Monday, 25 June, 2018

Canada sets aside disappointment to prevail in bronze-medal game

Ice Hockey- Winter Olympics Day 14 Canada sets aside disappointment to prevail in bronze-medal game
Frederick Owens | 25 February, 2018, 01:14

The win guaranteed Germany at least a silver medal while Canada will be forced to play for bronze.

After Germany pulled off a stunning upset over Canada in men's hockey at the Olympics, a German public office is asking for their citizens to act as Canadians when interacting with them. Krupp and Macek have advanced further than the teams from their birth countries to help Germany ensure its best-ever Olympic hockey medal. "We did that. So we have a lot to be proud of".

The second period passed without a goal, but the red light has again been highly sought in the third commitment. Gavrikov put the puck into an empty net on a 2-on-1 rush with Ivan Telegin.

A day after losing to 60-1 outsider Germany in the semifinal, the nine-time Olympic champion defeated the Czech Republic 6-4 to salvage some plaudits from Pyeongchang. With teammates mostly clearing the way in front of him to let him see the puck, the 34-year-old made save after save look routine in eliminating the hard-working Czechs.

After Czech forward Martin Erat's point was rescinded due to goalie interference, Canada's Wojtek Wolski got another one past Francouz with less than five minutes to go for a 6-2 lead, but the Czechs persisted. 31 seconds brought 3 goals. "We are in a tournament where we are the top favorite, but we need to improve". As if to make up for his earlier infraction, Ruzicka was able to get his stick on a shot that was headed wide, putting it past Kevin Poulin to even the score at one apiece.

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Almost six minutes into the final period, Ebbett worked his way to the front of the Czech net with his stick on the ice as a target for Kozun, who fired a hard pass out front that Ebbett tipped for top corner for his second goal of the game.

In scoring twice on 19 shots against Francouz, the favored Russians were not overly powerful but certainly as opportunistic as they were in a 4-0 victory over the United States in group play.

For the first time since the 1998 Nagano games, Russian players, competing this year as neutrals in the Winter Olympics, have advanced to the gold medal game. Had the National Hockey League gone to South Korea, the US team likely would have overflowed with talented players such as Auston Matthews, Johnny Gaudreau, Patrick Kane, Jack Eichel, Shayne Gostisbehere and Seth Jones. Forward Gilbert Brule was suspended as a result of being tossed from the Germany game for a check to the head.

Canada's only prior men's hockey bronze medals came in 1968 at Grenoble and 1956 at Cortina d'Ampezzo. Canada's men lost the curling bronze match to Switzerland, while the women didn't reach the medal playoffs. The Czechs now have barely 26 hours to refocus on trying to take home their first bronze medal since 2006 at Turin.

Roman Cervenka added two late goals for the Czechs but they were not enough.

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