While it's true that Canada thumped Switzerland in both international tourneys yesterday -- the Euro League selects defeated Davos HC 6-2, while the U20 side beat their Swiss counterparts 6-0 -- I'm betting the former game was a little more competitive. I've railed against the level of competition that the previous year's gold medalists face prior to their date with the fourth-place team New Year's Eve (CAN-USA again) already, so I'll leave that point alone. I didn't bother watching either game, actually, which is too bad: Finland's been in the most interesting games of the tournament so far, with both their 4-3 win over the Czechs on Sunday and their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Russia yesterday. I'm going to see Avatar today, but I'll be taping the Canada-Slovakia game for viewing tomorrow morning; in the meantime, on with the show:
Canada 6, Switzerland 0: Big game for the top line, as Ducks pick Brandon McMillan scored a hat trick and Oilers prospect Jordan Eberle put up a five-point night (1G, 4A), including assists on all three of McMillan's goals. Nothing terribly fancy from the replay, just one team being straight-up better than the other. For the record, Taylor Hall also chipped in an assist on the night to go with his two from the Latvia game. You know, in case you're interested. They face Slovakia in the evening game in Saskatoon tonight, which will be the closest thing to a good match-up we've seen for the Canadian side thus far.
Russia 2, Finland 0: It's criminal how little of this game TSN's highlights showed, because I bet Bobkov made more than the one highlight reel save they did show: he made 23 of his 46 saves in the third period alone, as the Finns poured it on, looking for something, anything. Naturally, both Teemu Hartikainen and Toni Rajala were held pointless on a combined ten shots. As an aside, if Canada faces the Finns in the medal round, I'm hoping we see more of this Finnish team than the one I saw at the Saddledome on the 22nd, which looked horrifically outmatched in all aspects of the game, had a poor power-play strategy, and was actually pretty flattered by the 3-0 score. Finland gets the day off today before facing Austria on Wednesday, while the Swedes play Russia tonight.