Colorado Avalanche WJC recap

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Ville Isopaa, Jan 7, 2007.

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  1. Ville Isopaa

    Ville Isopaa Registered User

    Feb 27, 2002
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    Helsinki, Finland
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    Just like in the previous few years, the Avalanche were heavily represented at the WJC in Sweden with 9 players. While no players made the All-star team, there were a lot of players who performed very good at the tournament, among them 5 were in the top 20 in scoring in the tournament.

    Vladimir Sobotka, Czech Republic
    Not expected to finish first among Avalanche prospects in scoring, Sobotka was a nice suprise as he was the best scorer for the Czech team and finished 8th in tournament scoring with 4goals and 4 assists. He also picked up 12 penalty minutes in the tournament. Sobotka was voted as one of the top 3 players on the Czech team that finished 5th.

    Ondej Pavelec, Czech Republic
    The only dissapointment among the Avalanche prospects, Pavelec wasn't able to provide the top goaltending that this years Czech team would have needed to have a shot at the medals. While the defense in front of him was far from the best years for the Czech's, he was still expected to show more of his elite skills.

    Niklas Bäckström, Sweden
    Expected to lead the swedes to the first medal in years, Bäckström got them to the bronze game which they lost in a tight game against USA. Bäckström was held without a goal in the tournament, but had a few shots in the posts and picked up 7 assists in the 7 games, finishing 2nd in assists and 11th in tournament scoring. Bäckström was voted as one of the top 3 players on the Swedish team

    Juraj Mikus, Slovakia
    There was a lot of hopes that Mikus would be able to improve on last years disaster at the WJC where nothing seemed to go right for him. This year he was a different player. With 5 goals Mikus tied the scoring lead with 4 other players, and added an assist for 6 points. That was good enough to lead the Slovakian team and finish 12th in tournament scoring. Mikus was also voted as one of the top 3 players on the Slovakian team

    Kris Russell, Canada
    As one of five returning defensemen, Kris Russell was expeted to lead the team. His 4 goals tied for the lead among defensemen and his 6 points was good enough for 2nd both among defensemen and Canadian players in the tournament.

    Ryan Parent, Canada
    Just like Russell, Ryan Parent was a returning defenseman for team Canada, and just like last year he formed the top pair with Marc Staal. Together they were used a lot in both even strenght and on the penalty kill. As expected, Parent didn't put up any points, but with his play as the premiere defensive defenseman in the tournament was again a key piece on the gold medal winning team.

    Leland Irving, Canada
    The top goaltender in CHL didn't get to play a single minute in the tournament as he was backing up the top goalie in the tournament. For Irving it was still a good chance to visit a beautiful country and he was able to check out the cheerleaders in Sweden.

    Nathan Gerbe, USA
    With the experience from last year, Gerbe built on the good speedy game he provided and added points to it. His 6 assists were 3rd in the tournament and as he was held scoreless, he finished 5th in Team USA scoring and 20th in tournament scoring.

    Brian Lee, USA
    In his 3rd WJC, Brian Lee continued to be a key part of the USA defense. With USA rolling 3 pairs equally on even strenght, Lee got a good share of icetime and he was also used a lot to kill penalties. Offensively with the Johnson's getting most of the power play time, Lee was held without points. He was 2nd on the team with 14 penalty minutes.

    It was a successful tournament again, even with the fact that several egliable players didn't participate for various reasons. Guys like Bobby Ryan and Nigel Williams could have made the USA team, Riku Helenius missing the tournament due to injury and Sidney Crosby skipped the WJC as he was in the Avalanche camp preparing for his rookie season.

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