the night? It seemed like the bounces would NEVER go their way. The 5th goal wasn't the winner, but it was shades of Marc-Andre Fleury in 2004, wasn't it?

To anyone that popped in throughout the night: thanks for reading and maybe we'll do it again sometime. Feel free to leave any other comments you might have and I'll try to respond!

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