I read the article linked to the home page on IHC about the Finals then went to the FIRS site to get the "actuals". 4 of the 5 USA goals were scored during power plays. That is NEVER mentioned anywhere in that article. This is why one magazine will never work. One sided writings don't help the sport. And everyone knows that CJ Yoder hates physical play and he got the ONLY 10 minute penalty(holding?). Even with that it sounds like this was an exciting game to watch going to the last few seconds before a winner was decided. Wish I could have seen it!!
Re: Eyewitness Account
I had the pleasure of attending the FIRS Championship Game in Rochester on Thursday night, as well as the Consolation Game between the Czech Republic and France.
The game between Czech and France was equally as exciting. The French team is a smaller team that relies on their speed to get past the defense while the Czech team is a little bigger that plays a positional game and takes advantage of their opportunities. The Czechs jumped out to a 2-0 lead early on but the French fought back to tie just before the half. The Czechs regained their 2-goal cushion in the second half but again the French tried to mount a comeback. They got to 4-3 before the Czech team made it 5-3 putting the game away. The Czech team scored some pretty, pretty goals, especially a couple of backhand, topshelf goals that would have made the highlight reel in any league. The French goalie looked a little weak, or maybe he was just having a bad game.
The Gold Medal game between the US and Canada was like watching a RHI All-Star Game. I hadn't been watching the rosters before I made the hour drive to Rochester from Buffalo but it turns out there were 3 former Buffalo Wings players involved in the game. Scott Humphrey (Stampede-'95 & Wings-'99) played was a backup goalie and Chris Palmer (Wings-'98) played forward for Canada while Ziggy Marzelek (Wings-'97) played forward for the US. But in this game you had guys like Hugo Belanger, Kevin St. Jacques, Bill Lund, Gary Gulash, Rob Laurie, CJ & Jamie Yoder, Kevin Kerr and Jamie Cooke just to name a few. All the players on both teams played with a lot of intensity. That's why CJ Yoder got the 10 minute misconduct. He was more upset with the timing of the initial call then the call itself. This was one of those games where the referees decided to pick and choose when to call penalties. As a coach, this was something I was keen to as I watched the game. There were numerous infractions that the refs saw but let go and when the clock was running down and the score was close, they decided to pull out their whistles. But ultimately, I don't believe the refs decided the final outcome. It was an extremely hard fought game and very exciting to watch, but I'm going to open up an old can of worms here by saying that I think the game would have been more exciting if they allowed checking. There were a couple of times, expecially late in the game, where the players got in each other's faces and you just know that during the game they were itching to pop each other. I truly believe that this game would have been more exciting if checking would have been allowed. I know some people will disagree with me, particularly CJ Yoder.
Anyway, there were 3 exciting young kids to watch in the future (I already have 2 of them lined-up to play for the Wings) all played for Team Canada; Nathan Harrison, Ben Franks and Brett Legatt. Legatt played great in goal in this game for Canada, although he played between some magical posts as the US hit the post 5 TIMES in this game. He did make some spectacular saves, though, especially at the end of the game.
The only thing that I was disappointed with was the attendance. The ESL Center is a nice place. It is a 4-pad ice complex, only a few years old, that had 2 sheets open for roller hockey. The main rink has seating for about 1,800 but for the men's World Championship Game, there was maybe 150 people there at best. For the Women's World Championship Game held the week prior, there was at least twice that many, but that was helped by the fact that many of the men's teams had just arrived for their portion of the event and came by to check out the action. I noticed that there were local TV cameras taping footage for the local news, so they got some media attention. I don't know what could have been done differently to bring more people to such an exciting game.
Vice President of Operations
Buffalo Wings Roller Hockey
Re: FIRS FINALS
Press releases from the organization that helps put the tournament together ar never going to tell the whole story.
But, I'll bet the U.S. would have won both FIRS and IIHF if they'd put one team together between the two teams that finished 2nd and 5th...
But that'll never happen, because FIRS and IIHF's selfish blind pursuit of their own success over that of roller hockey itself is killing the sport...