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05-08-2004, 12:28 PM
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Canada going to the finals again after controversial winner!

It was only fitting that Rob Niedermayer and Shawn Horcoff were in on the winning goal early in the third period of this afternoon's Canada-Slovakia game here at Sazka Arena. It was their extraordinary spadework in covering the potent line of Satan-Gaborik-Stumpel that contributed so much to the fine team effort, but it was a goal rife with controversy and at the next faceoff the fans continued their ear-splitting disapproval.

On the play, Niedermayer headed behind the Slovak goal just as Jan Lasak was coming out to play the puck along the boards. Behind the net, Lasak stumbled on his way back to the crease and Niedermayer made contact with him. Lasak fell, and the puck came around to the point, where Steve Staios quickly put the puck on goal. Horcoff was there to push in the loose puck, and Lasak went right for referee Rick Looker, hoping to convince the ref of a goalie interference call. Looker stood by his decision, but the fans littered the ice with debris.

The rest of the game was intense and hard-hitting, and ended with some pushing and shoving representative of a game with no love lost. Canada now advances to the gold medal game Sunday, and the Slovaks to the bronze-medal game earlier that day. Canada played also in the 2003 Gold Medal game against Sweden, winning 3-2 on overtime.


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