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    Posts Tagged ‘halifax’

    Quarterfinals set for 2008 Worlds

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 14日 Wednesday

    The quarterfinals for the 2008 World Championship in Halifax and Quebec City has been set. With the disappointing performance (combined with the ineligible German player controversy) sent Slovakia down to a relegation series against Slovenia, which it won (France, with Huet being the difference maker, won the other relegation battle against Italy.)

    Quarterfinals on 14 May are:

    Czech Republic – Sweden

    Norway – Canada

    Russia – Switzerland

    USA – Finland

    The CZE-SWE and RUS-FIN matches will be great clashes of titans, and the Swiss are always strong and can easily give the talented Russian squad a run for its money. Canada has the easiest draw, but the team only won 2-1 over Norway thanks to a last minute Nash goal, so we’ll see if Grotnes can pull off the supergoalie gig yet again. 

    Some great quotes from the Norwegians  🙂

    Even getting this far is an amazing triumph for the Norwegian national hockey program, which operates on an annual budget of less than $1-million. Heatley alone operates on an annual budget 10 times that.

    It is a team that boasts a former NHL player, 32-year-old Anders Myrvold, who last played for the Detroit Red Wings in 2004, and a collection of European professionals, semi-pros and amateurs.

    But they have, Myrvold said, a secret weapon.

    “We have Viking blood,” he said. “You know Viking blood? It doesn’t exist in Canada.”

    The players are salesmen and teachers – one for kindergarten – but mostly they are in building trades, carpenters like Grotnes, electricians and plumbers.

    “If you need anything, just give us a call,” Myrvold said with a laugh. “You can’t call the Canadian team. All they can do is play hockey.”

    Hahaha.

    Surprisingly, attendance has been disappointing, especially in Halifax where all Canada games have been held so far.

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    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, opinion, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Halifax Forum

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 8日 Thursday

    Great IIHF article on one of the older arenas in Canada that normally stays out of the limelight (this time too, as it is a practice facility). The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium was an awesome barn, with about 6000 capacity, when I saw a game there last year. They’re adding a couple of thousand seats to the arena though, so I wonder how the new Aud will feel. The games head into the 2nd round and relegation series after the games today. A doozy of good looking games on schedule today (Sweden-Switzerland, Finland-Slovakia, Belarus-France, Norway-Germany). 

    HALIFAX – The voice behind “cannonading drive” started here, and the Voyageurs thrived in this gem of a barn that now is the practice facility for the IIHF World Championship in Halifax.

    The hallways are concrete and the seats made of wood. The smell of ice and Zamboni fumes hit you the moment you walk into the time machine known as the Forum. Built in 1927, it was the first arena with artificial ice east of Montreal. Today, it is a busy remnant of bygone days, a veritable active museum of sorts.

    When it opened officially on December 21, 1927, the Forum was packed to the rafters. Some 5,500 fans can squeeze in for big games, and over the years there have been many. The roof is almost flat and made of wood. Large tarps hang just below the ceiling to catch dust and dirt. 

    Steel beams near the ice create obstructed views for some fans, but the most remarkable thing about watching a game here is the sound. From every seat in the house you can hear players talk on the bench, officials howl “icing!” and players holler “yep” as they look for a pass. You are not just watching a game here—you are part of the game.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Prince Albert at IHWC

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 5日 Monday

    This was unexpected, but then again I didn’t know that he went to the 2007 tournament in Moscow too. I met him and talked to him briefly at Nagano ’98, wishing him luck on his upcoming bobsleigh competition. He was really easy to talk to, not stuck up at all. I guess those born into royalty can be easygoing like that, instead of nouveau aristocrats. Didn’t know he spent time in Philly though, that was unexpected.

    The son of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and Grace, Princess of Monaco (née Grace Kelly, a legendary Philadelphia-born film actress), gained his rulership in 2005, and is known as an avid sportsman. His Serene Highness graciously granted IIHF.com an interview during the second intermission of Sunday’s Czech Republic vs Russia game.

    “You know, René Fasel had talked to me about the World Championship here, and I knew I had to be in Quebec and Montreal around these dates,” said the Prince. “So I said: ‘Well, can I come over and watch a game?’ And here I am. I was at the World Championship in Moscow last year as well, and it’s great to be at these big events, these international competitions. This is a very special one here in Quebec, because it’s the 100th anniversary of the IIHF and the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. Both Quebec and Canada have a very strong tradition in hockey, as powerhouses in this sport. I’m happy to pay my respects.”

    The Prince participates in everything from tennis and swimming to handball and fencing. He has a particular passion for winter sports. In fact, he represented Monaco in bobsleighing at five straight Winter Olympics between 1988 and 2002. It’s no wonder he’s developed a taste for hockey as well.

    “Over the years, I’ve been watching different games in France, Europe, and at the Olympics,” he said. “I was also a student in the United States, and I saw the Rangers play a few times, as well as the Flyers, because part of my family is from Philadelphia. Perhaps I shouldn’t talk about the Flyers too much today, because they beat the Canadiens last night! I also watched the Flames play in Calgary many times. Because of bobsleighing, I was in Calgary a couple of times a year.”

    The Prince’s personal favourites in hockey are based on his family background and appreciation for pure skill.
     
    “Because my family is from Philadelphia, I’ve always followed the Flyers a little more intensely than other clubs. As for players, I had the chance to see Wayne Gretzky play a few times in his day. He was an incredible player, with incredible talent and charisma. I would also say I remember watching Slava Fetisov play. He’s now the Russian Minister of Sport, but he was an incredibly talented player too.”

    Posted in 02_English, culture, hockey, information, International, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »