Seventh time’s the charm – Team Canada was eliminated Thursday morning (3 A.M., Pacific) when they lost to Team Slovakia, a team who hasn’t beaten them since 2002. Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic will all join Slovakia in the semis.
Team Slovakia picked up a 2-0 lead when Branko Radivojevic wristed the puck off of Tomas Kopecky’s pants and past Cam Ward to tally the first, followed by Miroslav Satan beating a crowd in front to extend the lead even further. Evander Kane would be the one to get Canada on the board after Ryan Getzlaf took the puck to the net and there was the opportunity of a loose puck for Kane.
The second period was somewhat of a turnaround for Canada, who tallied another goal when Jordan Eberle’s breakaway attempt with Dion Phaneuf was stopped and Jeff Skinner got the puck past Jan Laco to tie the game.
Alexandre Burrows gave Canada the lead later in the second period, and it stayed that way until there were only six and a half minutes left in the third; at this point, Milan Bartovic tied the game when he collected his own rebound and introduced it to the back of the net. Later on in the third, Ryan Getzlaf was given a five-minute kneeing major and a game misconduct. Four seconds later, Michal Handzus tipped Andrej Sekera’s shot past Ward to put the Slovaks ahead and eventually, eliminate Team Canada.
“He jumped inside on me,” Getzlaf said about the hit on Juraj Mikus. “He’s a smaller guy. All I tried to do was get a piece of him with my shoulder, which I did. It’s a sick way to lose; it’s a tough pill to swallow. It hurts. It hurts like hell right now. To lose in that fashion is not easy to swallow. The guys worked way too hard to be delivered something like that.”
It’s the third year in a row that Canada has been eliminated in the quarter-finals. Now, along with the fifth place finish, they get a participation ribbon and a free flight home.