Custom Search

Tough day for Leaf youngsters at the Worlds

Saturday was a difficult day for the young and would-be future Maple Leafs at the World Championships in Germany.

The gutsy and determined German side very nearly upset the heavily-favored Russian juggernaut. Germany should have been over-matched against a team filled with NHL and KHL stars. But they pushed the Russians right to the end and will play for pride -and a bronze medal - Sunday in front of a huge home crowd.

The Russians may have been looking past the local favorites and ahead to Sunday’s final where they will play for gold. (Semin and Varlamov did not play, but are scheduled to be in the lineup for Sunday’s championship game.)

Unfortunately, the young Leaf prospect I wrote about yesterday, Korbinian Holzer, was hit from behind by future Leaf teammate Nikola Kulemin in the first period. Holzer missed the rest of the game and I doubt he’ll be able to play in the bronze medal game. As I write this, I don’t know if Kulemin is facing a suspension, in addition to being thrown out of the remainder of the semi-final game.

Meanwhile, Sweden was seconds away from earning a berth in the finals but the Czcech Republic tied it late 2-2 and subsequently won the shootout. Jonas Gustavsson and Carl Gunnarsson acquitted themselves consistently well throughout the tournament, but will be denied the chance to play on the big stage against the Russians for gold.

Nonetheless, as I’ve posted throughout the tournament, this has to have been a great experience for each of these young (or prospective) Leafs. They will now have to prepare this summer for the raised bar that all the Leafs will be facing when they head to training camp in September.

No comments:

Post a Comment