December 29, 2008

WJHC - Day 3

This was my only assignment at SBP for the tournament (the others are at the hotel). I arrived early to ensure that all the banners and such were still attached to the walls. It's hard to find something strong enough to keep banners and posters attached to cement walls. Finally settled on carpet tape. That has to be the second most sticky substance known to mankind. There is probably something stickier, I just don't know what it is.

Some of the jerseys on display in the family lounge

The lounge is for families to use before and during the Canada games but mostly it's to allow them a few precious moments with their boys after the games. Security is very tight to give the families a safe, private space. Hugs, kisses, claps on the back, a cell phone passed around among family members connecting with those who did not make the trip, reliving the game, best wishes going forward.

Then all too quickly it's back to the dressing room for the young men and the buses for the families.

During the game, the volunteers hung out in the lounge and watched the it on the TVs and chatted. The broadcast delay was just enough to allow us to respond the auditory clues from the arena. We would hear the roar from the crowd and look up to the monitor just in time to catch what happened. After the 10th goal or so, we pretty much stopped looking up.

The goal judge at our end of the rink walked past us at the end of the game. I asked him how many he lit up. He thought it was five or so and then commented that his colleague across the ice (where Canada attacked twice) was much busier and probably tired. From his accent, we guessed he was from Sweden.

Former Ottawa 67s, Yakov Vorobyov is number 21 for the Kazakhstan team. If he didn't like his treatment in Ottawa before this tournament, he probably didn't change his mind as a result of what happened here. The IIHF has to seriously reconsider the qualification process (and the number of teams) for this Division. From the Division 1A and 1B tournaments that just concluded in Switzerland and Denmark respectively, Switzerland and Austria are promoted to the Top Division for next year. It will be interesting to see how they fare in Saskatchewan.

Pre-game: Tied at 0-0; as close as it would get

Our view

I stayed for the USA - Czech Republic game (had tickets). This was the best game we have seen all tournament so far. It was good to see current Ottawa 67s Martin Paryzek get the goal that put his team back into the game. The Czechs wasted their PP opportunities with too much passing around and not enough pucks to the net. That one soft goal by the Czech goalie was the difference. The Czechs seemed the more physical of the two teams IMO.

Here's the take from the IIHF site: Close call for the Americans.

The IIHF site has some interesting stuff including this article:Ottawa by the numbers - check out the whole site.

Canada versus Germany tonight. Think I'll give the USA - KAZ game a pass tomorrow.

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