Day 1 Recap of IIHF World Hockey Championships

Welcome to my daily recaps of the 2011 IIHF World Hockey Championships Slovakia. I will be providing quick notes about the games played.

Germany vs. Russia

The opening match of this year’s tournament featured Germany and Russia, played in Brataslava.

Only two goals were scored in the entire game. This game also saw the first major action for Russia’s Evgeni Nabokov since sitting out when claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders after signing with the Detroit Red Wings. The first German goal was scored by Thomas Greilinger at 4:19 of the 2nd period, with an assist going to Constantin Braun. The other goal was scored by Patrick Reimer, probably no relation to Canadian goalie James Reimer, the time of that goal was 17:53 of the 3rd. Germany shocks Russia 2-0 and gives them their second straight loss (going back to when Russia lost in the Gold Medal Game to the Czech Republic when last year’s tournament was played in Germany).

Switzerland vs. France

A goaltending duel between Stanley Cup winning goalie Cristobal Huet (Chicago Blackhawks 2009-10) and Tobias Stephan kept the game scoreless through 60 minutes. However, just 1:46 into overtime, Julien Vauclair gets a shot past Huet, ending the game with the 1-0 win, and the assist on that goal going to Ivo Ruthemann.

Slovakia vs. Slovenia

With Slovakia being first-time hosts as its own country since the split of Czechoslovakia at the beginning of 1993, they knew they had to put on a good show in front of a large crowd.

St. Louis Blues netminder Jaroslav Halak got the start against Robert Kristian. No scoring in the first, but 2:37 into the 2nd, Ales Kranjc scores to give the Slovenians a 1-0 lead. A powerplay goal, with assists to Gregory Kuznik and Tomaz Razingar. Slovakia would tie the game with 4:44 to go in the period on a goal by Miroslav Satan, with an assist to Tomas Surovy. Marcel Hossa would make the score 2-1 7:03 into the 3rd, assisted by Peter Podhradsky and Richard Zednik. Slovakia would add an empty netter late, the goal scored by Lubos Bartecko. Slovakia wins 3-1.

Canada vs. Belarus

The international debut of Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer, playing alongside a couple of his mates in Dion Phaneuf and Luke Schenn, and facing off against another mate in Mikhail Grabovski, this one began with Jordan Eberle opening up the scoring less than 2 minutes in, assists by Evander Kane and Mario Scalzo. Belarus would tie the game late in the period on a goal by Andrei Stepanov, assisted by Alexander Kulakov and Alexander Kitarov. In the second period rookie phenom for Carolina Jeff Skinner makes it 2-1, with John Tavares assisting. Tavares would add another goal 5:18 into the 3rd, assisted by Skinner and Luke Schenn. Eberle would add another goal later to make it 4-1, assisted by Phaneuf and Scalzo. Chris Stewart failed to convert on a penalty shot late in the game, but it didn’t matter. Belarus’ goalie was the veteran Andrei Mezin. Canada wins 4-1.

In Day 2, we will look at Finland vs. Denmark, United States vs. Austria, Czech Republic vs. Latvia, and Norway vs. Sweden.