Tom Marechek had two goals and five assists to propel Canada past Australia, 15-11, yesterday in the World Games semifinals at Homewood Field. The Canadians (4-1) return to the championship game for the first time in eight years and have their sights set on a rematch with the rival United States tomorrow.
"The game against the U.S. two nights ago could have gone either way," Canada coach Frank Nielsen said of the Americans' 14-12 victory. "They're primed for us and we're primed for them."
With the game tied at 2 midway through the first quarter, Canada fed its cutters inside to score eight straight goals. Marechek, a star attackman at Syracuse in the early '90s, had three assists in that span.
Australia, the 1994 silver medalist, surged back with a 3-0 run to open the second half, but Marechek converted a wide-open shot off a failed clear to put Canada ahead 11-7 with 11 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Canada, which avenged a one-goal loss to Australia in the 1994 semifinals, maintained a lead of at least four goals the rest of the way.
"This is the best team I've been on," said Marechek, who is playing in his third World Games. "We have a lot more young guys and the chemistry is just there."
England 13, Scotland 6: England pulled away in the second half to knock off its neighbor to the north and secure its first victory of the tournament.
After England raced to a 4-0 lead, Scotland cut the deficit to 4-3 on a goal by Zack Aitken early in the third period. It was all England after that, though. A balanced attack led by Paul Fullerton, James Mitchell, Colin Carr and Alex Mitchell, who each had three points, scored eight of the next nine goals to give the English a comfortable victory.
"We ran out of steam at the end," said Phil Collier, Scotland's coach.
England coach Mark Coups was happy to finally win a game.
"It's excellent. Performing can only happen with confidence and we had confidence today," Coups said. "I had no doubts about today's game, I knew we'd win. It was just a matter of time until [Scotland] wore down."
John Robinson scored three goals to lead Scotland, which will take on Japan in the seventh-place game tomorrow. England will play Germany for fifth place.
Germany 5, Japan 4: Germany avenged an earlier loss to the Japanese on a late goal by Brian Bendig. The Germans rallied from deficits of 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3, and Bendig scored the winning and tying goals in the last 10 minutes.
On the winning score, Bendig dived for a ground ball and swatted it between the legs of Japanese goalie Yuji Shimada. "Thank God my hockey training came into play," said Bendig, who once played junior hockey in Canada.
"We changed our offensive approach. We held the ball for minutes at a time," German coach Cabell Maddux said. "We wanted to slow it down and match their slow pace. It worked perfectly."
A tying goal by Japan was nullified with less than three minutes left because of a stick in the crease.
Tomohiko Kobayashi scored twice for the Japanese.
Czech Republic 10, Wales 5: The Czechs never trailed in posting their second victory of the tournament, both coming against Wales. Pavel Kurz had four goals and Petr Novotny added two goals and two assists.
David Arnott scored three times for winless Wales.
The Czechs will play Sweden tomorrow, with the winner taking ninth place.
Wales became the fourth team to go winless in its first world championships, following England (1967), Iroquois Nation (1990) and Japan (1994).
Pub Date: 7/23/98