Month: September 2016 (page 2 of 8)

Team Europe edges Sweden in OT, advances to World Cup final


Tomas Tatar scored twice, including the overtime winner, as Team Europe stunned Sweden with a 3-2 victory in the semifinal at the World Cup of Hockey on Sunday.

Tatar kicked the puck to his skate and put a shot past a sprawling Henrik Lundqvist at 3:43 of the extra period. It was ruled a good goal after a quick video review, earning Europe a berth in the best-of-three final against Canada beginning on Tuesday.

Marian Gaborik had the other goal for Europe (3-1-0) while Jaroslav Halak made 37 saves.

It was not the first time Team Europe has stunned an opponent at the best-on-best tournament. The team, made up of players from eight separate countries, opened the World Cup of Hockey with a surprising 3-0 win over the Americans.

Erik Karlsson and Nicklas Backstrom responded for Sweden (2-0-2) while Lundqvist stopped 28 shots.

Karlsson’s point shot, which appeared to redirect off of European defenceman Roman Josi, beat a screened Halak with 4:32 remaining in the third to tie the game 2-2 and force overtime.

Tatar gave Europe its first lead of the afternoon 12 seconds into the third period, picking up his own rebound, which Lundqvist mishandled, and beating the New York Rangers goaltender for his first of the tournament.

Thomas Vanek nearly made it 3-1 midway through the third after his shot got past Lundqvist, but Anton Stralman was there to clear the puck before it crossed the goal line.

The two teams were tied 1-1 after 40 minutes.

Backstrom opened the scoring, putting home the rebound off of Stralman’s shot for his second of the tournament at 2:31 of the second.

Team Europe challenged that Patric Hornqvist was interfering with Halak prior to the puck going in, but after a review, it was ruled a good goal.

Gaborik tied it 1-1 with 3:33 remaining in the second, redirecting a Christian Ehrhoff feed between the legs of Lundqvist for his second goal of the tournament.

Hornqvist had an excellent chance to open the scoring 15 seconds in, but was denied by the left toe of Halak.

Anze Kopitar had the best chance of the opening period for Europe. With 49 seconds remaining, Kopitar’s shot hit Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman and nearly got under the arm of Lundqvist, who got just enough of the shot to make the save.



Q & A With Karim Kerbouche

Head of Algerian hockey Karim Kerbouche

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

From August  9, 2014

We had the great pleasure of interviewing Karim Kerbouche who had a major impact in starting the Algerian Ice Hockey Association.

You are widely considered starting the Algeria Ice Hockey Association can you tell us a little more about yourself?

I’m born in London, UK, with Algerian background. I started playing ice hockey in London at around aged 13, playing junior and then senior in the English national league. I’ve also studied sports management in college.

What is the future of ice hockey in Algeria?

Progress is slow unfortunately, it’s not easy to introduce a new sport to Algeria, the problem is mainly with the government, they’re slightly behind the times when it comes to supporting new sports. We do however have quite a lot of public support, almost 100,000 likes on our facebook page, and with the future projects with Morocco and Tunisia I feel Algerian hockey has a bright future.

There is no ice rinks in Algeria, are there any future plans in build one?

There is currently one ice rink in Algeria which opened this year, it’s small, I believe 300 meters squared, in Algeria’s 2nd city Oran.
There is talk of full size rinks but nothing concrete, with the growing wealth in Algeria and people seeking more leisure activities I very much expect to see a full size ice rink in the next couple of years.

If and when there is an ice rink in the country do you think a league can be form?

There will be a league, after discussion with Morocco and Tunisia, and advice from the IIHF, the aim will be to have a cross country North African league, I feel it’s very important for us to develop both our senior and junior hockey together, I think it’s the only way you’ll see any of us compete in a world championship one day.

Ice hockey is growing in Africa countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt have started to play the game and South Africa have been playing for a long time is there an African Cup in the future?

I think so, we all want it, we even discussed it a couple of weeks ago, the problem has always been the funding, it’s very expensive for us and Morocco and Tunisia to get to South Africa, ideally we’d need a big sponsor or IIHF assistance. Expect to see a North African ‘Maghreb cup’ in the near future though.

Can you please tell us what is the Maghreb Cup?

The Maghreb Cup will be a tournament involving the three North African countries of the Maghreb region, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. We hope to have the first one in 2015.

Algeria has a very small synthetic ice rinks that are suitable for children to learn the basics. Have you or anyone else started children hockey programs in the country?

We haven’t yet and that’s something that really disappoints me. For me this is biggest priority now.

Does the Algeria Ice Hockey Association have plans to become IIHF member in the near future?

Definitely, hopefully we can apply in 2015

Outside from yourself who are the movers and shakers of Algerian ice hockey?

Our captain Harond Litim, well established in French hockey, was a big hit on a French comedian, remi gaillard, prank video. He has his finger in all sorts of pies, MMA, water sports, rap videos. He also puts a lot of work into Algerian hockey.
We have Rouen junior elite coach Nordine Mahdidi, he played with us initially and will now be working on coaching with us.

Many Algerian players play aboard, what is the level of play for Algerian players and who would you say is the best player today?

We have some very good players, mostly in France.Benchabane who plays in ligue Magnus is probably the top player,Chougui who just signed for asniere is a very good player, our captain Litim of course, and two former ligue Magnus players Fahas and Sadani. There’s a few young guys playing junior in France and Canada who we hope to come through.

Algerian National Team have not played for sometime now are there and plans to play any games in 2014-15?

There will be games in 2015, I’m pretty confident the North African tournament will happen, I’d like to add a couple more fixtures on top as well.

You scored the first ever goal for the Algerian national team during the 2008 Arab Cup against Morocco, what was the feeling like?

It was a dream come true for me, firstly to play for Algeria then to actually score, it was amazing, still the highlight in my hockey life.

What is your favorite NHL team?

I don’t follow the NHL much anymore, when I was a kid I always liked Anaheim, now I just like to watch the teams who play a tough physical style.

Who is your favorite player past or present?

When I was younger I liked Paul Kariya, I also liked the enforcers. I follow them more than the skilled guys. These days, I like how Chicago guys Kane and Toews play, I like Kadri. It’s good to see an Arab in the NHL, and I guess St. Louis enforcer Reeves.

What is the one thing about hockey that you like the best?

I like the physical side of ice hockey. I’m a big football (soccer) fan but I always felt it was missing the physical side of things. I think hockey has a good mix of skill and toughness.

Thank You for you time and we wish you the best of luck going forward.
Thank you very much, we appreciate all the support we can get.


Corey Perry has rare chance to join Niedermayer in hockey history

canada flag

By Ken Campbell – The Hockey News

In case you’re wondering, Corey Perry keeps all his championship rings and gold medals locked in a safety deposit box. It must be a really, really big one. “I don’t travel with them,” Perry deadpanned as Team Canada prepared for its semifinal game against Russia in the World Cup of Hockey. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. We’ll figure something out when I’m done playing.”

Perry has not only a chance to add another bauble to his collection, but he also has an opportunity to join a miniscule group of players when it comes to winning championships. Miniscule, as in one. In all of the history of the game, only Scott Niedermayer has won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, World Championship, World Junior Championship, Memorial Cup and Canada/World Cup title. Perry can join him if Team Canada can win three more games in the tournament. Perhaps he and Niedermayer, a former teammate with the Anaheim Ducks and a special assignment coach with the Ducks, can compare their hardware when he returns to Anaheim.

Like Niedermayer, winning follows Perry around. And like Niedermayer, Perry has been a huge part of the championship teams on which he’s played. When asked if there are any similarities between the two, Perry’s Anaheim teammate Ryan Getzlaf cracked, “Yeah, they skate the same.”

He was joking. Niedermayer is one of the smoothest, most effortless and efficient skaters the game has ever seen. Perry, on the other hand, skates as though he’s on a personal mission to do as much damage to the ice as possible. But the results are undeniable. It all started for Perry in 2005 when he barely made Canada’s WJC team during the NHL lockout and scored seven points to help Canada win the title. Later that season, after scoring 130 points for the London Knights, he added another 38 in 18 playoff games to lead the Knights to the Memorial Cup. Two years later he contributed to the only Stanley Cup he has won in his career. He then won gold medals with Canada both in Vancouver in 2010 and in Sochi in 2014 before becoming the 27th member of the Triple Gold Club (Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and World Championship) when Canada won the world title last spring.

Perry is well aware that he’s on the cusp of history. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t given it a lot of thought. “Obviously, I’ve heard about it and I kind of know what’s at stake,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s just a matter of going out and playing hockey. I don’t worry about it. You don’t know if it could ever happen again, but I just go out and let the chips fall. It would be a tremendous honor for sure and it speaks volumes of the teams that I played for and guys I played with.”

It also speaks volumes of his contribution to those teams. Playing on what is essentially the third line on the left side of Jonathan Toews and Logan Couture, Perry has a goal in the tournament, mostly because he hasn’t been getting many looks. He has just six shots in the tournament, while Toews has 10 and leads Canada in scoring with three goals and an assist. The best thing about this for Perry is that he was not initially part of the group that was named to play in the World Cup and was added to the team when Jeff Carter had to pull out with an injury. But Hockey Canada knows what Perry is all about and appreciates how he has always answered the call for his country, so it was a pretty easy decision for both sides.

“The times I went (to the World Championship in 2010, 2012 and 2016), the season kind of ended abruptly and I wasn’t planning on sitting back and relaxing for another month or so,” Perry said. “It’s a great time and anytime you get a call, if you can go, I go and I want to be a part of that team.”

What Perry is on the cusp of accomplishing is something rather special. Sidney Crosby, who has won everything but a Memorial Cup, lost to Perry’s Knights in the final in 2005. Wayne Gretzky hasn’t done it. Nor has Mario Lemieux, nor Team Canada teammates Toews or Patrice Bergeron. They’ve all come close, but none of them has a safety deposit box with quite as much variety as Perry.

“It’s important to have winners, period,” said Team Canada coach Mike Babcock. “If you look at our group, we have a lot of determined people that have been in a lot of good situations and have learned how to win and expect to win. And in the big moments in your life, the best of the best deliver and they think they’re going to deliver. They don’t know why, but in their heart and in their mind they know they’re going to do it.”

Brad Marchand scores pair as Canada advances to World Cup final


Canada exploded for three third-period goals, pushing Russia aside for a spot in the World Cup of Hockey final with a 5-3 victory on Saturday night.

Sergei Bobrovsky held the Canadians in check over the first 40 minutes, but shots by Brad Marchand, Corey Perry and John Tavares eluded his grasp over a 10-minute span in the third.

Marchand also scored the game-tying goal late in the second after Canada fell behind 2-1. Sidney Crosby set up a pair and scored one himself.

Carey Price made 31 saves for Canada, which will face either Europe or Sweden in a best-of-three final that begins Tuesday night.

Dominant in the preliminary round, the Canadians were far and away the better team again on Saturday and remain the tournament’s heavy favourites. They outshot Russia 47-34, sustaining control of the puck for long, heavy stints in the offensive zone. Only Bobrovsky kept it close for the first two periods.

Crosby did it all to open the scoring for Canada less than 10 minutes into the opening frame.

Aggressively attacking Russia’s defence on the forecheck, the Canadian captain stripped Dmitry Kulikov of the puck just feet from the crease. A couple dekes later and Crosby stuffed a backhand past an over-committed Bobrovsky.

If appearing a touch tight early, Canada mostly controlled a penalty-filled first. The Canadians outshot Russia 17-7, won 18-of-25 draws and completely stifled a Russian power play that failed to score at the World Cup (0 for 11).

Russia managed only one shot on a pair of power plays, with the Canadians actually coming up with the best opportunities shorthanded, including a pair with Brent Burns in the box for tripping.

Jonathan Toews picked Evgeni Malkin and then found a trailing Logan Couture, his shot stopped by Bobrovsky. Later, it was Ryan Getzlaf locating Shea Weber, his blast also turned aside by the 28-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender.

The Canadian power play was held off the board in its first three opportunities, their best chance coming on a Steven Stamkos one-time blast late in the first.

Bobrovsky proved a difference-maker early and often. He stopped 16 of 17 shots in the first frame, continuing his stifling efforts into the second.

Two chances for Perry were turned down as Canada poured on the pressure.

Russia’s first shot of the second period didn’t come until nearly nine minutes had ticked by, but Nikita Kucherov made it count. The Tampa Bay Lightning winger grabbed hold of a clearing attempt by defenceman Nikita Zaitsev and raced in for a two-on-one rush with Vladislav Namestnikov. He fired a shot past Price’s blocker to even the score at 1-1.

Shots at that point were 24-8 in favour of Canada.

Theatrics from the Russian goaltender continued as the home side kept attacking, each scoring attempt snuffed out. Then, with just under four minutes left in the period, Russia went ahead as Evgeny Kuznetsov batted a shot past Price. He flapped his arms in the air to celebrate the Russian lead and a rare Canadian deficit.

Canada faced no real resistance in rolling through the preliminary round. They trailed once in three games for a mere 89 seconds.

The tension was short-lived. Marchand pulled his team back to even just 1:12 after the Kuznetsov marker. Again it was Crosby keying the action. He grabbed a loose a puck in the right face-off circle and slung a pass through skates and sticks to Marchand cross-ice, his shot beating Bobrovsky.

An Air Canada Centre crowd filled primarily by fans in red and white erupted.

Denied on a terrific chance moments earlier, Marchand put Canada back in front 3-2 in the second minute of the third period. Crosby dropped a pass to his fellow Nova Scotia native, with Marchand’s weak shot slipping under the glove of Bobrovsky. Given the difficulty of some of his earlier stops it was a soft goal to give up.

It was the third point and second assist of the night for Crosby, who leads all players in World Cup scoring (seven points). Bergeron added his second helper of the evening on the play.

Perry upped the Canada lead to 4-2 just over four minutes later, depositing a rebound on the doorstep of the Russian crease. Tavares added the fifth marker a few minutes after that, with Artemi Panarin scoring a meaningless marker for Russia in the dying seconds of regulation.

Canada has yet to lose in best-on-best action since the preliminary round of the 2010 Olympics, a stretch of more than six years.

Sedins relishing chance for major title at World Cup

By The Associated Press

Daniel Sedin knows the World Cup of Hockey may be his final chance to represent Sweden at a best-on-best tournament along with twin brother Henrik.

With that in mind, there’s no shortage of motivation for the 35-year-old Vancouver Canucks forwards heading into Sunday’s semifinal meeting with Team Europe.

”We realize as we get older there’s not going to be a lot of these tournaments moving forward,” Daniel Sedin said. ”We don’t know about the (2018) Olympics yet, but we’re enjoying this. We’re having a lot of fun and getting a chance to play in the semifinals, it was tough getting here.

”We’re enjoying every day and we’ll have some fun on Sunday.”

The last time Sweden won gold at a best-on-best tournament was the 2006 Olympics in Turin. Sweden lost to Canada in the gold medal game at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Sweden won its round-robin opener at the World Cup 2-1 against Russia on Sunday and blanked Finland 2-0 on Wednesday before falling 4-3 in overtime to Team North America on Wednesday.

The Swedes are hoping to learn from their loss against the Under-23 team moving forward. They were thoroughly outplayed early, quickly going down 2-0 before rallying to force overtime.

”I think we can definitely learn (about) being ready when the puck drops, those first 10 minutes were pretty embarrassing from our part,” said defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. ”The Europeans have some speed in their lineup as well so we have to be ready when the puck drops. We weren’t ready for Team North America, but somehow we managed to a big comeback there.”

After losing the first two pre-tournament games by a combined 11-4 score to the North Americans, Team Europe bounced back to defeat Sweden 6-2 in its final tune up game.

”They surprised us a little bit in the exhibition game, but they won’t surprise us on Sunday,” Sedin said. ”They wait for you to make mistakes, and then they create offence from that. We’ve got to be careful on Sunday. We can’t just go on offence like we did in that pre-tournament game.

”I think our defense was jumping a little bit too much and got too involved in the offense. I think we have to respect their forwards.”

Team Europe, made up of players from eight different countries, stunned the Americans 3-0 in the tournament opener and defeated the Czechs 3-2 in overtime before falling 4-1 to the Canadians on Wednesday.

European captain Anze Kopitar pointed to the second period of the pre-tournament game against Team North America in Montreal as the turning point for the team of players unfamiliar with playing with one another.

”I think the first period in Montreal really opened our eyes and we really showed ourselves how we don’t want to play,” Kopitar said of the second pre-tournament game. ”After that, we kind of realized how we have to play: smart (and) with a lot of patience, there’s no flash to it. We’re playing a boring style of hockey, but it’s turned out to be a pretty successful one so we’re obviously proud in doing that and we’re going to continue doing that.”

The winner of Saturday’s Canada-Russia semifinal will play the winner of Sweden-Europe in a best-of-three final beginning on Tuesday.

2016 HKAHC Invitational Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament

Team USA ends disappointing World Cup with loss to Czechs


The United States wrapped up a disappointing, win less performance at the World Cup of Hockey with a 4-3 loss to the Czech Republic on Thursday night.

Previous losses to Team Europe and Canada eliminated the U.S. from contention, and its round-robin finale had no meaning for either team. With an 0-3-0 record and a minus-6 goal differential, the U.S. finished seventh among eight teams, ahead of only Finland.

Joe Pavelski, Justin Abdelkader and Ryan McDonagh scored for the U.S., which did not unravel in a meaningless game like it did in the 2014 Olympic bronze medal game. Ben Bishop allowed four goals on 20 shots in two periods, and Cory Schenider made seven saves in relief.

Petr Mrazek stopped 36 of the 39 shots he faced to backstop the Czech Republic to its first victory. Milan Michalek scored twice and Zbynek Michalek and Andrej Sustr each had a goal.

U.S. players promised they wouldn’t mail it in with nothing to play for. A result of human nature, it felt like an all-star game with a lack of real physicality as everyone wanted to get through without getting injured.

Frustration boiled over for Dustin Byfuglien at the final buzzer as he went after Czech defenceman Michal Jordan.

A collection of fans spent stretches of the first period chanting, “Let’s go Kessel!” and “We want Kessel!” Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel was left off the U.S. team and made light of that on Twitter on Tuesday night after the Americans lost to Canada.

That was a must-win game for the U.S. after opening the tournament with what Patrick Kane called a “dud” against Europe. General manager Dean Lombardi blamed not being prepared for that game for the U.S. bowing out of the World Cup.

“I don’t think we showed enough respect for the talent on that team,” Lombardi said Thursday morning.

Lombardi said that the 3-0 loss to Europe put the U.S. behind the “proverbial 8-ball” that felt like a boulder. The Los Angeles Kings GM has seen his team come back from a 3-0 playoff deficit but described the locker room after losing to Europe as tight, and the U.S. was never able to adequately respond.

Getting almost skated out of the rink by Canada wasn’t entirely unexpected, but players acknowledged their recipe to move on was to beat Europe and the Czech Republic. They didn’t do either, and USA Hockey faces plenty of questions about how it will bounce back for the 2018 Olympics.

That’s if NHL players even participate, or the U.S. might have to wait until the next World Cup, which will make it a long four years.

Russia beats Finland to advance to semis, North America out


Vladimir Tarasenko and Ivan Telegin scored 1:19 apart in the second period and Russia beat Finland 3-0 on Thursday to set up a World Cup of Hockey semifinal against Canada — and knock out Team North America.

“The opportunity is huge,” Russian captain Alex Ovechkin said about facing Canada. “They have a pretty good team with solid players. We just have to match it. …

“I play Olympic Games in (Canada) and everybody is going to be crazy. The atmosphere’s going to be unbelievable. It’s going to be a great match to play, to be involved in, to be in the stands and be able to watch.”

Evgeni Malkin scored in the third period for Russia (2-1-0), and Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves .
“It’s going to be a great, great challenge and we accept it,” Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov said.

Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for Finland (0-3-3). Finland was winless for the first time in a senior tournament, scoring only one goal in three games.

“We had a good chance to succeed here, but you don’t score, you can’t win,” Finnish coach Lauri Marjamaki said. “We have to keep going and maybe analyze a little bit later. Just now, a little bit disappointing.”

Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk missed the preliminary round finale because of a minor injury.

“A loss for us, but we did well today,” Russian coach Oleg Znarok said.

Russia will face Canada on Saturday night. In the other semifinal, Sweden will play Team Europe on Sunday.

Finland nearly opened the scoring early in the second period when Mikael Granlund beat Bobrovsky glove-side, but rang a shot off the post.

Tarasenko finished off a give-and-go with Ovechkin for his second goal of the tournament at 3:42 of the second period.

Telegin picked up Vadim Shipachev’s feed and powered around Rask for his first of the tournament at 5:01 of the second.

Malkin scored his first of the tournament at 3:39 of the third period.

Tarasenko played on the Russian team that beat Canada to win the 2011 world junior title in Buffalo, New York.

“I think this is one of the greatest rivalries ever: Canada against Russia,” Tarasenko said. “We know how they play because we play in Pittsburgh before. They have a really good team, good players, (the) best players in the world so we need to be good in a couple days.”

How We Play Hockey in Switzerland

Nino Niederreiter

By The Players Tribune

Canada clinches top spot in Group A with win over Europe

By Canadian Press

Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals and added an assist as Team Canada easily rolled past Europe 4-1 on Wednesday evening in their final preliminary round game of the World Cup of Hockey.

Canada clinched Group A with the victory and will face either Team North America or Russia in the first semifinal on Saturday night.

Sidney Crosby and Logan Couture also scored and Corey Crawford made 19 saves.

Marian Hossa scored the only goal for Europe and Jaroslav Halak stood tall with 42 stops.

Heavy favourites entering the tournament, Canada has met expectations thus far, stomping three foes en route to the semis. They outscored the Czechs, Americans and Europeans by a combined 14-3, trailing only once and for less than two minutes. All but two players have produced at least a point, led by Crosby and Matt Duchene with four points apiece.

Victory has yet to be in doubt for the Canadians.

Whether the North Americans or Russians, the upcoming single elimination semifinal will present a much bigger challenge. Led by Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, North America is loaded with young fire and about the only team in the tournament with the speed to contend with Canada. The Russians, meanwhile, are flooded with dangerous offensive players, including captain Alex Ovechkin and Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov.

A win for Russia in their preliminary round finale with Finland on Thursday afternoon will seal a date with the Canadians.

The early surprise team of the World Cup, Europe just didn’t have the horses to run with Canada. Much like the two that preceded it, this game was not particularly close even if the scoreboard briefly suggested so.

The Canadians struck first four minutes into the opening period and led the rest of the way.

After winning an offensive zone faceoff, Crosby scooped up Alex Pietrangelo‘s deflected point shot and zipped around the net for the wrap-around marker. It was his second goal of the tournament and looked similar to the first, in which Crosby swooped behind the Czech goal and fired a shot off netminder Michal Neuvirth.

Canada kept it coming, flooding Halak with shots and chances.

The European No. 1 goaltender withstood some of the onslaught and at one point late in the first frame stopped Marchand three times on the doorstep. Thirteen seconds later though, Halak’s clearing attempt found its way to Matt Duchene along the boards. Duchene spotted Toews, who slipped a shot into the European goal for the 2-0 lead.

Shots favoured Canada 17-4 after the first 20 minutes.

Crawford wasn’t tested much early, though Tobias Rieder did race in for a partial breakaway only to slide a backhand wide. It was the first and likely only start of the tournament for the 31-year-old Crawford, starting in place of Carey Price.

Canada opted to give Price, Shea Weber and Ryan Getzlaf the night off against Europe with all expected back in the weekend semifinal.

Surprising the United States with a 3-0 win in their World Cup opener, the Europeans pushed the Canadians some early in the second. They scored four-plus minutes into the frame on a weak shot from Hossa that slipped somehow under Crawford’s right leg.

That made it 2-1 for Canada, though tension was never really apparent. The Canadians upped the lead back to two about 10 minutes after the Hossa goal on the second of the night from Toews. He raced in for an odd-man rush with Couture before snapping a shot under the glove of Halak.

Couture added the fourth Canadian goal late in the period.

Canada out shot Europe 46-19, holding the lead for least 50 minutes in each of the first three games.

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