May 20 2014 ISN – Team Canada didn’t let a questionable disallowed goal call cost them their game against Norway.
Jonathan Huberdeau’s stick in the crease took one off the board, but Joel Ward scored twice and Mark Scheifele once to give Canada a 3-2 victory over the Norwegians on Tuesday at Chizhovka-Arena in Minsk and first place in Group A at the world hockey championship.
Canada’s opponent for Thursday’s quarter-final will be either Latvia, Finland or Belarus but is still to be determined. By passing Sweden for the top spot in the group, the Canadians ensured they cannot play Russia until a potential gold-medal game Sunday.
That opportunity almost slipped away thanks to a power-play goal in the first period from Kevin Bieksa that was waved off for goaltender interference. Norwegian goaltender Steffen Soberg also stifled Canada’s attack with 39 saves on 42 shots.
Down the other end, James Reimer gave up goals to Anders Bastiansen and Mads Hansen.
Canada finished the preliminary round 6-0-1, the only blemish coming in the first game, a shootout loss to France.
The Canadians controlled the play early on, not allowing Norway its first shot until 7:27 in and its first real scoring chance at 11:20. But a troubling trend of penalties put them down 1-0.
With Nathan MacKinnon off for slashing, Kyle Turris couldn’t win the defensive-zone faceoff, and the puck trickled in front of Reimer. Bastiansen beat Matt Read to it and had an uncontested shot and goal at 13:05, just five seconds into MacKinnon’s penalty.
Canada should have tied the score at 15:01 on a power-play goal by captain Kevin Bieksa. Instead, the officials waved it off for goaltender interference on Jonathan Huberdeau.
Huberdeau’s body and both skates were entirely out of the crease, but his stick blade was not, which according to IIHF rules means the the goal is disallowed.
Latvia had its potential tying goal disallowed in a similar situation in the last minute Monday night against host Belarus. Buffalo Sabres and Latvian coach Ted Nolan questioned the referee for not checking it on instant replay and wondered if the ref wanted the game over to go have a beer.
Canadian coach Dave Tippett’s reaction on the bench Tuesday included a clear expletive. His team went the rest of the period and three more power plays without the tying goal.
But it finally came 3:36 into the second period on yet another power play, drawn by Troy Brouwer on Norway’s Mats Trygg. Ryan Ellis got an open shot from the point that Ward tipped by Soberg while skating in front.
A defensive miscue and a perfect stretch pass by Norway’s Nicolai Bryhnisveen put Canada behind once again. Hansen split and blew past defenceman Braydon Coburn and Tyler Myers to get in alone on Reimer and beat him clean 12:16 into the second.
Canada trailed for just over four minutes until Bieksa’s shot off Soberg’s left pad bounced in front and Schefeile pounced to score and tie it again at 16:25.
Norway’s penalty-filled game eventually helped Canada score the go-ahead goal 10:43 into the third. With nine seconds left on the power play, Ward got a no-look pass in front from Huberdeau and snapped a perfect shot over Soberg.
Bieksa took a late roughing penalty that put Canada on its heels, but the penalty kill came through and that sealed the victory.
Also, United States captain Justin Abdelkader returned from one-game suspension and scored two goals to lead the Americans over Germany 5-4 in their final group stage game. The U.S. is second in Group B.