Hockey Critic

Canada to play Finland in World Cup Hockey final

The stage is set for a memorable World Cup hockey final. Last week the Finnish squad took on team USA in Minneapolis. The Americans were first to score as Doug Weight netted a on a sweet pass from Scott Gomez. The score stayed at 1-0 for USA until the beginning of the third period. Finland tied the game five minutes into the third when Florida's Olli Jokinen slammed home a long rebound in the slot. Saku Koivu then took advantage of a defensive lapse by the Americans for the go ahead goal with only three minutes to go in the game. The Finns managed to survive a last minute flurry and eliminated the defending champions for a berth in the finals.

The second semi-final was played in Toronto on Saturday night. The favourite Canadians took on the pride of the Czech Republic. The game began with a surprise for some as star team Canada goalie Martin Brodeur did not start due to a hand injury. Instead, Roberto Luongo was assigned the task to lead against Tomas Vokun and the Czechs. After no scoring in the first, three goals were scored in the second inlcuding one by Lemieux, with the Canadians enjoying the slim 2-1 lead. The Czechs struck first in the third to tie the game before Kris Draper put Canada back on top.

But a quick reply six seconds later seemed to deflate the Canadian fans and team as Patrick Elias scored on Luongo. The period ended with the teams tied at three and went into overtime. After a couple of spectacular saves by Luongo, the Canadians moved into the Czech zone. In what seemed like a broken play, Vincent Lecavalier lost the puck behind the net only to get it back from a Ryan Smyth pass in front of the net. He was finally able to corral the puck and shot from a extremely wide angle, putting it over a sprawling Vokun.

The final game should see quite a showdown as Canada takes on Finland at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.
posted at 21:51:25 on 09/13/04 by HockeyCritic - Category: Hockey Talk


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