Sunday, December 15, 2013

Canada Loses To Kazakhstan, Finishes 2nd In Pool

(TRENTINO, Italy) – The Canadian men's hockey team suffered its first setback at the Winter Universiade dropping a 4-2 decision to Kazakhstan in its third and final preliminary round game, Sunday evening.

Kazakhstan (3-0) and Canada (2-1) finish first and second in Pool C, respectively, and both advance to the quarter-finals of the biennial competition on Dec. 18. Their next opponents will be decided once pool play wraps up on Monday.

After opening the 12-team tournament with convincing wins over Japan, 12-1, and Ukraine, 11-0, the Canucks were brought back to earth by a rival they had defeated 3-1 in the bronze-medal match two years ago in Turkey.

Special teams played a key role in today's contest as Kazakhstan scored twice on eight power play opportunities and added a short-handed marker, while the team of Atlantic University Sport all-stars went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

The Red and White got off to a good start and was leading 1-0 after the opening period thanks to Tyler Carroll's first of the tourney at the 13:31 mark. The native of Strathroy, Ont., completed a play initiated by his University of New Brunswick teammate, team captain Chris Culligan.

The wheels fell off the Canadian wagon in the middle frame however as Kazakhstan responded with three unanswered goals and outshot the AUS squad 9-2.

Leonid Metalnikov tied the affair 32 seconds into the period during a power play. Nikita Kovzalov made it 2-1 at 9:22, and Yevgeniy Rymarev doubled Kazakhstan's lead with 2:34 left before the break while his team was playing man down.

Team Canada refused to go down without a fight and got back to within one 4:57 into the third. Moncton defenceman Simon Lacroix of Orleans, Ont., scored his first assisted by Saint Mary's Cory Tanaka and StFX's Rob Slaney.

Despite a 13-10 shot advantage in the period, the Canucks couldn't find the equalizer and Rymarev put the game away with 1:33 remaining, once again with the man advantage.

Making his second start of the competition, UPEI netminder Wayne Savage made 22 saves in the loss. His opponent Andrey Yankov also turned aside 22 pucks to improve his record to 2-0.

"We had a lead after the first and had some good opportunities but fell behind in the second. When you have one-goal games like that, special teams are often the indicator, and tonight we gave up a short-handed goal and two power play goals. It turned out to be the separator," said Canadian head coach Gardiner MacDougall from UNB. "We've had two outstanding games and tonight we faced a really good opponent. We have to use the adversity as a stepping stone to get to another level of the tournament."

GAME NOTES: Despite their special team struggles against Kazakhstan, the Canadians are ranked second in the tournament on the power play with seven goals in 19 opportunities (36.84%) and are fifth in penalty killing with three goals allowed in 14 short-handed situations (78.57%)... Kazakhstan ranks fifth on the power play (25%) and fourth on the penalty kill (86.67%)... In 13 previous appearances at the FISU tourney, Canada has reached the podium 12 times, including three gold medals, three silver and six bronze. Its three triumphs came in 2007 when represented by AUS standouts, 1991 (senior national team) and 1981 (Alberta Golden Bears).

SCORING SUMMARY 

FIRST PERIOD
SCORING:
1. CAN Tyler Carroll (1) (Chris Culligan), 13:31
PENALTIES:
Mike Cazzola (CAN) slashing, 1:13;
Rodion Zharkikh (KAZ) cross-checking, 7:05;
Konstantin Savenkov (KAZ) cross-checking, 11:48;
Michael Kirkpatrick (CAN) tripping, 13:08;
Cory Tanaka (CAN) high sticking, 19:05.

SECOND PERIOD
SCORING:
2. KAZ Leonid Metalnikov (1) (Alexandr Shin, Yevgeniy), 0:32 PP
3. KAZ Nikita Kovzalov (1) (Alexey Grichshenko, Pavel Zhilin), 9:22
4. KAZ Yevgeniy Rymarev (3) (Alexandr Shin), 17:26 SH
PENALTIES:
Georgiy Petrov (KAZ) hooking, 1:46;
Marc-Antoine Desnoyers (CAN) tripping, 10:31;
Matthew Maione (CAN) cross-checking, 12:29;
Alexandr Kaznacheyev (KAZ) hooking, 16:52.

THIRD PERIOD
SCORING:
5. CAN Simon Lacroix (1) (Cory Tanaka, Rob Slaney), 4:57
6. KAZ Yevgeniy Rymarev (4) (Leonid Metalnikov), 18:27 PP
PENALTIES:
Tyler Carroll (CAN) tripping, 10:09;
Rob Slaney (CAN) slashing, 18:04;
Wayne Savage (CAN), interference (served by Mike Cazzola), 19:38.

GOALS (by period)
KAZ: 0-3-1: 4
CAN: 1-0-1: 2

SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
KAZ: 7-9-10: 26
CAN: 9-2-13: 24

POWER PLAY:
KAZ: 2-8
CAN: 0-4

GOALTENDERS
KAZ – Andrey Yankov (W, 2-0, 24 shots, 22 saves, 2 GA, 60:00)
CAN – Wayne Savage (L, 1-1, 26 shots, 22 saves, 4 GA, 60:00)