Month: December 2018 (page 1 of 3)

WJC Day 5 roundup

Russia stays undefeated with win against Switzerland

By NHL.com

Russia 7, Switzerland 4

Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton Oilers), Alexander Alexeyev (Washington Capitals), Grigori Denisenko (Florida Panthers) and Vitali Kravtsov (New York Rangers) each had a goal and an assist to help Russia defeat Switzerland 7-4 in preliminary round Group A action at the IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Sunday.

Forward Kirill Slepets, who is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, put Russia ahead 4-3 with a shorthanded 2:04 into the third period.

Kirill Marchenko (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Pavel Shen (Boston Bruins) also scored for Russia (3-0-0-0), which plays Canada (3-0-0-0) for the top spot in Group A on Monday.

Danil Tarasov (Blue Jackets) made 27 saves for Russia, including two penalty shots awarded on the same play with 3:05 left in the second period and the game tied 3-3.

Marco Lehmann scored twice, and Valentin Nussbaumer and Yannick Bruschweiler each had a goal and an assist for Switzerland (1-0-1-2), which failed to protect 2-0 and 3-1 leads.

Akira Schmid (New Jersey Devils) made 34 saves for Switzerland.

Slovakia 11, Kazakhstan 2

Andrej Kollar scored a hat trick in Slovakia’s 11-2 win against Kazakhstan in a Group B preliminary-round game at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, British Columbia.

Adam Ruzicka (Calgary Flames) had two goals and an assist, Marcel Dlugos scored two goals, Adam Liska, Milos Roman (Flames), Filip Krivosik and Pavol Regenda each had a goal and an assist, and Samuel Hlavaj made 15 saves for Slovakia (1-0-0-2).

Artur Gatiyatov scored two goals for Kazakhstan (0-0-0-3).

KalPa edges Canada in shootout for Spengler Cup title

KalPa Kuopio wins the Spengler cup for the first time

By The Canadian Press

Jaakko Rissanen scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give Finnish club KalPa Kuopio a 2-1 win over three-time defending champion Canada in the final of the Spengler Cup on Monday.

KalPa goalie Denis Godla led his team to a 3-2 shootout win against Canada netminder Zach Fucale and his squad.

Rissanen beat Fucale with a high backhand before Godla made a pad save on Canada captain Andrew Ebbett to end it.

The shootout was tied at 2-2 following three shooters each, bringing it to sudden death. Godla — the MVP of the 2015 world junior championship when he lifted Slovakia to a bronze medal — made five straight saves for the win.

Canada fell just shot of matching its run of four consecutive Spengler Cup titles from 1995 to 1998.

Canada outshot KalPa 40-23.

Daniel Winnik opened the scoring for Canada in the third period before Eetu Luostarinen tied it.

It was KalPa’s first Spengler Cup title in the history of the annual holiday tournament.

Spengler Cup Day 5 Recap

Team Canada wins the semi-finals against the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers from Nürnberg 4-2

By Hansruedi Camenisch – Spengler Cup

At the 92nd Spengler Cup, Team Canada easily qualified for the final which will take place on Monday (12:00 noon). Led by the outstanding Zack Boychuk, the Canadians won 4-2 against the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

Team Canada’s victory against the Ice Tigers indicates they are on their way to successfully defend the title at the Spengler Cup. With this 16th tournament win, they could take over the sole leadership of the winner statistic. The basis for their semi-final victory against the Germans was set early by the Canadians – in the first period – led by Zack Boychuk. The 29-year old forward, who joined SC Bern from Sevestral Tscherepovets (KHL) during this season and who also played in the successful team at last year’s Spengler Cup, arranged for the early 3-0 lead in the first period. He prepared the first goal with a pass to Cory Emmerton, then sunk the next 2 goals himself.

The Germans never gave up, even when they were clearly behind – Chris DiDomenico increased the lead to 4-0 in the 23rd minute. They showed excellent morale and lots of fighting spirit. In the last period, they were able to reduce the lead to 2-4 thanks to goals shot by Daniel Weiss and Brandon Buck. The Nürnebrgers pleased the crowd with their strong ice hockey at their premiere participation at the Spengler Cup. The highlight for the Germans was their surprising 3-1 victory against Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

KalPa Kuopio wins the semi-final game against Davos 2-1

In the fastest-paced game of the 92nd Spengler Cup tournament, HC Davos fell short in the semi-final game against KalPa Kuopio on Saturday evening. Yannick Frehner was able to equalize the game for the home team in the 46th minute, but just 5 minutes later Jaakko Rissanen re-took the lead for the Finns 2-1. They will play in the finals for the first time on Monday at noon against the defending champion Team Canada.

The Finns started the game like a display of fireworks. Thanks to the exceptional skating skills of all their players, KalPa put so much pressure on the home team that they barely got the puck out of their own zone. The logical result was KalPa’s go-ahead goal after only 131 seconds resulting from a long shot by Kim Nousianen. The Davos team needed quite a bit of time to adjust to the relentless assault by the guests. This was confirmed by the statistic: in the first 11 minutes HCD goaltender Gilles Senn had 11 shots-on-goal to deflect, during the rest of the period only once more.

The intermediate result after 40 minutes was 1-0 for KalPa Kuopio. However, the spectators had absolutely no cause to complain that it was a boring game. Both teams delivered an enthralling, offensive slugfest with many scoring opportunities. The shots-on-goal ratio was 8-8 in the second period, the puck narrowly missing the goal posts often while the players made daredevil shots.

The host team finally made it work in the 46th minute. The 20-year old Yannick Frehner, member of the young 4th block, sunk the puck to make it 1-1. Shortly thereafter the Davos team missed several chances to take the lead during the only power play situation. The opponents did it better. Jaakko Rissanen completed a counterattack after receiving an ideal cross pass from Alexandre Texier 2-1 and secured the final ticket for the Finns.

Pakistan holds first ever Ice Hockey match

PAF won the match penalty shootouts

By Saman Siddiqui – OY! Oye Yeah

Another historic day for sports in Pakistan and a great initiative heralding the beginning of new era in Pakistan’s sports world.

History was made as the first ever ice hockey match was played at PAF Ski Resort,  Naltar Valley on December 29th.

This first ever ice hockey took place between the Ice Hockey teams of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Vs Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts

There was a fine display of extraordinary ski and hockey skills from the players of both the teams.
Due to that none of the team was able to score a goal in the match duration. However, the winner of the match was decided through penalty shootouts.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts Group Picture

PAF won the match with the only goal from Shah Siyar.

Though ice hockey sport is included in the list of the world’s modern games. The history of ice hockey in Gilgit Baltistan region can be related to a local game “Ghatal”, which is also played with two sticks and a ball.

Hope this sports will flourish in Pakistan in coming years and people will get to enjoy Ice Hockey sport on larger scale.

WJC Day 4 roundup

Blackhawks prospect Boqvist wins it after Americans rally to tie with four goals in third period

By NHL.com

Sweden 5, United States 4 OT

Adam Boqvist scored with 1:09 remaining in overtime, and Sweden overcame blowing a four-goal lead in the third period for a 5-4 win against the United States in Group B at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, British Columbia on Saturday.

Boqvist (Chicago Blackhawks) scored from the left circle off a pass from Jacob Olofsson (Montreal Canadiens).

The United States (2-0-1-0) scored four unanswered goals in a span of 7:07 of the third period to tie the game 4-4.

“For sure we have to make better plays but these are young players, they’re still kids so that’s what could happen and it’ll probably happen again,” Sweden coach Tomas Monten said. “Hopefully not in this tournament but for sure in their hockey careers. We came back strong, and in the overtime we had some good chances, and then we capitalized on the 2-on-1 so it was a great win.”

Michael Anderson, the U.S. captain, started the rally with a power-play goal at 9:34 to make it 4-1 before Ryan Poehling (Canadiens) had a natural hat trick. He scored a power-play goal at 13:25 to cut it to 4-2, scored with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker at 19:23 to make it 4-3, and tied it 4-4 off a turnover at 19:36.

“We were being more direct towards the net,” Poehling said. “After the first two periods we had 11 shots so for us to rebound as we did (with 16 shots in the third period) we minimized our turnovers in the neutral zone a lot more and that helped out too.

“I think it was just something where we wanted to show a little bit of pride and I think we did that. We ended up losing but I think this is going to help us in the long run as a team.”

Emil Bemstrom (Columbus Blue Jackets), Filip Westerlund (Arizona Coyotes), Rickard Hugg and Erik Brannstrom (Vegas Golden Knights) scored, and Samuel Ersson made 24 saves for Sweden (2-1-0-0).

The U.S. was without center Jack Hughes for a second straight game because of an undisclosed injury. Hughes is projected as the No. 1 selection in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Westerlund scored on a one-timer from the right circle to give Sweden a 1-0 lead 4:47 into the first period. Hugg made it 2-0 when he knocked in a puck from the slot 9:21 into the second, and Bemstrom took advantage of a turnover at 12:39 for a 3-0 lead.

Brannstrom scored his team-leading fourth goal 2:33 into the third for a 4-0 lead.

The win gives Sweden 47 straight victories in preliminary-round play. Sweden’s last loss was 3-2 in overtime against the United States on Dec. 31, 2006. The Swedes have outscored the opposition 241-80 during the streak, which includes 41 wins in regulation, two in overtime and four in a shootout.

Canada 5, Czech Republic 1

Max Comtois (Anaheim Ducks), Brett Leason and Alexis Lafreniere scored in the first period to help Canada to a 5-1 victory against the Czech Republic in Group A at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Saturday.

MacKenzie Entwistle (Chicago Blackhawks) and Morgan Frost (Philadelphia Flyers) also scored, and Michael DiPietro (Vancouver Canucks) made 23 saves for Canada (3-0-0-0), which leads the group.

Canada got one goal from its top line and two from the fourth line.

“To win games you have to get scoring through the lineup because your number one line and your number two line aren’t going to score every night,” Canada coach Tim Hunter said. “It’s like a playoff series: if you expect your top line to score every night in a playoff series, good luck.”

Ondrej Machala, who is eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, scored for the Czech Republic (0-1-0-2), which is fourth in Group A. Jiri Patera (Vegas Golden Knights) stopped 16 of 20 shots before being pulled after two periods. Jakub Skarek (New York Islanders) made nine saves in relief.

Canada scored 14 goals in a win against Denmark on Wednesday and defeated Switzerland 3-2 on Thursday. The victory against the Czech Republic had a bit of both games.

“We’re not putting up 14 goals but being stronger in little areas, being stronger on the boards, our breakouts are better, our forecheck’s better, having high support, being consistent at that too,” DiPietro said. “Just the way we’re playing, the makeup of our team. We’re playing to our identity and the offense is going to come.”

Comtois, Canada’s only returning player from the 2018 gold-medal-winning team, made it 1-0 at 6:03 of the first period after a blind back pass from Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers).

Machala, 19, tied it 1-1 on a 2-on-1 at 6:40, but Leason gave Canada a 2-1 lead on a power play at 11:32. Leason, 19, was passed over the past two drafts but is a B-rated skater for the 2019 draft by NHL Central Scouting in its November players to watch list.

Lafreniere, the first 17-year-old since Connor McDavid in 2015 to play for Canada, made it 3-1 with a one-timer from the left face-off dot at 16:39.

Entwistle scored for a third straight game to make it 4-1 at 14:41 of the second period, and Frost scored his fourth goal on a power play for a 5-1 lead at 9:01 of the third. Frost also had an assist and leads the tournament with seven points.

Switzerland 4, Denmark 0

Philipp Kurashev (Chicago Blackhawks) had a hat trick, and Luca Hollenstein made 21 saves to help Switzerland advance to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 win against Denmark in Group A at Rogers Arena.

Simon Le Coultre, an undrafted defenseman, also scored for Switzerland (1-0-1-1).

Kurashev, selected in the fourth round (No. 120) of the 2018 NHL Draft, scored twice in the first period and completed his hat trick with a solo effort 1:38 into the third period.

Mads Sogaard, a 6-foot-7, B-rated goalie on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft, made 22 saves. Denmark (0-0-0-3) hasn’t scored a goal and will play a three-game relegation series to stay in the top group for the 2020 WJC.

Finland 5, Slovakia 1

Defensemen Henri Jokiharju (Chicago Blackhawks) and Ville Heinola, a B-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft, each had a goal and an assist to help Finland to a 5-1 win against Slovakia in Group B at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Santeri Virtanen (Winnipeg Jets), Anton Lundell (2020 NHL Draft eligible), and Oskari Laaksonen (Buffalo Sabres) scored, Eeli Tolvanen (Nashville Predators) had two assists, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sabres) made 22 saves for Finland (2-0-0-1).

Milos Roman (Calgary Flames) scored, and Samuel Hlavaj, a B-rated goalie in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list, made 31 saves for Slovakia (0-0-0-3).

Jokiharju gave Finland a 1-0 lead with a one-timer from the left circle on a 5-on-3 power play 12:24 into the first period. Virtanen made it 2-0 on a backhand at 16:43.

Heinola scored on a snap shot from the left circle to increase the lead to 3-0 2:02 into the second period before Lundell made it 4-0 at 13:53.

Roman scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 16:26 to bring Slovakia within 4-1.

Laaksonen gave Sweden a 5-1 lead 13:01 into the third period.

Spengler Cup Day 4 Recap

Ice Tigers knock out Magnitogorsk

By Hansruedi Camenisch – Spengler Cup

Metallurg Magnitogorsk – the most frequently named challenger of the defending champion Team Canada – must pack their bags and depart. The Russians surprisingly lost their quarter-final game against the Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers from Nürnberg 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. The Germans now face Team Canada in the semi-finals on Sunday afternoon (3:10 pm).

The Ice Tigers deservedly beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk with their aggressive, hands-on efficient and strategic performance. They effectively steered the game to their advantage. After just 246 seconds of play, the Captain Patrick Reimer shot the go-ahead goal. At the beginning of the second period, Metallurg’s top-scorer Nikolai Kulemin equalized the game in a power play situation. However, just about 5 minutes later, Brandon Buck also took advantage of a player majority and reinstated the lead for the Germans 2-1. Just prior to the end of the period, Leonhard Pföderl sunk the 3rd goal for the Ice Tigers in a training manual counterattack. Thereafter, the Nürnberger successfully defended their lead. Goaltender Niklas Treulte proved his reliability and absolutely faultless support. He deflected 29 shots-on-goal, resulting in a defensive quota of 96.67 percent.

In the last 4 minutes of the game, the Russians played with 6 on the ice and during 67 seconds were even in double majority to attempt to turn the tide. Their several attempts failed against Treutle, their offensive strikes were mostly harmless. In the 3 games, the team only achieved 2 goals, one of which was the winning shot during the penalty shoot-out against Trinec.

The surprising poor performance of Metallurg Magnitogorsk is in line with the disappointing representation of the teams from the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in recent years – supposedly the best league outside of the North American NHL. Since the tournament win by SKA St. Petersburg in 2010, 12 KHL teams have participated at the Spengler Cup. Only 3 of them were able to win at least 2 games at the same tournament.

Klasen shoots HCD into the Semi-Finals

HC Davos will play against KalPa Kuopio on Sunday evening (8:15 pm) at the Spengler Cup to decide who qualifies for the finals. The home team secured their qualification for the semi-finals with their victory against the Czech championship leader Trinec 3-1. Double-scorer Linus Klasen and goaltender Anders Lindbäck stuck out amongst the strong HCD squad.

The Czechs began by resolutely dictating the game. The Davos team only gained momentum during the two penalties against Trinec, although they were unable to create any real goal chances. Both teams then switched from primarily defensive to offensive play, providing the 6,300 spectators with a fantastic match-up with many scoring opportunities. Determined, Linus Klasen scored a goal after receiving a pass from Dario Simion in the 15th minute to give Davos the lead.

Several penalties hindered the flow of the game in the second period. The home team came increasingly under pressure and the goaltender Anders Lindbäck became the center of attention. Tino Kessler missed making it 2-0 when he attempted a speedy counterattack. Due to the flow of the game – 9-4 shots-on-goal for the Czechs – it seemed only a matter of time until the equalizing goal would happen. After an advance by Trinec Captain Lukas Krajicek and his cross pass, Ondrej Kovarcik was able to land the puck in the net shortly before the end of the second period to make it 1-1.

At the beginning of the last period it was obvious that HCD was back in the game. Both teams intensively sought to decide the game which led to a spectacular slugfest with many scoring opportunities and exceptional defensive maneuvers by both goalies. Klasen emerged as the match winner. After a shot-on-goal by Ambühl, the Swede reacted the quickest and scored on the rebound. The Czechs answered fiercely but failed to beat the exceptional HCD goaltender Lindbäck, who defended 27 shot-on-goal during the entire game. Dino Wieser scored an empty netter almost exactly as the game-ending siren rang.

China told to get skates on

Cory Kane(C) of Kunlun Red Star competes during the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) game between Kunlun Red Star and Helsinki Jokerit, in Helsinki, Finland, on Jan 11, 2018.

By China Daily

Ice hockey’s world governing body has urged China to justify its automatic qualification for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Last May, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) voted to allow China to enter its men’s and women’s teams in the Beijing 2022 tournaments, breaking with the convention of making the host nation qualify through competition.

However, some observers have expressed concerns that the current poor standard of the Chinese squads could dilute the quality of the Games.

“It’s a challenging situation for China, especially in the men’s game,” IIHF President Rene Fasel told China Daily in Shanghai at the recent launch of the fifth mass ice and snow sports carnival.

“It takes as long as 15 years to develop good hockey players to be competitive at the highest level-at the moment, China has only four.

“We have to make sure that the Olympics are the highest-level competition, but at the same time give the host teams a chance to put on some decent performances.”

Unlike most team sports at Summer Olympics where hosts are awarded automatic entries, the 12-team men’s and 10-squad women’s hockey Olympic tournaments traditionally require all nations to go through a challenging qualification system.

Without enough talent to sustain a national league, China’s 33rd-ranked men’s team has never previously reached the Games or the world championships’ top division.

China’s women’s team enjoyed a short-lived purple patch during which it reached the 1998 Olympic semifinals in Nagano, Japan. However, since its last Games appearance in 2010 in Vancouver, the 20th-ranked female squad has suffered a sharp decline and has seen its funding cut.

Fasel, though, is backing China to prove the doubters wrong in four years’ time.

“I don’t know if you have the word ‘impossible’ in Chinese. I don’t think so. The Chinese character is that when you want something you will do it by working day and night, putting in extra effort and manpower until you make it happen,” said the 68-year-old Swiss.

The Chinese Ice Hockey Association managed to persuade the IIHF to grant the Olympic spots by promising to build a domestic professional league that would sustain the sport’s development here after the Games.

The association, which separated from the State-run sports system last year, pledged in a recent report that the new national league would begin in May 2019 and feature eight clubs.

“Increasing the number of games homegrown talents play is critical, because in the past they’ve had a minimal amount of tests,” said CIHA president Cao Weidong.

The new league is expected to be made up of teams from four major clubs-Kunlun Red Star, Jilin City Investment, Beijing Shougang and Zhongshang Hokay-and squads developed by northeastern provincial sports bureaus.

“We want to have the Chinese preparing the two national teams (for 2022) and at the same time to build their leagues so we can guarantee the sport’s legacy and be sustainable after the Olympics,” said Fasel.

The new league, Fasel hopes, will form the top of a pyramid which can be built on the foundations of a growing grassroots game-the popularity of which is highlighted by the 2,600 junior players registered for the Beijing Minor Hockey League’s 2018-19 season.

China’s pro hockey scene is currently limited to Shanghai-based Kunlun Red Star’s participation in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League, two entries in the rebranded Silk Road Hockey League (formerly Russia’s second tier) and Red Star’s Shenzhen-based female squad playing in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

The teams all feature overseas talent of Chinese ancestry drafted through 2022 Olympic tryouts. The aim is to have them eligible to represent China in time for the Games.

South Korea controversially naturalized six Canadian male players prior to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

However, Fasel says China’s plans are easier to accept.

“It’s a good step that China only wants players with Chinese heritage. A gap (in development) of at least 15 years cannot be closed anytime soon, so it’s necessary to use these groups of talent,” he said.

WJC Day 3 roundup:

Farabee hat trick leads United States past Kazakhstan

By NHL.com

United States 8, Kazakhstan 2

Joel Farabee (Philadelphia Flyers) scored a natural hat trick in the first period to help the United States defeat Kazakhstan 8-2 in Group B at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Friday.

United States center Jack Hughes, the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, was a surprise scratch because of an undisclosed injury and is day to day. The U.S. didn’t need him, outshooting Kazakhstan 66-13. 

Ryan Poehling (Montreal Canadiens) stepped into Hughes spot on the top line and scored a shorthanded goal and had two assists. Oliver Wahlstrom (New York Islanders), Alexander Chmelevski (San Jose Sharks), Tyler Madden (Vancouver Canucks) and Josh Norris (Ottawa Senators) each scored, and Jason Robertson (Dallas Stars) had four assists for the United States (2-0-0-0). Cayden Primeau (Canadiens) made 11 saves.

“I thought Joel Farabee was very good tonight,” said United States coach Mike Hastings. “To have Poehling go back to the middle and play the game that he played tonight shows a lot about his versatility. And it was a good night for us.”

Forwards Dmitriy Mitenkov and Andrei Buyalskiy, who are each eligible for the 2019 draft, scored for Kazakhstan (0-0-0-2). Goalie Vladislav Nurek started, but was replaced after two goals by Demid Yeremeyev, who stopped 19 of 24 shots before being replaced by Nurek, who finished with 41 saves. 

Wahlstrom gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead 1:37 into the first period, but Buyalskiy tied it 18 seconds later before Farabee, who was selected by the Flyers with the No. 14 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, took over. The 18-year-old left wing scored his first goal on a power play at 5:15, got his second off the rush at 8:53, and finished off the hat trick after being left alone in front at 12:05.

Robertson assisted on all three Farabee goals.

“Scoring a hat trick is definitely nice, but I’ve got to give it to my linemates and the D getting the puck up,” said Farabee. “We created a lot of turnovers, which gave me those chances.”

The United States plays Sweden (2-0-0-0) on Saturday. Sweden has won 46 consecutive preliminary-round games at the WJC.

“It’s definitely going to be a bit more skill, a tougher game,” said Farabee. “We definitely want to end their streak in the prelims, so I think we’ll be throwing the kitchen sink at them.”

Russia scores twice shorthanded, holds off Czech Republic

Russia 2, Czech Republic 1 

Artyom Galimov and Nikolai Kovalenko (Colorado Avalanche) each scored shorthanded, and Russia defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 in Group A at Rogers Arena. 

Pyotr Kochetkov, an undrafted 19-year-old goalie eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, made 24 saves for Russia, which opened with a 4-0 win against Denmark on Thursday.

Jachym Kondelik (Nashville Predators) scored a power-play goal, and Lukas Dostal (Anaheim Ducks) made 26 saves for the Czech Republic, which opened with a 2-1 overtime win against Switzerland on Wednesday. 

Galimov, a 19-year-old still eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, made it 1-0 at 17:05 of the first period with a solo rush, cutting left across the slot and beating Dostal with a wrist shot the other way.   

Kovalenko, selected in the sixth round (No. 171) in the 2018 NHL Draft, finished off a shorthanded 2-on-1 pass from Pavel Shen (Boston Bruins) to make it 2-0 at 14:57 of the second period.

Kondelik, selected in the fourth round (No. 111) in the 2018 draft, scored 53 seconds later on the same power play to bring the Czech Republic within 2-1 when a point shot bounced off his face, up and over Kochetkov, and into the net.

Spengler Cup Day 3 Recap

Tommi Jokinen shoots KalPa Kuopio into the Semi-Finals

Hansruedi Camenisch – Spengler Cup

KalPa Kuopio produced the first upset on Friday afternoon at the 92nd Spengler Cup. The young Finns beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk. The only goal was shot by Tommi Jokinen in overtime after 167 seconds.

Pure suspense throughout the last game of the Torriani group. The game was an offensive extravaganza because both teams were well-organized, disciplined and took few risks. In addition, both goaltenders intervened successfully in the rare precarious situations during the regular game time, allowing no goals to be scored. A 0-0 after 60 minutes has not happened at the Spengler Cup in a very long time – not since the introduction of the finals in 1986. Only during overtime – where 3-on-3 players compete – were the Finns able to score the only goal. Otto Leskinen superbly out-maneuvered so that KalPa’s Captain Tommi Jokinen could beat Magnitogorsk’s goalie Artem Zagidulin in the 62:47 minute of the game. The Finn Daniel Manzato was able to celebrate a shutout. The Ambri goalie is assisting KalPa Kuopio at the Spengler Cup due to Jonathan Iilahti being injured.

With this win making them group leader, the Finns qualify directly for the semi-finals on Sunday. Metallurg Magnitogorsk will have to take the indirect route via the quarter-finals on Saturday. The opponent from the Cattini group will be known after tonight’s match-up between Team Canada and the Nuremberger Ice Tigers. The Russians are paying the price for reserving their key players such as Viktor Antipin, Nikolai Kulemin, Matt Ellison, Jewgeni Birjukow and Dennis Rasmussen.

By Canadian Press

Team Canada’s Daniel Winnik, centre, celebrates after scoring against the Ice Tigers at the 92nd Spengler Cup on Friday

Dante Fabbro scored twice to help power Canada to a 6-2 victory over the Nurnberg Ice Tigers on Friday, capping round-robin play at the Spengler Cup.

Daniel Winnik, Andrew Ebbett, Zac Dalpe and Dion Knelsen scored in a second-period outburst for the defending champion Canadians (2-0-0), who finished first in their group to advance directly to Sunday’s semifinal.

Canada took control of the game in the second period, outscoring Nurnberg 4-1 and outshooting the Ice Tigers 21-4.

Winnik broke a 1-1 tie five minutes into the middle frame and Ebbett gave Canada a two-goal cushion at 11:14. Dalpe followed two minutes later and Knelsen added to the barrage with just over two minutes left in the period.

“This game was an opportunity for our team to improve our chemistry, and I felt that we accomplished that,” said head coach Kevin Dineen. “When you are able to play all four lines continuously it helps generate momentum, and that was a key contributor to our team’s success. We are looking forward to the semifinals on Sunday.”

Incredible atmosphere

Fabbro’s first goal opened the scoring 2:21 into the first period and his second gave Canada a 6-1 lead early in the third.

Patrick Reimer and Mike Mieszkowski scored for Nurnberg (0-2-0). Andreas Jenike stopped 33 shots for the German team.

Maxim Lapierre and Dominic Moore chipped in with two assists apiece for the Canadians and Zach Fucale made 19 saves.

“I thought that our team played great,” Fabbro said. “The atmosphere in the arena was incredible, and our team fed off the crowd’s energy. It was a great win for our team heading into the semifinals.”

Canada was coming off a 2-1 victory over HC Davos in the tournament opener Wednesday.

The Canadians play the winner of Saturday’s quarter-final between Metallurg Magnitogorsk and the Ice Tigers on Sunday. Metallurg finished second in its group with three points on an overtime win and an overtime loss.

The final is Monday.

Canada has won the tournament 15 times since first taking part in 1984, including the past three years.

WJC Day 2 roundup

Canada survives strong effort from Switzerland

By NHL.com

Canada 3, Switzerland 2

Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights), MacKenzie Entwhistle (Chicago Blackhawks) and Noah Dobson (New York Islanders) each scored, and Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs) made 15 saves to help Canada to a 3-2 win against Switzerland in Group A at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Canada is 2-0-0-0 and has outscored its opposition 17-2.

Philipp Kurashev (Blackhawks) scored twice and Akira Schmid (New Jersey Devils) made 29 saves for Switzerland (0-0-1-1), which opened with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Canada, which opened with a 14-0 win against Denmark, went up 1-0 on Switzerland on the first shift when Glass, picked No. 6 in the 2017 NHL Draft, scored 36 seconds into the first period.

Switzerland settled in, and Kurashev, a fourth-round pick (No. 120) in the 2018 NHL Draft, tied it 1-1 with a power play one-timer 46 seconds into the second period.

Scott made a great glove save off Swiss forward Yannick Bruschweiler alone in the slot at 4:52. Entwhistle, a third-round pick (No. 69) in 2017, put Canada ahead for good at 5:55, converting a pass from Shane Bowers (Colorado Avalanche) to make it 2-1.

Dobson, a defenseman picked No. 12 in the 2018 draft, made it 3-1 at 12:08 of the second period.

“We weren’t playing with urgency, that is probably the biggest thing,” Glass said. “We were trying to make plays that weren’t really there. We were trying to force it.”

Kurashev scored his second power-play goal of the tournament with 1:49 left, and Schmid pulled for an extra attacker, to make it 3-2.

“They’ve only been together a short while, so chemistry and learning how to win these tight games, and living through the goalie-out situations, it’s all new to them and we try to guide them through it and they are navigating pretty well,” said Canada coach Tim Hunter. Overall we’re really happy with where we’re at, just keep building, learn from whatever mistakes we made tonight and get better from it.”

Canada plays the Czech Republic on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN). Switzerland plays Denmark on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).


Finland 5, Kazakhstan 0

Kaapo Kakko, an A-rated skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list for the 2019 NHL Draft, scored his first goal of the tournament to help Finland to a 5-0 win against Kazakhstan in Group B at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Otto Latvala (2019 NHL Draft), Aarne Talvitie (New Jersey Devils), Samuli Vainionpaa, and Aleksi Heponiemi (Florida Panthers) also scored and Filip Lindberg made 18 saves for Finland (1-0-1-0).

Latvala gave Finland a 1-0 lead off a wrist shot from the left circle 12:52 into the first period before Talvitie extended the lead 2:16 later with an unassisted goal off a turnover. Vainionpaa scored 12:49 into the second to give Finland a 3-0 lead.

Kakko, a projected top-5 pick in the 2019 draft, gave Finland a 4-0 lead 7:17 into the third period and Heponiemi made it 5-0 at 9:13.

Demid Yeremeyev made 51 saves for Kazakhstan (0-0-1-0).

Finland plays Slovakia on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET); Kazakhstan will play the United States on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).

Russia 4, Denmark 0

Alexander Romanov (Montreal Canadiens) had a goal and two assists, Danil Tarasov (Columbus Blue Jackets) made 21 saves, and Russia opened its tournament with a 4-0 win against Denmark in Group A at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

Vitali Kravtsov (New York Rangers), Pavel Shen (Boston Bruins) and Ivan Morozov (Vegas Golden Knights) scored for Russia, which was outshot 21-20.

Goalie William Rorth started for Denmark after replacing Mads Sogaard in the third period of a 14-0 loss to Canada on Wednesday. Rorth, who gave up three goals on four shots against Canada, made 16 saves.

Kravtsov, the No. 9 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, made it 1-0 at 6:28 of the first period after a three-way passing play on the power play. 

Romanov, a defenseman picked in the second round (No. 38) of the 2018 draft, made it 2-0 with 2:10 left in the second period with a screened shot from the top of the left face-off circle. The 18-year-old, who does not have a point in 28 Kontinental Hockey League games with CSKA, assisted two goals in the third period.  

Shen, a seventh-round pick (No. 212) pick in the 2018 draft, scored at 13:56 to make it 3-0, and Morozov, picked in the second round (No. 61) in the 2018 draft, scored into an empty net with 1:25 left to make it 4-0.

Sweden 5, Slovakia 2

Emil Bemstrom scored two goals to help lead Sweden to a 5-2 victory against Slovakia at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Group B on Thursday.

The win gives Sweden 46 straight victories in preliminary-round play at the World Junior Championship. Sweden’s last loss was 3-2, in overtime, against the United States on Dec. 31, 2006.

Lucas Elvenes (Vegas Golden Knights) and Isac Lundestrom (Anaheim Ducks) each had a goal and an assist, and Erik Brannstrom (Golden Knights) scored for Sweden (2-0-0-0).

Elvenes opened the scoring at 11:42 of the first period. Bemstrom (Columbus Blue Jackets) scored his first goal at 16:12 of the first period to give Sweden a 2-1 lead. He scored a power-play goal 6:40 into the second period for a 3-1 lead.

Brannstrom scored his third power-play goal in two tournament games to give Sweden a 4-1 lead 5:09 into the third period. Sweden’s final goal at 12:37 of the third.  

Adam Liska, who tied the game at 1-1 at 13:43 of the first and Milos Fafrak scored for Slovakia (0-0-2-0). Farfak’s goal at 8:42 of the third made it 4-2.

Sweden plays the United States at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN). Slovakia plays Finland on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET).

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