Just a couple quick thoughts to get you primed up for this afternoon’s tilts:
-Four minutes into the USA-Finland game today, you will want Jarkko Ruutu to drive off a cliff. Really, when you think about it, the Fins have a ridiculous collection of annoying faces- the Ruutus, Olli Jokinen, Sami Salo, Valteri Filppula, the Koivus. These guys are the ’27 Yankees of annoying faces.
Anywho, the US should win this game. After steamrolling through their first two games, the Fins have had trouble with any team matching their talent level. They looked awful against Sweden and against the Czechs, they squeezed by in the slimest margins. That was more in thanks to Mikka Kiprusoff playing out of his mind than anything else.
–The evening match between Slovakia and Canada is going to come down to one guy: Jaroslav Halak. If he’s playing well, then the Slovaks will have a puncher’s chance. If not, well, I think you know what will happen. By the way, after watching Halak in this tournament, I can see why some Montreal Canadien fans have become enamored with him. With his size and how much net he takes up, he reminds me a lot of Patrick Roy. Or maybe I’m just insane. That could be it, too.
*On the Farm*
The IceHogs avenged their Sunday night loss to the Milwaukee Admirals by beating them 4-1 on Thursday night. Jake Dowell and Richard Petiot put Rockford up 2-0 heading into the third. The Admirals scored early to cut the deficit to one, but in the final minute of the game, the IceHogs scored twice in the empty net to finish off the game. Rob Klinkhammer and Jack Skille padded their stats with the empty net goals.
Jassen Cullimore had two assists and Bryan Bickell had an assist along with being a +3. Joseph Fallon stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced and was the 1st star of the game.