Notebook From Halifax
Andrew Podnieks
December 27, 2002

Canada’s eight goals against Sweden last night were the most scored against Tre Kronor by that country since 1986 when it beat Sweden 9-2. But before Canadian fans get too proud, Swedes might recall the game in 1976 when the World Juniors were an invitational tournament and not yet sanctioned by the IIHF. That year, Sweden beat a green Canadian team 17-1, the worst international loss in Canada’s history…

an odd moment occurred in the Germany-Finland game yesterday. Inside the Finnish zone, the puck bounced in the air and a German player batted the puck forward and headed off. The puck went directly to goalie Kari Lehtonen. Was it a shot on goal? Had Lehtonen flubbed the puck, would the goal count? No and no. The puck cannot be directed into the net with a hand any more than by a kicking motion, so not only would the goal have been disallowed but it was not considered a "shot" on goal, either…

The Stanley Cup arrives in Halifax today and will be on display at Fan Fest for the next three days at the Metro Convention Centre adjoining the Metro Centre arena…Canada, Finland, and Slovakia are the only countries here without a 17-year-old on the roster. Belarus has four, Russia and Switzerland three, Germany and USA two, and the Czechs and Sweden one each…

The youngest player in the tournament is also the player most likely to win Best Forward honours—Alexander Ovechkin, who turned 17 on September 17…

Much is made of Canada having always won a medal when it hosts the U20, but even more interesting is that the Soviets/Russians have an even better record on the soil of their greatest rivals. Canada has won two gold, two silver, and a bronze in the five World Juniors held in Canada, but the Russians have won three golds and two silvers. If play from Day One in Nova Scotia is any indication, history favours see another Canada-Russia gold-medal game on January 5—but that’s a long way away right now.

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