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WC Game Five: Canada 1 Sweden 3
Canada played Sweden tonight at the World Hockey championships just down the autobahn from where I sit in Poland. Seriously, the distance from Mannheim to Wroclaw (pronounced vrawtzwav) is almost the same as the distance from Edmonton to Regina, but do you think anybody here would notice? Poland is a land of many wonderful things; the beer and vodka are world class, the sausage is as unkosher (and therefore delicious) as it gets, and to be honest, it is home to some of the most incredibly beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. Yet despite all of this could I find one lousy hockey game on tv this night? Nope, nada, fail--not a game to be found anywhere in this country it seems. I was somewhat disappointed, but I had a plan.I went upstairs to check in with the parents of my wonderful Polish hostess--a pretty blonde girl who is dating a close friend from home--to see if he knew anything about where I could find the game. He tells me "Polish satellite not so good." Then he tells me "Polish Komputer also not so good, but this Irish Whisky is nice." I responded with a polite dziękuję (think Borat for a second. It seems he used more Polish then Khazak in the movie) and proceeded to drink and attempt to find the game. At that point, according to the tournament website, Canada was down 3-0 and I started to think that it was going to be a long night for the boys in red and white. My host's father was somewhat perplexed that I was more interested in hockey then either the Whisky or his other daughter, but these things happen. And besides, I don't have the resources necessary to provide a proper dowry.
Then I remembered something wonderful; a spark of hope filled my mind when I realized that I had spent the past few years stealing games from streaming sites based in Europe. My heart filled with joy as I quickly finished my Whisky and returned to the Polish Komputer. Success, I found the stream. Sadly at this point there was about 4 minutes left in the 3rd and the Canadian team (third tier edition) was down 3-1.
By the sounds of it, the game was a pretty listless affair, and in the 4 minutes I witnessed, I saw a Swedish team that looked and played a whole lot like the Minnesota Wild circa 2004. I also saw one Chad Johnson between the pipes for Canada, surely never a good sign at a tournament of this caliber. MacT's Canadian's couldn't beat the Swedish trap if their lives depended on it, despite having the puck in the Swedish zone for most of the third. Even the most loyal veterans on the team looked as beaten and downtrodden as MacT's last Oiler team. Canada's goaltending is not normally an issue at the international level, but the tandem of Chris Mason and Johnson with Devan Dubnyk as the caddy really does leave a lot to be desired. Not having Steven Stamkos (who is finally on a Canadian team...I'm sure it's been talked about at great length already but I've been out of the loop) in the lineup is clearly not helping matters either, but this doesn't look good. A win against the Czechs on Tuesday could go a long way into making this an easier tournament to win. Fortunately I will be in Prague by the time the puck drops to cover the action like only an enemy journalist can; by drinking with the locals.
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And with that, I am signing off for the day. The European affairs desk will return as soon as a computer is available at a reasonable cost. One more day in Poland and then I am off to Prague.
(Author's note: Poland is in fact a wonderful and very modern country with all of the comforts one expects from home. It's just very easy to make fun of many former Soviet bloc countries while writing, especially considering I have Polish roots. If you can't make fun of your own, you shouldn't make fun of anyone at all.)
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Score by period:
CAN ....... 0-0-1 = 1
SWE ....... 1-2-0 = 3
Shots by period:
CAN ....... 9 - 11-13 = 33
SWE ...... 15 -12 - 5 = 32
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Next up: Czech Republic, Tuesday May 18 @ 08:15 MDT