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Canada 2, Norway 1: Game Blog

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FIRST PERIOD

*** Norwegian defenceman Mats Trygg is leading the tournament in ice time by a country mile, and he’s going to get a steady dose of the Heatley-Nash-Getzlaf line, which has scored at will so far in the tournament.

*** There isn’t much of an atmosphere in the building in the early going. It’s flat-out empty at the moment, with the usual after-work crowd likely to show up later. These 4:30 p.m. start times were designed with good intentions, as well as to work around NHL television schedules, but they haven’t helped attendance.

*** Dany Heatley had a golden scoring chance in the early going, making a made great play coming over the line, but Pal Grotnes gloved down his hard shot.

*** The newly-formed Jason Spezza fourth line looked great on its first shift.

*** The shots are 1-0 for Canada more than six minutes in. Norway’s got to be happy about that, as it attempts to suffocate the red-and-white.

*** Norway gets an early power play but generates nothing.

*** Jason Spezza is still getting power-play time, which is a good sign. This is where he can make a difference. He just lined up with Eric Staal (in front of the net) and Martin St. Louis for one stretch with the man advantage.

*** Defenceman Mike Green makes it 1-0 for Canada on the power play at 9:32. He grabs a rebound on a Brent Burns point blast and rips it past the outstretched glove of Pal Grotnes. Green has been a jolt of offensive energy every time he’s stepped on the ice, although he barely played against the U.S. on Tuesday night.

*** Jason Spezza is putting in the effort tonight, which is a positive development.

*** Shots are 14-3 after the first period. Canada has certainly controlled the play,
although it hasn’t dictated the tempo. Norway has kept all of its games close in this tournament, including a 3-2 overtime loss to Finland, and could stay in this game, too, if they don’t take too many penalties in the final 40 minutes.

SECOND PERIOD


*** Canada starts the second period on the power play and is turned away on a couple of great chances by Norwegian stopper Pal Grotnes.

*** Canadian goaltender Pascal Lecliare has got to be getting bored. He just faced his fourth shot and we’re already 3:09 into the second period.

*** Pal Grotnes made a terrific save on a Dany Heatley one-timer. Heatley took a spin-around pass from Rick Nash on a rush but Grotnes was there for the save.

*** Grotnes is by no means a flashy goaltender, but he’s showing smart positional play and letting pucks hit him instead of flailing around.

*** The ice is tilting toward the Norwegian zone.

*** Per-Age Skroder had an open net for Norway and just barely misfired.

*** Grotnes is coming up big for Norway. He just stopped Rick Nash on a breakaway with a quick pad, although Nash’s stick snapped in the act of shooting. Nash had another great chance to score but elected to pass and the play was broken up.

*** Rick Nash had another partial breakaway, but Tommy Jakobsen, who logs a ton of ice time, got the puck away from him on a poke check.

*** Nash just got in alone a fourth straight time and drew a penalty on Jakobsen. It’s great that Nash keeps getting in alone, but Canada needs to bury one.

*** Mads Hansen just did the unthinkable, breaking up a Duncan Keith pass at the blue line on a Canadian power play, going in alone on Pascal Leclaire on a breakaway, and deking to his forehand to beat Leclaire at 13:59.

*** This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Canada, as Norway’s been doing this all tournament, including a near upset of Finland.

*** Canada has just one goal on seven power-play opportunities. That’s going to have to change if it wants to come away with a victory.

*** Shots are 31-10 for Norway with 2:47 remaining.

*** A small crowd of about 50 Norwegian fans is easily out-cheering the thousands of Canadian fans that are sitting on their hands right now. I’m not on the ice, but if I was, I’d be wondering if I was playing in Halifax or Oslo.

*** It’s 1-1 after the second period with a 33-10 edge in shots for Canada. Again, this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody who watched Norway play during the preliminary round, as they have done a great job bottling up teams and keeping it close. That said, Canada hasn’t been bottled up, it just can’t finish.

THIRD PERIOD


*** An early Norway penalty gives Canada a great chance to score, although they’re only 1-for-7 on the power play today and came into the day just 3-for-16 overall.

*** Norway goes to the box again and Canada has a 51-second two-man advantage. No time like the present for Canada to pot a goal.

*** Canada just can’t beat Grotnes. He even lost his stick on the most recent power play, and faced a barrage of chances without it, and still kept the puck out.

*** Canada is in deep now, as Chris Kunitz just took a slashing penalty at 14:04 and gives Norway a two-man advantage for 75 seconds.

*** If Norway is going to win, you have to look at this as a must-score situation. Shots are 43-13 for Canada as Grotnes continues to shine.

*** Canada successfully killed off the 5-on-3, but then Dan Hamhuis took a four-minute double-minor for high-sticking giving Norway another golden opportunity. You’ve got to wonder when these penalties are going to catch up to Canada.

*** Norway calls a timeout with 2:09 remaining in the four-minute double-minor.

*** Give full credit to Canada’s penalty-killers, as they did a terrific job while playing the past eight minutes shorthanded. The crowd responds after the kills with its biggest cheer of the night, and Canada is finally back on the attack.

*** Jamal Mayers has barely seen the ice for Canada.

*** Anders Bastiansen whacks Ryan Getzlaf with a high stick and Canada gets a power play with 5:41 to go. Yet another chance for Canada to put Norway away.

*** Rick Nash gets it done with 3:58 to go. He scores a highlight-reel marker as he muscles his way in off the left wing and tucks it wide past the outstretched pad of Grotnes on his backhand. Nash has had a knack for highlight-reel goals, and this is another one you can add to that list.


*** Canada pulls off the win despite Norwegian player of the game Pal Grotnes’s 50-save performance. Nash, with the winner, is player of the game for Canada.

 
 
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