NHL-Kolumne von Ron Reusch
Paul Stastny Leads Team USA Win Surprising World Championship Bronze Medal
Team Captain Paul Stastny had it absolutely right in the minutes after Team USA had beaten Finland 3-2 in a shootout to take the bronze medal at the World Hockey Championships. Stastny asked, “Who would have picked us to finish third? Absolutely no-one.”
The American team entered the tournament with five players under the age of 21, three of them only 19. Yet they scratched and clawed their way into the quarterfinals with an unlikely 8-3 win over Russia, fought off the disappointment of Saturday’s 3-0 semi-final loss to Switzerland to earn a US world championship medal for the first time in nine years.
Ultimately, it was all Stastny. While babysitting an inexperienced group of players, most of them in their first year in professional hockey, he also carried the team offensively.
In the bronze medal game, he assisted on the game’s opening goal and scored himself to give the Americans a 2-0. Finland battled back to tie the game but nineteen year old Alex Galchenyuk won the game for the U.S. by scoring twice in the shootout round.
Stastny centered Nashville’s Craig Smith and veteran Phoenix Coyotes right winger David Moss. In ten games the line combined for 15 goals 22 assists. Stastny finished second in the tournament scoring race with 7 goals and 8 assists, one point behind Finland’s Petri Kontiola. He was named to the tournament All-Star team along with forwards Kontiola and Sweden’s Henrik Sedin.
Stastny told reporters “It’s my third world championship. Twice my teams have lost to Finland, once in a shootout and once with ten seconds left. So I guess the third time’s a charm.”
And now his father and uncles are not the only ones in the Stastny family with a World Championship medal.
Paul Stastny’s Record at the World Championship –
10 Games Played - 7 goals, 8 assists – 15 points. Plus-7. 6 Penalty Minutes - Faceoff Percentage 59.62 (86 of127).
All-Star Team selected by the media
Goal: Jhonas Enroth, Sweden
Defense: Roman Josi, Switzerland / Julien Vauclair, Switzerland
FWD: Petri Kontiola, Finland / Paul Stastny, USA / Henrik Sedin, Sweden
MVP: Roman Josi, Switzerland
Ron Reusch, der in Montreal beheimatet ist, arbeitet seit fünf Jahrzehnten im Medienbereich. In seiner Karriere als Journalist war er u.a. auch für CTV Television tätig. Er kommentierte zahlreiche Großereignisse wie die Olympischen Winterspiele 1980, 1984, 1988 und 1992, sowie mehrere NHL-Spielzeiten. Er zählt zu den wichtigsten Experten der NHL. Ron Reusch ist ein Freund von Pat Cortina und hat den EHC Red Bull München während des Lockouts beraten.
NHL-Kolumne vom 26. Februar: Deutsch
NHL-Kolumne vom 26. April: Englisch