BRITISH COLUMBIA – It was the second day of preliminary competition at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, as teams would finally play in their first game of the tournament, while others would be onto their second game.
Here’s a recap of each game that took place:
Denmark vs. Russia
Result: Russia won 4-0
Not even 24 hours after their 14-0 loss to Canada, Denmark had very little time to recuperate as they had to square off against a well-rested Russian team, who (as usual) look very tough.
The hockey giants out of Europe feature some of the top prospects on the planet such as Vitali Kravtsov (Rangers), Klim Kostin (Blues), Grigori Denisenko (Panthers), and projected top-10 pick for this year’s upcoming draft Vasili Podkolzin.
Another disadvantage that Denmark had to deal with was the loss of starting goaltender Mads Sogaard, one of the top goalie prospects for the draft. The Medicine Hat Tiger was injured in the loss to Canada.
The Russians may have expected to roll through the Danes, however it was not the case. Russia could not break the game open entirely, but did find a way to get the 4-0 victory.
Montreal second-round pick Alexander Romanov had a goal and 2 assists, while Kravtsov and Kostin also chipped in with a pair of points.
Russia’s next opponent will be quite the challenge as they are paired with the Czech Republic, while Denmark play the Swiss on Saturday.
Sweden vs. Slovakia
Result: Sweden won 5-2
After both teams were coming off a tough first game in which the Swedes survived the rival Fins, and the Slovaks were unable to complete the upset against the United States, Sweden and Slovakia had to forget about the night before the play against one another.
Sweden’s powerplay was once again put on display, scoring two of their goals on the man-advantage. Emil Bemstrom (Blue Jackets) had a pair of goals while Erik Brannstrom (Golden Knights) scored their third goal of the tournament, all coming from the powerplay. With Sweden’s victory, their streak of consecutive round-robin victories pushes to 46.
Both teams will have the opportunity to rest up on Friday, but will get back to work on Saturday, with Sweden playing the United States and Slovakia playing Finland.
Canada vs. Switzerland
Result: Canada won 3-2
Following their dominant performance over Denmark the night before, Canada had a tough task in repeating their win against a well-rounded Swiss team. The two nations already had a feel for one another, as the two played in a pre-tournament game, with Canada pulling away with the 5-3 win.
Much so like the Russians, despite the heavy attack that Canada put up, they were unable to break the game open, slowly chipping away for the win. Cody Glass (Golden Knights), MacKenzie Entwhistle (Blackhawks), and Noah Dobson (Islanders) all scored for Canada, while Philipp Kurashev (Blackhawks) netted both goals for the Swiss.
Canada will play host to the Czech Republic on Saturday, and on the very same day Switzerland will play the Danes.
Finland vs. Kazakhstan
Result: Finland won 5-0
With their inability to find the back of the net the night before, Finland were given the perfect chance to find their offensive touch against Kazakhstan, who are playing in their first game of the tournament.
While the Fins were able to score 5 goals on their way to victory (including goals from Kappo Kakko and Blackhawks prospect Henri Jokiharju), ironically the star of the night was Kazakhstan goaltender Vladislav Nurek, who stopped a total of 51 shots in the losing effort.
Nurek will look to repeat his performance on Friday against the States, while the Fins will play on Saturday against Slovakia.
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