Following a dramatic shootout win over the United States at the 2011 World Championships, Canada avoided extra time for the second consecutive game, holding off a comeback from Norway en route to a 3-2 victory, retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Both Jonathan Bernier and Lars Haugen put in solid efforts for their respective squads in the first, turning away a number of penalty kill opportunities for both sides, and preventing the first goal until fifteen minutes into the first, when Jason Spezza knocked in a one-timer from Rick Nash past a sprawling Haugen, through traffic, to put Canada ahead 1-0. Canada would not strike again until midway through the second, when the speedy John Tavares stripped Per-Åge Skrøder of the puck at the Canadian blueline, outraced both Morten Ask and Alexander Bonsaksen, and sent a low wrister over Haugen’s pad and in, putting Canada ahead 2-0 after forty minutes.
It was not until the midway point again in the third that Canada would strike again, with James Neal ripping a Rick Nash drop pass through Haugen’s five hole (using captain Ole-Kristian Tollefsen as a screen) to put Canada ahead 3-0 with 11 minutes to go. While it seemed all but certain that this game was in the bag for Canada, the Isbjørnene refused to die, breaking Bernier’s shutout just two and a half minutes later, when Mathis Olimb beat Bernier five-hole walking in untouched from the corner. Norway struck again just 73 seconds later, when Marius Holtet converted on a Norwegian 3-on-2 to close the gap at 3-2. However, Bernier and Canada’s defence remained sharp, fending off a Jason Spezza penalty kill and an extra attacker to hold on for the 3-2 win.
With the win, Canada wins their third consecutive game during their ongoing International Hockey Lineal Championship reign, their 56th, which they won from incumbent champions Switzerland on May 3. This is the first IHLC meeting between Canada and Norway since October 2, 1997, when Canada completed a five-game sweep of the Isbjørnene on a tour of Manitoba and Northern Ontario. Canada next faces Sweden in their Qualifying Round finale with the IHLC up for grabs.
00:43 – PEN – Burns, tripping
01:16 – PEN – Pietrangelo, high sticking
07:05 – PEN – Hansen, interference
10:53 – PEN – Skinner, slashing
15:26 – GOAL – Spezza (Nash, Neal)
16:31 – PEN – Bonsaksen, interference
17:59 – PEN – Tollefsen, cross checking
26:25 – PEN – Neal, high sticking
30:15 – GOAL – Tavares
34:32 – PEN – Tavares, charging
42:19 – PEN – Kane, tripping
49:02 – GOAL – Neal (Nash, Spezza)
51:36 – GOAL – M. Olimb (Røymark)
52:49 – GOAL – Holtet (Tollefsen, Ask)
54:00 – PEN – Spezza, cross checking
W: Bernier (25-27)
L: Haugen (40-43)
SHOTS ON GOAL
14+20+9 = 43
11+8+8 = 27
Goaltenders: Jonathan Bernier, James Reimer. Defence: Brent Burns, Carlo Colaiacovo, Marc-André Gragnani, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf (A), Alex Pietrangelo, Luke Schenn. Forwards: Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd (A), Rick Nash (C), James Neal, Jeff Skinner, Jason Spezza, Chris Stewart, John Tavares, Antoine Vermette, Travis Zajac.
Goaltenders: Lars Haugen, Robert Hestmann. Defence: Alexander Bonsaksen, Brede Csiszar, Erik Follestad Johansen, Jonas Holøs, Eerikki Koivu, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (C). Forwards: Morten Ask, Anders Bastiansen (A), Kristian Forsberg, Anders Fredriksen, Mads Hansen (A), Marius Holtet, Tommy Kristiansen, Peter Lorentzen, Andreas Martinsen, Ken André Olimb, Mathis Olimb, Martin Røymark, Per-Åge Skrøder, Lars Erik Spets.