A Game of Power Plays: Canada x IPH Team 5:2

The IPH Cup has entered the second game day, with team Canada and the IPH team leading the way. Canada went into the game as the favourite and in a good mood, especially after yesterday’s win against the Czech national team – 3:0. Although the IPH team lost big, with a score of 1:9 in total, against the USA yesterday, they managed to keep up with the pace in today’s game against Canada. Their frequent suspensions were eventually punished by a more experienced opponent, though.

Canada got into their opponent’s zone immediately after the first throw-in, but that didn’t threaten Lepáček. The IPH team got hold of the puck and went on the offence, but the Canadian team kept their opponents mostly near the boards until Joppa broke free, getting into a good position, but he, unfortunately, missed the pass from behind the goal. The home team could have gone for a fast break, but they were stopped by an offside. Cozzolino got to the goal area, but Lepáček covered the puck even in front of Dunn, who was lurking in front of him. Canada didn’t move out of the offensive zone, Lavin shot the puck at the top part of the goal, but the visiting goalie knocked the puck away. The IPH team then got into the zone, but Rietveld could remain calm in the goalposts as the visitors didn’t manage to start shooting. Halbert, from the home team, was sent off the ice in the fourth minute, but his teammates were defending excellently. They managed to get the pucks far across the ice, into safety for most of their short-handed play. Canada didn’t wait long to seize an opportunity again, but Lavin sent the puck directly to defending player, Stašák. The home team took advantage of their power play in the 8th minute when Dunn passed the puck to Cozzolino, who shot the puck under a falling Lepáček – 1:0. The visiting team’s response was quick, Hering managed to equal out the scores after he sent the puck into the top corner of the goal in the 9th minute – 1:1. The visiting team played got one player suspended and was playing with four teammates, but neither Halbert nor McGregor could overcome Lepáček. McGregor tried again, after seeing Jacobs-Webb in front of the goal, but Lepáček was alert and ready. The first period ended in a tie.

The Canadians entered the second period with more prospects as they immediately took the lead on their side with Hickey uncompromisingly scoring from close range in the 20th minute – 2:1. Another swift attack from the home team ended up in the glove of the visiting goalkeeper. Not even Jacobs-Webb managed to score and his cooperation with Aucler didn’t work either. After another signalled suspension of a member of the IPH team, Crane and Henry tried shooting, but Lepáček wasn’t letting anything pass him. The Canadians enjoyed their power play in the zone, McGregor shot at a defending player, Dunn pushed through to be in front of the goal, but only the combination of Cozzolino, who tricked the goalkeeper and Hickey, who then could shoot into an open goal, managed to score – 3:1. The Canadian team kept to their offensive zone but Hering sent Kuhli-Lauenstein into the action, who shot from the right, but the home player managed to block it. Rietveld also moved up a bit and sent the puck away. Moments later, he sent an inconspicuous shot towards Nordstoga’s net, but with no goal success. With the home team’s Levièvre on the penalty bench, Nordstoga’s precise shot above the goalie’s glove reduced the difference to a single goal – 3:2.The visiting team did not, however, learn from their players’ suspensions, Rennhack ended up on the penalty bench, which was a clear signal for the Canadian team. Less than a minute later in the game, Cozzolino received a pass from McGregor, then with the puck underneath him, waited for Lepáček to move, and the jumbo screen above the rink lit up with the score now being 4:2. Team Canada took the reins of the game into its hands, although Vaernes had an open chance, Rietveld was able to cope. Once the Canadian player was sent to the penalty bench, the IPH team stayed in the offensive zone for a long time, but Nordstoga only shot at the goalkeeper and the remaining shots were successfully blocked out by the defending four players. Towards the end of the second period, visiting Lyngroth still had a chance, he passed to Vaernes, but he couldn’t find a gap in the Canadian goal.

The visiting goalkeeper was continuously tested, Jacobs-Webb led another raid in cooperation with Halbert and Boily, but with the help of Kuhli-Lauenstein, the visiting goalie managed to defend his post. He was jolted by Cozzolino’s hard shot to the mask, but he recovered quickly. Canada stayed in the zone even after the power play, but in the end, Hickey’s two attempts at the goal were unsuccessful. The suspension of home team’s Smith had a calming effect on the visiting team, but captain McGregor broke away and scored with the puck going under the glove of the goalie, increasing their lead to 5:2, even in a short-handed play. The Canadian team ended up playing in three, but even though the entire IPH team kept in the offensive zone, they did not manage to change the final score.

Canada’s duel with the IPH team resulted in a total of 11 penalty suspensions.

Goals: 8. Cozzolino (Dunn, Lavin), 17. Hickey (Cozzolino, Dunn), 21. Hickey (Cozzolino), 26. Cozzolino (Hickey, Smith), 39. McGregor – 9. Hering (Vaernes, Lyngroth), 24. Nordstog (Bakke, Vaernes)

Suspensions: 6:5

Power play: 3:1

Short-handed play: 1:0

Referees: Rapák – Rundstrom, Sos

Best player of the game:

CAN – Dominic Cozzolino

IPH  Team – Ingo Kuhli-Lauenstein

CAN – Rietveld (Huneault, Kingsmill) – Kovacevich, Crane, Henry, Lavin, Halbert, Leblanc – Levièvre, Smith,, Messaoudi – Boily, Jacobs-Webb, McGregor (C) – Cozzolino, Hickey (A), Dunn (A) – Swafford,  Auclair

IPH Team – Lepáček – Nordstoga, Bakke, Ferenčík, Stašák, Kuhli-Lauenstein – Kodman, Ligda (C), Joppa – Disveld, Hering, Rennhack – Vaernes, Oeiseth, Lyngroth

Text: Monika Baloghová Photo: Radim Horák