Canada played its most impressive game of the 2005 IIHF World Championship in defeating the USA 3-1 before a packed house at the Olympiahalle in Innsbruck Thursday. The team was led by Rick Nash, who scored twice and added an assist.
The game began in non-North American fashion, as hitting was all but absent from the first period. Indeed, only the fans were the North American content. There were no drums and horns, only applause at the appropriate moments, in sharp contrast to the scene just a couple of hours earlier in the same building, when the Latvian fans rocked and rolled their team to victory in a blaze of noise.
Canada controlled the puck frequently in the opening minutes, but the best scoring chance of the early going went to Erik Cole, who waltzed around a defenceman and had a good chance that Martin Brodeur stopped nicely.
Sheldon Souray of Canada took the game’s first penalty for knocking down Brian Gionta in front of the goal after the whistle, but Canada kept its perfect penalty killing record by not permitting a goal. Moments later, Dany Heatley made a fine rush, but Rick DiPietro made the save, and on the same play Brendan Morrison drew another Canadian penalty. For a second time, though, Canada escaped unscathed. Morrison, however, drew another two minutes for goalie interference and again his teammates bailed him out.
Canada had one power play of its own in the first 20 minutes, but that, too, came to naught. The period was surprisingly undramatic and unemotional and produced few highlights, but Canada started the second with guns ablazin’.
Rick Nash got the puck to the glove side of DiPietro, turned and fired, and was stopped. But the goalie kicked the rebound right back to him. He shot again, and this time scored, just 51 seconds into the period to give Canada the 1-0 lead.
The Americans replied at 5:16 when Mike Knuble put the puck between the legs of Ed Jovanovski who failed to take the body. Knuble danced in and beat Brodeur through the legs to tie the score, 1-1. By the midway point of the game, though, the star of the game was Brodeur, not due to any great save, but for his puckhandling skills. Several times he played the puck from his crease area to the far blueline, catching the USA off guard and delighting the fans.
While the teams were playing 4-on-4, Nash scored his tournament-leading sixth goal with a blazing rush down right wing after taking a long pass from Dan Boyle. He broke in on goal, braced his left leg to prevent the defenceman hustling back from checking him, and then roofed the puck as DiPietro went down to try to pokecheck him. It was a goalscorer’s goal if ever there was one.
The second also lacked the aggressive play and emotion of a typical Canada-USA game, but heading into the dressing room, the Canadians, with a 2-1 lead, weren’t about to complain.
The game opened up in the third and the hits came with greater ferocity as the intensity increased dramatically. This was no meaningless Preliminary Round game for these two countries. The USA wanted to win as badly as Canada wanted to prevent that. Both teams went to the net hard, much to the annoyance of the respective goalies, but each held his ground with determination.
Midway through the period, Canada’s power play went to work after Yan Stastny took a penalty for holding the stick. Defenceman Ed Jovanovski passed the puck down low to Joe Thornton at the red line, and Thornton moved in front of DiPietro and with a sweeping shot beat him between the legs. It was a weak goal and proved to be the back-breaker for the Americans. Nash aslo earned an assist, his third point of the night.
“It feels great to beat the U.S. and get the two points,” Nash said. “For our line to get all three goals is obviously good, but you look at the things we did in the first period, like Maltby killing penalties and Marty (Brodeur) making some big saves, that was also big for us.”
Brodeur was more conventionally exciting in the third, making several big saves to keep Canada’s lead at two goals as the Americans pressed. The game ended 3-1, and with it Canada won first place in Group B. The Canadians next play Sweden on Saturday while the Americans meet Finland on Friday.
“When you’re playing Canada, you have to bury your chances,” the USA’s Doug Weight said. “Marty is a great goalie, especially when he gets the lead. They got the first goal and that was a momentum changer.”
“Obviously we wanted to win our division and everyone was looking forward to the game,” Kris Draper said. “Everybody had a great game for us. I think people who watched this game enjoyed it–it had a little bit of everything.”
08:36 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Souray, roughing
11:36 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Morrison, hooking
15:04 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Morrison, interference
17:23 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Miller, tripping
20:51 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Nash
24:13 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Phillips, interference
25:16 – 🇺🇸 PP GOAL – Knuble (Hauer)
30:00 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Miller, holding
30:56 – 🇨🇦 PEN – team, too many players
31:29 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Nash (Boyle)
33:14 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Roach, interference
38:21 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Fisher, elbowing
50:49 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Stastny, holding
52:22 – 🇨🇦 PP GOAL – Thornton (Nash, Jovanovski)
55:41 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Maltby, cross checking
W: 🇨🇦 Brodeur (34-35)
L: 🇺🇸 DiPietro (22-25)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇨🇦 4+15+6 = 25
🇺🇸 14+9+12 = 35
🇨🇦 Goaltenders: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo. Defence: Dan Boyle, Scott Hannan, Ed Jovanovski, Chris Phillips, Wade Redden, Robyn Regehr, Sheldon Souray. Forwards: Shane Doan, Kris Draper, Mike Fisher, Simon Gagné, Dany Heatley, Kirk Maltby, Patrick Marleau, Brendan Morrison, Brenden Morrow, Rick Nash, Ryan Smyth, Joe Thornton, Scott Walker.
🇺🇸 Goaltenders: Ty Conklin, Rick DiPietro. Defence: Hal Gill, Brett Hauer, Jordan Leopold, John-Michael Liles, Paul Martin, Aaron Miller, Andy Roach. Forwards: Erik Cole, Brian Gionta, Adam Hall, Jeff Halpern, Mike Knuble, David Legwand, Mike Modano, Richard Park, Mark Parrish, Yan Stastny, Doug Weight, Mike York.
|🇨🇦 CANADA||vs.||UNITED STATES (C) 🇺🇸|
(previous 22 Apr 2005)
(since 22 Apr 2005)
(+ 3 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. USA)
🇨🇦 CAN 2-0 USA 🇺🇸 – 25 Apr 1920 – OG – Antwerp 🇧🇪
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. USA)
🇺🇸 USA 5-4 CAN 🇨🇦 – 22 Apr 2005 – EX – Québec 🇨🇦
|Last IHLC Game
🇺🇸 USA 3-1 LAT 🇱🇻 – 03 May 2005 – WC – Innsbruck 🇦🇹
|Next IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 5-4 CAN 🇨🇦 – 07 May 2005 – WC – Innsbruck 🇦🇹