Canada, Finns, USA undefeated

Inline: Sweden earns comeback win vs. Slovenia


Josh Foote scores the opening goal for Canada in the 6-4 win over Germany. Photo: Carita Lohtander

TAMPERE – Team USA had an easy 6-0 victory over Slovakia and Finland beat the Czech Republic 7-3 to remain unbeaten same as Canada after a hard-fought 6-4 edging of Germany. Sweden earned a 4-3 comeback victory against Slovenia. Australia and Latvia got their second wins in Division I play while Croatia blanked Argentina and Great Britain had a dramatic 4-3 victory vs. Austria.


Canada vs. Germany 6-4 (3-0, 2-1, 0-2, 1-1) Highlights

Canada remains undefeated but beating Germany 6-4 was tough work after a seemingly easy start.

Canada already opened the scoring 44 seconds into the game. Dave Hammond sent a long shot through traffic and Josh Foote scored on the rebound. It was not the start Germany was hoping for as three minutes later goaltender Jochen Vollmer had to leave the net limping.

With 46 seconds left Adam Ross scored the second goal that went in via the right goal post. With seven seconds left he added another one for the 3-0 lead. The goal was reviewed for interference and deemed correct.

Patrick Seifert reacted for the Germans early in the second period when he appeared alone in front of the Canadian net to beat Brett Leggat for the 3-1 marker.

But the Canadians tried to prevent a German comeback. At 3:09 Thomas Woods restored the three-goal lead with a long shot into the top-left corner. And with another distance shot Ross completed his hat trick for the 5-1 lead with 3:46 to go in the second period.

“The first half of the game was good. We played our game and did what we wanted to do,” Ross said.

“In the second half we let up a bit and didn’t stick to our game plan and had to battle hard until the end.”

The Germans improved their play, had more puck possession and scoring chances, and were rewarded with two third-period goals to bring hopes for an equalizer within reach.

Alexander Duck scored Germany’s second goal of the game putting the puck through Leggat’s five-hole after a side pass from Max Schmidle at 5:03 of the third period. Three minutes later Patrick Seifert managed to escape from the Canadian defence and circled the puck around Leggat’s pads for the 5-3 marker. On a power play early in the fourth period Schmidle got credited for a deflected shot that decreased the Canadian cushion to just one marker but 40 seconds later Hammond made it 6-4 with another power-play goal.

Germany continued putting pressure on the Canadian net and played five-on-four with the goalkeeper pulled for final two minutes but with the chances unused Canada’s 6-4 win became final.

Canada will now play the United States for the top spot into the group.

“We have a tough game and a little bit of work to do,” Ross said.

Winless Germany and Slovakia will battle for third place in Group B.

Finland vs. Czech Republic 7-3 (0-0, 5-1, 1-1, 1-1) Highlights<

Host Finland remains undefeated in the 2015 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship after beating the Czech Republic 7-3.

Like in the teams’ last encounter two years ago, a 5-4 overtime win for Finland, the first period ended scoreless. 2,197 spectators saw the Finns outshoot the Czechs 9-4 in the opening frame but their team didn’t capitalize on its chances.

That changed in the second period. It was a six-minute blackout in the Czech defence that allowed the Finns to showcase their skill and decide the game.

A great rush of Jimi Palanto gave Finland the lead at 2:55 of the second period. The Tampere native skated towards the goal crease with three Czechs around him and beat Czech goaltender Ondrej Haloda.

Kari Lohtander added another goal already 64 seconds later with a hard shot into the far top corner. Less than two minutes later Lohtander added another goal when he got the puck after a pass that was interrupted by a Czech skate. A minute later Palanto was left alone at the left boards and beat Haloda for the 4-0 lead after a nice deke. Markus Jokinen added another one with a high shot after a horizontal pass from Palanto.

“It was a good win. We had a good start although we had a couple of mistakes after the 5-0 goal. We have to make sure not to do these,” Lohtander said.

Shortly before the half-time break the Czechs finally found their way into the game. Michal Simo cut the lead with a distance shot on a power play with 1:56 left to finish the first half of the game with a 5-1 lead for Finland. After 91 seconds in the third period Simo scored again to bring the result within reach for his team. But less than three minutes later Janne Laakkonen restored the four-goal lead for Finland.

Laakkonen then was called a minor penalty for high sticking at the end of the period and while the Finn was serving the penalty, Zdenek Kubica scored the third goal for the Czechs.

With the Finnish lead cut to 6-3, the Czechs tried to work on their comeback and had a couple of chances, another power play and a post shot from Simo but Juha Taponen kept his net clean for the remainder of the game while Palanto added a third goal on a breakaway with three seconds left for the final score of 7-3.

Tomorrow the Finnish Lions will meet Sweden in a much anticipated game that will decide about first place in the group.

“Our lovely neighbour Sweden. It couldn’t be easier to motivate us for the last game,” Lohtander said. The game will again be played at 18:00 local time. The Czechs will play Slovenia at 14:00.

USA vs. Slovakia 6-0 (2-0, 3-0, 1-0, 0-0) Highlights<

Team USA won its second game on the second day of the 2015 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship. After beating Germany 7-3 the Americans blanked Slovakia 6-0.

The Americans outshot the Slovaks 44-12. Travis Noe shone with a hat trick and four points but revealed that the more important number for the team than the six goals scored was the zero goals conceded.

“It was a good game for our team. We want to play good defensive hockey so getting no goal was a priority,” Noe said and added: “Our goalie James Mello had a good game.”

Team USA started their goal galore already with the first shift. 18 seconds into the game Tyler Spezia sent a side pass to Nielsson Arcibal, who converted for the opening marker.

Four minutes later Noe then made it 2-0 with a shot into the near high corner.

Cody Kettler extended the lead with what almost looked like a copy of the second goal after receiving a long pass to the crease from Noe at 5:56 of the second period. Only 13 seconds later Noe scored his second goal of the day by deflecting a Kyle Novak pass through Viktor Valuch’s five-hole for the 4-0 lead forcing Slovakia to use its time-out.

However, coach Imrich Antal’s speech seemed to make inroads only for a few minutes. With 57.4 left in the period Noe completed his hat trick with a point shot on a power play for the 5-0 half-time lead.

Also in the third period the direction was mostly towards the Slovak goal where Vladimir Neumann came in for Valuch after the half-time break. At 10:03 Shane Fox scored Team USA’s sixth goal. It was the last also thanks to Neumann’s great performance.

Sweden vs. Slovenia 4-3 (1-1, 2-1, 0-0, 1-1) Highlights<

While Sweden had an impressive start into the first game it was a bit more troublesome on Monday when Anze Lonear gave Slovenia the lead at 5:33.

With 1:39 left in the first period Jimmy Cronarp tied the game for Sweden. After an Emil Bejmo shot from the right side the puck bounced back from the end boards and Cronarp was at the right place on the other side to put the puck in backhand.

At 1:35 of the second period Slovenia regained the lead with a goal from Peter Frol after a side pass from Jure Sotlar. But again the Swedes found the right answer, this time with a Daniel O’Connor shot from the left face-off dot that beat busy Slovenian goaltender Tomaz Trelc on a power play.

With 42 seconds left before the half-time break Robin Sjoren gave Sweden the lead for the first time with a point shot during another man advantage for the Swedes, the third in the game.

After a scoreless third period it was against Sjoren who scored. 17 seconds into the fourth period he got his second goal after a forward pass from Rasmus Dahlberg Karlsson.

“It’s always nice to score but we play for the win and not for individual success,” Sjoren said. “It was a tough game. We were the more skilled team and created good scoring chances and had good goaltending.”

Mateuz Erman gave Slovenia new hope with 5:06 left in regulation time when he capitalized on a Slovenian power play with a shot from 17 metres. A penalty call again Bejmo for hooking Saso Rajsar in front of the Swedish net gave the Slovenes additional opportunities but the 4-3 lead for Sweden stayed until the final buzzer.


Australia vs. Hungary 7-2 (0-0, 3-1, 0-0, 4-1)

Australia earned its second win by beating Hungary 7-2. The Australians didn’t have the best start and Hungary’s Akos Kiss scored the first goal of the game at 4:16 of the second period but the Australians reacted with three goals within a span of 64 seconds from Jordan Gavin, Sean Jones and Steve Best.

After a scoreless third period Jones added two more goals for a hat trick and a 5-1 lead for Australia with just 5:31 left in regulation time.

Tamas Lencses made it 5-2 with a power-play marker for Hungary but Liam Jeffries and Michael Haynes added two more goals for Australia in the dying minutes of the game.

Great Britain vs. Austria 5-4 (0-1, 2-3, 2-0, 1-0)

Great Britain came back from a 3-0 deficit after 15 minutes of play to edge Austria 5-4.

Despite being outshot, Daniel Obersteiner, Harry Lange and Johannes Lins scored three unanswered goals for the Austria before the British managed to react. Goals from James Archer and Rob Shelton brought the British one goal away from a tie but Thomas Weiszensteiner made it 4-2 for Austria before the half-time break.

Lee Marrow and Karl Niamatali added two goals for Team GB to tie the game at four in the third period and 34 seconds into the fourth period Sam Jones scored the game-winning goal for the British.

Croatia vs. Argentina 7-0 (0-0, 1-0, 4-0, 2-0)

In a game between two winless teams on the opening day Croatia got an important 7-0 victory over Argentina.

Ivan Jankovic was the man of the match for the Croats with four goals including the first one for the 1-0 lead late in the second period after a tight and scoreless opening frame. The Croats improved after the half-time break with four goals in the third period.

Jankovic usually plays ice hockey for the U20 national team and for Medvescak Zagreb. After a season with Medvescak’s U20 team that competes in the Austrian junior league he hopes to make the senior team that plays in the Russian KHL.

Latvia vs. Bulgaria 18-1 (5-0, 6-0, 5-0, 2-1)

Last year’s promoted team Latvia had no trouble facing this year’s promoted team Bulgaria as they beat their opponent 18-1 and outshot them 50-3.

17-year-old defenceman Tomass Zeile led with four goals including a classic hat trick in the first period while Artjoms Ogorodnikovs scored three goals.

Kristian Semkov scored Bulgaria’s lonely marker for the 16-1 score early in the fourth quarter.

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