Just going to do a quick recap of the scores in the various tournaments going on right now.
Czech Republic 3, Sweden 4: A late 3rd period surge by Sweden, including two goals from Robert Nilsson and the winner from Niklas Norgren saw Sweden knock off the Czechs, who are at home in Ceske Budejovice despite this being a Helsinki-based tournament. Shots were 29-14 for the Swedes. The game was a sellout at Budvar Arena, drawing 6421 fans.
Russia 1, Finland 0: It was quite an even game between these two rivals, but a late goal by Alexander Svitov pushed Russia to victory in front of a disappointed 12,385 fans at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. The goal came with just 2:10 to play, and the result gave Russian goalie Vasiliy Koshechkin a 25 shot shutout, outduelling fellow KHL goalie Petri Vehanen, who made 23 saves. Stat geeks will want to take a closer look at the scoresheet here... Finnish stat sheets include CORSI/Fenwick type measurements, and give a breakdown of where all the shots came from on the ice. They also give faceoff breakdowns, the starting line combinations, and full stoppage of play listings. I wish the IIHF would use these guys... SM-Liiga stat sheets are similarly detailed, by far the best in European hockey.
Canada 6, Switzerland 2: This was officially Mark Messier's coaching debut, and it happened on Tuesday. The Canadian roster was made up of players from Switzerland's NLA, not the Deutschland Cup roster of DEL players. It was a chance for some Spengler Cup hopefuls to make an early impression on Messier, and with six different goal scorers, the competition is pretty strong.
Switzerland 2, Slovakia 0: Benjamin Conz is the shutout king. The 19 year old burgeoning international star (who is criminally undrafted by a NHL team) has five shutouts in NLA action to date in just 23 games, putting him at the top of the league. Goals by Damien Brunner and Julien Sprunger helped lead the Swiss to victory, spoiling Glen Hanlon's debut behind the Slovakian bench (while making Sean Simpson's head coaching debut sweet).
Germany 4, Canada 3: Fred Brathwaite was lit up early by some German shooters that have grown familiar with him, as Uwe Krupp's boys skated to a 3-0 lead early in the first. Canada roared back in the second period to tie it, but a Patrick Reimer goal gave Germany a 4-3 lead that they held on to right from the mid-second period on. Krupp knows how to lock things down with the lead, as shown by last year's surprising 4th place World Championship finish, as Dennis Endras once again backstopped the Germans to an international victory on home ice.
Euro Ice Hockey Challenge
Euro Challenge Cup in Brasov, Romania: