World Juniors Recap Day 7
After a day off, it was back to work at the World Juniors, with all of the action shifting to Calgary.
Relegation Game 1: Switzerland vs. Denmark
The first of the relegation games had Switzerland taking on Denmark. Just 70 seconds into the contest, Oliver Bjorkstrand makes it 1-0 for the Danes. 35 seconds later, Cedric Schneuwly ties the game for the Swiss. Less than two minutes later, Alessio Bertaggia makes it 2-1 Switzerland. Nicklas Jensen ties it up 2-2 for the Danes late in the opening period. Just over two minutes into the second period, Emil Kristensen commits hooking on a breakway, leading to a penalty shot and the Swiss with a chance to take the lead. Gregory Hofmann takes the shot, and scores to make it 3-2 Switzerland. Jensen would get his second of the game at 7:26 of the period, tying the game 3-3. With no scoring in the third period, the game went to overtime. 3:27 into the extra period, Tanner Richard scores to give the Swiss a 4-3 victory.
Quarterfinal Game 1: Finland vs. Slovakia
4:29 into the game, Joel Armia opens the scoring to make it 1-0 Finland. Nearly 10 minutes later, Matus Chovan ties it up for Slovakia. 8 seconds later, Roope Hamalainen makes it 2-1 for the Finns. With 30 seconds to go in the period, Marek Tvrdon ties it up for Slovakia. In the second period, Finland asplodes for 4 unanswered goals, the first of which occurs 5:32 in, Mikael Granlund scoring to make it 3-2. Over a minute later, his brother Markus makes it 4-2. At 9:53, Markus strikes again, making it 5-2. Aleksander Barkov makes it 6-2 at 11:45. At 13:36, Richard Mraz makes it 6-3. 5 minutes into the third, Martin Daloga makes it 6-4. With under 9 minutes to go in the game, Chovan receives a boarding major and is ejected from the game. It results in another powerplay goal for Finland at 12:51, the goal scored by Joonas Sonskoi. Slovakia then takes another penalty, a minor, and Finland scores on the 5-on-3 with Teemu Pulkkinen making it 8-4. Slovakia gets one more goal near the end, making it 8-5, but that’s all they could do. Finland moves onto the semifinals to play Sweden while the Slovaks await their next opponent.
Quarterfinal Game 2: Russia vs. Czech Republic
This game ended up becoming a duel of the goalies. The starters were Petr Mrazek for the Czechs, and Andrei Vasilevski for the Russians. 5:30 into the game, Jiri Riha takes a slashing penalty. No scoring through one. Early in the second, Igor Ozhiganov takes an interference call. No scoring on that powerplay. The Czechs would break through 7:16 into the middle period when Jakub Culek solves Vasilevski to make it 1-0. With 8:13 to go in that period, Russia would respond when Danil Apalkov ties it up. A very quiet third period only sees one penalty called, a high stick by Russia’s Nikita Kucherov in the final minute of regulation. The Czechs would start overtime with 1:46 of 4-on-3. They would not capitalize, and just 90 seconds into the extra period, a hero emerged. It would be Grigori Zheldakov of Russia, and he scores the winning goal sending Russia to the semifinals.
On Tuesday, another relegation game is then followed by the semifinals. In relegation, the United States will take on Latvia, while in the semifinals, Sweden will take on Finland and Canada will take on Russia, the latter of which we shall hope to be a classic.