That's Bul ... anov

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

INNSBRUCK -- After the 5-4 loss to Sweden last night, a number of Team Canada players skated over to the referee. It wasn't to wish him well.

They were of the opinion that even though their game hadn't been very good, Russian referee Vyacheslav Bulanov's had been much worse.

They tended to temper their post-game comments with observations about their own poor play, but there was no doubt as to their evaluation of Bulanov's work.

"In the last 10 minutes of the second period, we let it slip away," Shane Doan said. "Give them credit for that. But having seven penalties against you kind of disrupts the flow a lot."

His explanation? "It's the world championship. It's a different game. That's the way that it works here. That's the way it is."

The Canadians started off with the first three penalties of the game and over the course of the evening, the Swedes had seven power plays to Canada's five.

But there were other decisions that were dubious -- hand-pass decisions, frozen pucks, non-calls and so on -- that the Canadians felt went against them.

"We worked extremely hard throughout the game," captain Ryan Smyth said. "The officiating, I thought, was not the greatest I've seen, but those are the little adversity things that you've got to fight through."

Goaltender Martin Brodeur's over-all evaluation of the game was this: "You've got to give them credit. They played hard. They went to the net.

"This is as good a team as we'll face in the tournament. I thought we did great. Just a couple of adjustments, a little more discipline, better calls from the referees and it will be a different outcome.

"People get frustrated, but these are thing you have to expect in international hockey."


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