Tag Archives: Ufa

Russians Fall To Canutskys

Team Canada downed the Russians 4-1 on Russian soil at Unrestrictedfreeagentgrad, (Ufa) and although the Russian squad boasts a couple of players everyone’s talked about for a year or two – Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko, the Canadians have guys called Grit and Heart and Malcolm Subban in their lineup, with Subban playing great between the pipes and stopping all but one, including a penalty shot, although it was fired wide.

Too bad the young fellow belongs to Boston. It’s the only bummer I can muster right now.

Onward it goes. Canada earns a bye to the semi-final way off on Friday, which gives them good time to nurse their aches and pains and buy nesting dolls for their families, and will play the winner of the U.S./Czech contest, which will be held on Wednesday. Russia and Switzerland hammer it out on the same day for the right to take on Sweden in the other semi-final.

Canada and the U.S. would be an excellent match-up, as would Russia and Sweden. Who knows how things will unfold at that point. But I have faith. I’m a proud Canadian.

Wouldn’t it be weird to see Switzerland win the whole thing?

Canada Storms Back Against Slovaks

Team Canada found themselves down 3-1 to the Slovakians midway through the second period before switching to fourth gear, pumping in five unanswered big ones, and ending up with a nice, convincing 6-3 win over this somewhat disciplined Eastern European club that favours a bottling-up type of game that can often be effective, as shown in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Russians the other day.

It certainly didn’t work today, though, because Canada showed patience, wherewithall, and the proverbial intestinal fortitude to storm back. It’s what Canada does. Always has, always will. We’re proud of this.

Canada also showed a bit of an edge which will have Nail Yakupov saying “See, I told you so!” J.C. Lipon took a five minute penalty, plus a game misconduct, for a crisp elbow to a Slovakian noggin, and later on, Anthony Camara was sent off with a five and game for charging which saw Slovak Patrik Luza leave on a stretcher. Not good, but anyway……

Canada now meets the U.S.A. on Sunday (4:30 a.m. eastern), which should be fun, with Alex Galchenyuk suiting up for the enemy. Galchenyuk managed one assist in his U.S. team’s 2-1 loss to Russia, and hopefully on Sunday he shines in a losing cause..

Little Known Fact:

The city of Ufa’s original name was Unrestrictedfreeagentgrad, but was shortened to Ufa when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Unrestrictedfreeagentgrad was founded by Ivan the terrible, also known as defenceman Ivan Irvin, who played four games with Montreal during the 1952-53 season. Irvin ended up in what would become Unrestrictedfreeagentgrad after Montreal veterans Doug Harvey and Butch Bouchard hilariously decided to put the drunken rookie on a ship bound for Europe instead of the team train going to Chicago, as a rookie initiation joke.

Players back then were certainly a fun-loving bunch.

 

Team Canada Scores a Few

It’s the time of year to think of others less fortunate, and my heart goes out to Russian World Junior ticket scalpers, who might have to soon think about another occupation. How can they sell overpriced tickets to games in an arena where there were so many empty seats, elephants would be free to roam?

Although having said that, there probably aren’t a lot of elephants in the industrial city of Ufa, which is located 1169 km. southeast of Moscow and 7908 km (4914 miles) from Montreal if you’re interested.

The Ufa arena holds 8250 fans, with just 3618 warming the seats for today’s contest. Ufa isn’t Saskatoon. But then again, Germany isn’t Russia or the U.S.A. when it comes to hockey.

If you’ve recorded the Canada-Germany game and are waiting to watch it when you get home from wherever you were, you might not want to read this, because I’m about to tell the score. But think about it. Are you really biting at the bit waiting to see how badly Germany gets blown out?

9-3 Canada.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who should be playing for the Edmonton Oilers now if NHL people weren’t such morons, had a goal and four assists. Nugent-Hopkins’ linemates also had big days, with Jonathan Huberdeau adding a goal and 2 assists and Mark Scheifele two goals.

Malcolm Subban, in nets for Canada, didn’t stand on his head but didn’t need to, and is it immature of me to hope that young Subban, brother of P.K., doesn’t blossom into an NHL star considering he was Boston’s first-round draft pick? Am I bad for saying this?

But I am hoping that for the next couple of weeks, Malcolm shines. Is that better?

Canada doesn’t yet seem to be an overwhelming machine, but it is only game one of course. It remains to be seen how they play when it’s against some of the powerhouses who would like nothing better than flex their muscles against Canada. It’s always been that way. Even if you can’t win gold, if you can manage to beat Canada, you’re automatically a bonafide hockey nation. So we’ll see how things play out as we go along.

Of course, being a Canadian, my focus sits mostly with Team Canada. But as a Habs fan, I can’t help being excited to see Alex Galchenyuk with the American team. May he score buckets, dominate, have fans on the edge of their seats. Except when the Americans meet Canada. Then I hope he’s only second star in a big Canadian win.

Galchenyuk and his gang get going tomorrow, against this same German team we saw today, and here’s hoping he dazzles and, God-forbid, doesn’t get hurt. Canada hits the ice again on Friday, when it’s time to meet Slovakia.

Love this time of year, this tournament with hockey’s future strutting their stuff. Too bad, in just a few short years, many of these guys will be NHLers and become out of touch with reality and the common person.

 

 

Swedish Gold

It was the only goal of the game, scored by the son of an Iranian father and Swedish mother, and it brought to a close the 2012 World Juniors in spectacular fashion.

Mika Zibanejad scored in overtime to give Sweden the gold in this year’s World Junior Championship, their first gold in 31 years, and what a happy group they were as they celebrated on the ice. And what a sad bunch the Russians were at the other end.

Congratulations Sweden. A real nice-looking hockey team. But all the teams were mighty fine, and every year I ask myself how such young guys can play such great hockey.

Next year the tournament is in Ufa, Russia, located about 1500 kilometers east of Moscow and closer to Asia than anywhere else. Somehow I can’t see Ufa doing it up in style the way Edmonton and Calgary did, but maybe they’ll surprise us. It’s a city of a million people, and is the home of Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League.

But the way it’s always such a mega-hit here, am I bad to suggest, as others have too, that the World Juniors should be held in Canada every year?