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Saturday, January 2, 2016

CANADA OUT AT WORLD J'S

HELSINKI - Mackenzie Blackwood said it all in a single expression.

When asked how he felt about the wild 6-5 quarter-final loss to Finland that eliminated Canada from the world junior hockey championship Saturday, the goaltender took a deep breath, exhaled, then loudly swore.

"Terrible,'' said Blackwood after a pause. "It's the worst thing ever, losing.

"I hate it. Just gotta learn from it and move on.''

Mitch Marner's two power-play goals in the third period weren't enough as Canada finished lower than fourth at the annual event for the first time since 1998. Canada's record in the preliminary round - a win, a shootout win and two regulation losses - left it sixth in the final standings.

Travis Konecny, Dylan Strome and Lawson Crouse also scored for Canada. Blackwood made 23 saves.

The Canadian players will make the trek back to their respective clubs Sunday while host Finland will prepare to face Sweden in Monday's semifinal.

Penalties were a problem for Canada against Finland, but they'd been an issue in the preliminary round too. Canada took nine penalties in the quarter-final, including four in the third period.

In its final preliminary round game, Canada was penalized 10 times in a 5-2 loss to Sweden.

"I think all tournament it was our downfall,'' said Marner, who had four goals and two assists in the event. "We were just playing a little too aggressive. It's a lot of stick work and stuff like that that they call (in international hockey.)

Hartwall Arena presented new challenges Saturday for Canada, which had played all four of its preliminary round games at Helsinki Ice Hall. The 8,200-seat Ice Hall was dominated by Canadian fans during the round robin, while the crowd of over 13,000 at Hartwall was split about 50-50 with competing "Suomi!'' and "Let's Go Canada!'' chants throughout the game.

The ice itself was also different. Although the Ice Hall's rink was larger than a typical NHL ice surface, Hartwall's is full Olympic size, four metres wider than the Ice Hall's dimensions. Finland has played all five of its games at Hartwall.

(Canadian Press)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Canada took nine penalties. The one against Joe Hicketts was simply bad luck for Canada's best player. But the other eight were stupidity. The broadcasters used the word 'discipline' or talked of the lack of it. That's just sugarcoating it, the word they should have been using is 'braindead'. Why do skate laces cut circulation off to the brain?

Anonymous said...

Ooooh Canada!!! :(

Anonymous said...

Less talented teams take penalties because they cannot compete with the opposition. Blaming a loss on penalties misses the obvious.
Canada no longer the best hockey nation. Get over it. The socialist countries have taken over. Much more entertaining too.

Anonymous said...

I disagree in this last game. Canada carried a lot of the play against Finland. Stupid penalties, not penalties for getting out played. Puck over the glass. 2 penalties for punches to the head after the whistle had gone. One for slashing a stick out of a guys hand. Usually your big leaguers are your leaders. Like Lazar, or the Nuge. Virtanen may as well stayed on the west coast.

Oh well, she's anybodys tourny any given year now adays. That's the way she goes.

Anonymous said...

Picked the wrong players that weren't good enough.

g.k said...

This team never jelled from the start. We did not have our best players at this tournament. You can say what you want but the coaching was atrocious and our goaltending sucked!! Lack of discipline was all on the coaching staff & management. We'll be fine next year with the likes of Steel & Merkley on the squad. And were at home

Anonymous said...

yeah canada needs to have all the odds in their favour now.

Anonymous said...

Best Goalie was left at home... No Hart !!!

Take the best players and Team reguardless of Age and league!

Anonymous said...

If we are to medal in the WJC in the future we need to hope our rich kids are better than the other nations athletes. A little discipline wouldn't hurt either. Wasn't our year but a warning sign of where our game is headed. The talent pool will increasingly get shallower as we turn this game into a white collar urban centred system. Some of our best athletes no longer play the game. I always here the "grass roots" rhetoric from Hockey Canada but that's all it is....

Anonymous said...

Things won't improve as long as Tom Renney is in charge. Saw an interview on TSN and he thinks(coach)Dave Lowry did a tremendous job. Say what, that was a group of individuals not a team and that falls on the coach!
Who picked these slugs? If Jake Virtenen is Vancouver's future the Canucks are in a sad situation. How many better players than him got left at home?
A goaltender with a save percentage under .900 was anointed the job even though he was suspended.
This is all on the top end but they'll keep covering each other's butt because that's the way it is.
Hockey Canada needs a Craig Reynolds type to clean house.