Sunday, January 3, 2010

USA-Sweden WJC Semis 9 PM

At the top of the hour, we'll be keeping an eye on the 2010 WJC second semifinal between Team USA and Sweden with the winner playing five-time defending champion Canada for all the marbles. Not surprisingly, the Canadians were too much for a cinderella Swiss team that stunned Russia yesterday, pulling off a 3-2 upset in overtime thanks to Nino Niederreiter's game-tying and sudden death winner. Benjamin Conz- who we praised earlier this tournament for his work between the pipes- was brilliant making 50 saves in the huge upset. Despite giving up six on 44 shots to Canada earlier today, he'll likely be named the tourney's top goaltender. Switzerland can finish no worse than fourth and will draw the loser for the bronze medal.

For Canada, Jordan Eberle scored and hotshot Taylor Hall lit the lamp twice. We'll try to update the condition of Islander prospect D Travis Hamonic, who left with a shoulder injury due to a hit from behind. The second Islander blueliner to be hurt on Canada. Calvin de Haan returned after missing two games but played sparingly. He'll likely see an increased role if Hamonic isn't back. Colten Teubert anchors the back end while Ryan Ellis and Alex Pietrangelo run the point on a power play that's only converted once in their last 11. That could be bad news for tonight's winner.

Team USA enters on the heels of a 6-2 quarterfinal triumph over Finland. Jordan Schroeder tallied three assists, shattering Jeremy Roenick's American WJC record 25 points. The Vancouver Canucks '09 first round pick (22nd overall) has totaled 26 points (6-20-26). Great stuff. We'll see if he can hike the total and help lead the Americans to an upset over a talented Sweden team that features Devil duo Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson along with Magnus Paajarvi Svensson, Andre Petterson, Oliver Ekman Larsson, Tim Erixon and Jacob Markstrom.

Our side has gotten inspired performances from many including team captain Derek Stepan (3-8-11) and Chris Kreider (5-1-6). Two Ranger properties along with Ryan Bourque (2 A). Keep an eye on Danny Kristo and Jerry D Amigo as each has had a strong showing. It all starts now. We'll also look in on Hasan's Jets to see if they get it done. At last check, Gang Green was leading the Bengals 7-0 at the end of one. Good luck bud. :)

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