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.