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World Junior Championship pocket book: Canada downs USA in thriller, Sweden’s streak nonetheless alive

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Particular groups the distinction as Canada tops USA in thrilling opening matchThere was no higher option to kick off the event than having two of the event’s largest rivals open issues up. And, as anticipated, the assembly between the Canadians and People didn’t disappoint with Canada taking a 6-Four victory in a hotly contested affair.
Penalties killed Canada within the opening 20 minutes, with energy play targets by Shane Pinto and Arthur Kaliyev placing the People up by two early. Particular groups have been simply as vital within the second. Barrett Hayton and Nolan Foote each fired arduous pictures over Spencer Knight’s glove on the facility play, with Connor McMichael potting one at full power to present Canada the Three-2 benefit heading into the ultimate body.
The targets didn’t cease within the third. Hayton scored on the facility play at 50:47, solely to have Nicholas Robertson snipe one two minutes later, one of many uncommon even-strength objective within the contest. 4 minutes later, Pinto had his second – with the person benefit, after all – however Alexis Lafreniere scored simply seven seconds after the following faceoff to revive Canada’s lead. Later, Lafreniere gained a puck battle with little multiple minute left to ship Ty Dellandrea streaking down the ice on an empty web, topping off Canada’s victory at 6-Four.
It was Canada’s first win up to now 5 tries in opposition to the People, and with Group B that includes one of many strongest fields in current historical past, Canada’s win was large for the staff’s momentum. The People will look to place one within the win column in opposition to Germany on Friday.
Swedes hold round-robin streak alive with OT win over FinlandSweden may have an opportunity for its 50th consecutive win on Saturday after defeating Finland Three-2 in time beyond regulation.
The motion was intense in Trinec, with Colorado Avalanche prospect Justus Annunen stopping all 15 Sweden pictures within the opening interval. Patrik Puistola helped Annunen out by scoring the primary objective of the sport, knocking in Anttoni Honka’s feed on the person benefit to attain the lone objective within the first interval.
The Swedes scored early within the second with what can solely be described because the early favourite for objective of the event. Simply as he has achieved twice earlier than within the Swedish League, Vancouver Canucks prospect Nils Hoglander scooped the puck up and corralled it previous Annunen, tying the sport up with an excellent lacrosse objective. Kristian Tanus restored the Finns’ lead throughout a scramble, placing stress on Sweden to maintain its round-robin profitable streak alive.
In additional time, Alex Holtz – one member of Sweden’s ‘Terror Twins’ – gave Sweden the victory. Holtz acquired a move simply contained in the zone and fired it excessive glove on Annunen, placing Sweden’s streak at 49 video games. That streak dates again to 2006, when Holtz, the OT hero, was simply 4 years outdated.
Czechs stun Russia in high-scoring affair
Expectations have been excessive for the Czech Republic on house ice, however few predicted the staff to stun Russia – a gold-medal favourite – on the opening day of the event. With a Four-Three win, the Czech Republic received a worthwhile three factors that might relieve any worries in regards to the Czechs falling to the relegation spherical.
The Czechs began with targets from Simon Kubicek and Jan Mysak earlier than the halfway mark of the primary, however Yegor Zamula and Vasili Podkolzin tied the affair earlier than intermission. The back-and-forth contest noticed Matej Blumel and Zamula rating for the Czechs and Russians respectively, however a slew of Russian penalties resulted in an absence of sustained momentum for the pre-game favorites. Jan Jenik scored on a two-man benefit earlier than the tip of the second to in the end hand the Czechs the win, and a pair of late Russian penalties dissolved any hope within the dying minutes.
The loss means Russia is unlikely to win Group B, not with Canada and america nonetheless on the schedule. The Czech Republic performs Germany Saturday, and if the Czech can go 2-Zero, meaning Germany can be pressured to beat one of many event powerhouses to keep away from the relegation spherical.
Swiss erase early deficit to deal with KazakhstanThis sport had main bearings on the relegation spherical. If Kazakhstan was in a position to pull off the upset victory, these three factors, plus the head-to-head benefit, would assist them when it mattered most.
However regardless of tying the sport up on three events, the Kazakhs couldn’t take the lead at any level and fell quick within the third interval. Matthew Berboon had two targets, whereas defenseman David Aebischer generated lots of the Swiss scoring probabilities and had two recorded two helpers. Jeremi Gerber, Gian-Marco Wetter and Joel Salzgerber every had targets for Switzerland, whereas Maxim Murosov had two of Kazakhstan’s three targets. Ruslan Demin had the Kazakhs’ different marker.
Essentially the most notable second of the competition was how Salzberger scored. His shot from exterior the zone deflected off the backboards and bounced between the legs of Kazakhstan’s goaltender Vladislav Nurek. Nurek turned and knocked the puck in his personal web, giving the Swiss the Three-2 objective. That was a turning level. Had he stopped that easy alternative, Kazakhstan might have had an upset on its fingers.
Kazakhstan’s subsequent sport can be vital. A loss to Slovakia may put Kazakhstan’s quarterfinal hopes out of attain.
Draft WatchRussian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov, projected to go within the prime 10 of the draft this 12 months, was crushed 4 instances on his the primary 12 pictures he confronted. Askarov, 17, is the youngest goaltender within the event, however he couldn’t overcome early jitters and noticed his night time finish with 4 targets in opposition to on 17 pictures. Given the stress, this gained’t assist his hopes of wrangling the beginning spot away from 19-year-old Amir Miftakhov.
Three Stars
Alexis Lafreniere, Canada (1G, 3A, 4P) – The difference-maker for Canada. Scored the game-winning objective and authored the play that put the sport away.
Shane Pinto, USA (2G, 1A, 3P) – If the People managed to carry on, it might have been for the improbable play of Pinto. Did every little thing proper regardless of early criticisms of his heavy utilization in opposition to Canada.
Yegor Zamula, Russia (2G, 0A, 2P) – Not the outcome the Russians wished, however Zamula was vital in his staff’s comeback hopes.
On Faucet
Friday — Dec. 27, 2018Kazakhstan vs. Slovakia, 9 a.m. ETU.S. vs. Germany, 1 p.m. ET
Saturday – Dec. 28, 2018Slovakia vs. Finland, 9 a.m. ETCzech Republic vs. Germany, 9 a.m. ETCanada vs. Russia, 1 p.m. ETSwitzerland vs. Sweden, 1 p.m. ET
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Tags: world junior championshipConnect: In regards to the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.

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