The ticker on the IIHF’s website is getting lower and lower in its numbers, I’m cranking up the air conditioning higher and higher (high of 87 today)–it’s almost time for Worlds, baby!
There have been a series of exhibition games going on all the way back to April 4, but I’m going to focus on talking about some of the more recent ones for teams that we have an interest in: USA (being Americans), Canada (representation of various teams we like), Sweden (Blackhawks), Slovakia (Bruins) and Czech Republic (Bruins).
Team USA took on the Swedish squad and America put together a 3-2 win like you’d put together an IKEA table. (Got mad love for the Swedish meatballs and lingonberries.) Jim Slater (Winnipeg) and Kyle Okposo (Islanders) each scored and assisted, Bobby Ryan (Anaheim) provided another goal plus Jimmy Howard (Detroit) and Richard Bachman (Dallas) shared in the victory–Bachman played for the third period and Howard for the other two, by the looks of it. On the other end, Joel Lundqvist (yes, that Joel Lundqvist) was among the two scorers for Tre Kronor.
Switzerland faced off against Canada (I left that link in alongside an English version because I just like German) and Canada won 4-2. John Tavares (Islanders), Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg), Patrick Sharp (Chicago) and Jeff Skinner (Carolina) all scored. Sharp got two helpers, Tavares an apple of his own, Evander Kane (Winnipeg) helped out his captain and Marc Methot (Columbus) provided the other assist. Cam Ward (Carolina) was in in net.
Pull quotes that will delight Krista…and me…courtesy Sharp:
“You get a call from your country and it’s always an honour to put the jersey on…It’s a way to extend your season, come together with a group of guys and try to win a gold medal.”
“You’re playing against rivals and then all of a sudden you’re teammates now and you’re buddies in the locker-room…We’ve been working on our team chemistry and everyone here has a positive attitude and I think that’s going to be a key to our success.”
He’s just such a great guy.
Previously, Canada and the Swiss met up and Canada took away a 2-1 win (ein zwei-eins Sieg?) on the strength of Jordan Eberle (Edmonton). His teammate Devan Dubnyk was strong in net, allowing just one Swiss goal late in the third. Very late in the third–19 minutes and 19 seconds, to be exact–Eberle put away a goal to tie it and send it to overtime. Sounds a bit familiar…
These games end in shootouts (ha, remember those? Seems so long ago) and Eberle worked his magic again to win it there.
Coming up on May 4: Opening Day! USA will take on France, Canada will face Slovakia, Czech will take on Denmark and Sweden and Norway will play. Team USA’s game will be on NBC Sports Network at…5:15 am. Dang time zones. There is no way on Earth that I am going to get up for a game at 5:15 am, though. I love hockey, but seriously. DVR. But I will still provide an update on that game, plus updates from Canada, Slovakia, Czech and Sweden. Go teams!