I've been keeping my eye on this from afar, but it appears that Canada will bring home a medal if they can get past Slovenia at the 2012 IIHF InLine World Hockey Championships being held in Ingolstadt, Germany. Canada normally is a favorite at this tournament, but there were some considerable upsets along the way as first-seeded Team USA from Group B dropped their crossover quarterfinal match today against fourth-seeded Finland from Group A by a 5-4 score. On the other side, the fourth-place Slovenians downed Group A-leader Sweden by a 4-3 score to advance as well. Luckily, Canada squared off against Great Britain who finished third in Group A, and they found themselves cruising against the overmatched English squad.
Canada jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old, and the Britons really never got themselves going after Canada built a solid lead. Goaltender Brett Leggat was solid in net for the Canadians as he stopped 26 of 29 shot she faced in helping Canada advance to the semi-final tomorrow. Offensively, Canada saw two players light the lamp a number of times in the victory - both Adam Ross and Thomas Woods recorded hat tricks while the Canadian powerplay was deadly in going 4-for-5.
"My whole team gave me a lot of passes and I was fortunate enough to put some into the net," Woods said to Martin Merk of the IIHF. "Our power play is hot right now after the chances we got."
Surprisingly, the IIHF has been posting the highlights of each game on YouTube, so I won't have to break down the game for you much more. Here are the highlights from Canada's 9-3 victory over Great Britain. Enjoy!
Canada has been led by three players offensively in the tournament thus far. Thomas Woods, Adam Ross, and Max Grassi are the top scorers for Canada as all three have hit double-digits in scoring, and they are getting solid goaltending from Brett Leggat. Only two players on the Canadian roster have yet to hit the scoresheet: defenceman Matt Hutchinson and backup goalkeeper Ewen MacPherson. The other twelve players on the Canadian roster all have at least one point, proving that Canada has a strong offensive presence along with some good support players. That bodes well in their hunt for a medal!
Good luck tomorrow, gentlemen, in your game against Slovenia! HBIC is rooting for you to capture gold!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!