Four Caps Vie for World Gold
On the 17th and final day of the 2008 IIHF World Championship, it has come down to Russia against Canada for the gold medal. Washington is represented well in the title game; Russians Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin comprise a forward line for Team Russia, and Caps defenseman Mike Green in Team Canada’s leading scorer from the blueline.
The championship game is at 1 p.m. on Sunday and it will be streamed live on www.wcsn.com.
Canada is a perfect 8-0 in tournament play. Russia is also 8-0, but it needed overtime to defeat the Czech Republic and a shootout to prevail over Belarus. The Canadians have outscored their opponents by a combined 48-16, including 13-6 in two medal round games. The Russians are up 38-14 on their foes and have authored two shutouts in the medal round, outscoring their opponents by 10-0.
Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov joined Team Russia after the San Jose Sharks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs and he has two shutouts, a 1.25 goals against average and a .949 save pct. in four games played.
Canada has split its goaltending between Pascal Leclaire and Cam Ward. Both netminders are 4-0 with a 2.00 goals against average, but Leclaire’s .925 save pct. is a touch better than Ward’s .918.
The Russians will have their hands full trying to shut down three of the tournament’s top four scorers, Dany Heatley (11 goals, 18 points, +13), Rick Nash (six goals, 13 points, +9) and Ryan Getzlaf (three goals, 13 points, +10). Green leads all tournament blueliners in scoring (four goals, 11 points) and is fifth overall.
With 10 points each, Ovechkin, Fedorov and Semin share the Russian team lead in scoring and they are tied for sixth overall. All three of Washington’s Russian players are a plus-9. Ovechkin has six goals, Fedorov five and Semin four.
Canada is looking to defend its 2007 title while Russia looks to improve upon last year’s bronze medal showing.
On Saturday, Finland defeated Sweden 4-0 to win the bronze at the 2008 tournament.