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Shoot 'em out: Canada wins, Russia tripped by Slovakia

Day 2 for hockey super-powers Canada and Russia saw some unexpected bumps in the road.


For host nation Canada, it came again in the form of Switzerland. The Swiss are becoming a real burr in the Canadian saddle, as they pulled the upset in 2006 Olympics and almost did it again in 2010. Early in the game Canada jumped up 2-0 on the strength of goals by Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau. The Swiss would chip away at them all game and would eventually tie the game. In a game filled with stars, it was Switzerland goalie Jonas Hillier who shined the brightest, stopping 44 of 46 shots. The game would be tied after 65 minutes and go to a shootout.


Later in the night for Russia, they experienced similar problems with Slovakia. Former Penguin player Aleksey Morozov scored in the second and Russia clung to a 1-0 lead for most of the game. However they'd be unable to convert of several PP chances that would have widened the lead. Former Penguin player Marian Hossa tied the game in the third period. Montreal goalie Jaraoslav Halak was brilliant for the Slovaks, stopping 35 of 36 shots he saw.


So both the super-powers had to go to the shootout. International rules say any player can shoot as many times as the coach wants after Round 3, and both Sidney Crosby (1 for 2 on the night) and Alexander Ovechkin (1 for 3) took multiple attempts. Canada's goalie Martin Brodeur was the most impressive player in the gimmick, he stopped all four shots the Swiss threw at him. Evgeni Malkin took a turn in the 7th round of the shootout, but couldn't convert. The game was ended when Pavol Demitra scored the next shot.


In the long-run this may not be anything more than a little speed bump for the two heavyweights, but the message is clear: when an inspired under-dog plays hard and gets a terrific effort in the net from their goalie, any team could be capable of taking another down. And, so long as you don't have money on the games or are a citizen of the upset country, that's the beauty of international hockey