While all eyes were on the NHL games this weekend, it was the final round of the IIHF World Cup in Riga, Latvia. And Sweden defeated Canada on Saturday to go on and win their second Gold Medal, after winning against Team Canada at the Olympics.
This however was an ugly win, not worthy of the Swedes, and frankly a lousy call by the Refs. A major nasty cross check was put on Sidney Crosby, the young outstanding Canadian in the game, after he scored.
While assessed as a major penalty of five minutes, it should have been a major game misconduct worthy of losing a player for the rest of the game. It was an ugly cross check to Crosby's face knocking off his helmet , busting his nose and knocking him to the ice while he was celebrating his goal.
The game was comfortably in Sweden's control until Crosby was viciously cross checked in the jaw by Mika Hannula after scoring to make it 5-3 with 35 seconds to play in the second period.
He left the game feeling dizzy but had a breakaway 10 seconds after returning in the third period. Crosby then set up Patrice Bergeron's goal to get Canada within one and had a few chances to tie it.
It was a performance that left his teammates in awe.
"I think it said a lot to us the way Sid came out and played the third period because he was in rough shape during the second intermission," said captain Brendan Shanahan. "It says a lot to hockey fans and the people of Canada."
It was malicious and brutish. Something that one expects in the NHL but not in International Hockey. But then look where Sweden and the other Europeans play hockey, in the NHL.
As it was Crosby went on to score another goal, but it wasn't enough to win. That cheap shot, cheapened the game, and the Swedes win. What victory they gained in the Olympics is now tarnished, and their Gold Win in the World Cup was not won by gentlemen but by thugs.
Canada loses 5-4 to Sweden in semifinalIn a lot of ways that game ended it for Canada, demoralized they could not win against Finland whom they played for the Bronze. The cheap shot on Crosby, and the continued attacks on Canada's Star Player shows that the age of Gretzky is over even in International Hockey, and the rough and tumble NHL rules, rule.
The game looked comfortably in Sweden's control until Crosby was viciously cross-checked in the jaw by Mika Hannula after scoring to make it 5-3 with 35 seconds to play in the second period.
The Canadian star had his arms in the air in celebration after poking his own rebound past Johan Holmqvist when Hannula ran him into the end boards. Crosby stayed down for a minute before being taken straight to the Canadian dressing room.
Hannula was assessed a five-minute major and given a game misconduct, but Canada only got a three-minute power play after a melee ensued.
"It was a blatant cross-check to the face," Canada coach Marc Habscheid said. "It's disappointing, especially when there's smiles and laughs on their bench. . . .
"He's a great player, I don't know what they were doing."
Crosby returned for the third period and broke in alone on Holmqvist just 10 seconds into the period, but was stopped by the Swedish goalie.
His revenge would still come. Crosby took control of the puck behind the goal while still on the power play and fed Bergeron, who one-timed it by Holmqvist at 3:38 to narrow the lead to 5-4.
As Canada pressed for the tying goal, the Swedes continued to test Crosby with late hits after the whistle. The teenager's temper was questioned a couple times during the NHL season, but he showed no signs of losing his cool here.
"I think it said a lot to us the way Sid came out and played the third period because he was in rough shape during the second intermission," Canadian captain Brendan Shanahan said. "It says a lot to hockey fans and the people of Canada who are still trying to figure him out."
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