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Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Euro Curve chronicles the latest international hockey news.

As everyone continues to enjoy their holiday season, Illegal Curve provides hockey fans with excellent insight and analysis on the two major international hockey tournaments which take place every December; the 2008 U-20 World Junior Hockey Championships from Pardubice, Czech Republic and the 2008 Spengler Cup Hockey tournament, held in Davos, Switzerland.

- Canada is three-time defending champion at the 2008 World Junior Championships, and won their 19th consecutive game on Wednesday afternoon, defeating the host Czech Republic 3-0, on the strength of two John Tavares goals. The 17-year-old Oshawa General, who isn't draft eligible until 2009, leads a new youth movement for the Crazy Canucks, which also features 2008 draft hopefuls Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty, two other 17-year-olds who played impressively in their first WJC games respectively.

Canada didn't bring their A-game for the opening contest but played well enough to win. Los Angeles Kings goaltending prospect Jonathan Bernier was the star of the game, stopping 44 shots and earning the goose egg. Canada will play Slovakia tomorrow morning, a team they beat in exhibition play last week.

Other Scores:

Sweden 4 Slovakia 3
USA 5 Kazakhstan 1
Russia 7 Finland 4

Tomorrow's games:

Canada vs. Slovakia, 10 a.m. ET, Pardubice Arena
Kazakhstan vs. Russia, 10 a.m. ET, Tipsport Arena
Czech Republic vs. Denmark, 2 p.m. ET, Pardubice Arena
Finland vs. Switzerland, 2 p.m. ET, Tipsport Arena

- The opening match at the Spengler Cup Tournament was entertaining to say the least, as Canada needed the overtime shootout to beat HC Pardubice 4-3. Dale MacTavish and Captain Serge Aubin had the shootout goals for Team Canada while Curtis Joseph provided superb goaltending, stopping everything in the extra fame. Manitobans Kirby Law and J.P Vigier put Canada ahead 3-2 late in the second period but the Czech Republic squared the contest in the third period on a 5-on-3 man advantage.

In the only other game of the day, Adler Mannheim upset host club HC Davos by a score of 3-2.

Tomorrow's games:

HC Moller Pardubice vs. Salavat Yulaev Ufa, 9:00 a.m. ET.
HC Davos vs. Team Canada, 2:15 p.m. ET.

For Illegal Curve, I'm Ezra Ginsburg.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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