There were numerous games being played today in the WJC. They include all of the big four teams.
USA v Slovakia.
Despite the score being 2-0 to the USA by the end of the first it was a closely fought game for much of the period, Slovak players such as Peter Cehlarik and Marko Dano had several high quality chances.
The first USA goal was scored by highly touted 2015 NHL Draft prospect Jack Eichel. The second came during a powerplay caused by an unwise move by the Slovak goaltender. He came out of the net to play the puck, whiffed on the puck and covered up the puck causing a stop in play and a penalty. The Americans would score on the powerplay. Before this it was still a relatively even game, though the USA had a clear edge.
The second period saw the USA score their third power play goal of the game. Jon Gillies made an excellent save on a shorthanded opportunity and it looked like the USA could keep a stranglehold on the game. However the Slovaks would continue fighting and utilized the power play themselves. They would draw multiple penalties and the Slovaks would score twice on the power play.
The first ten minutes of the third period saw lots of back and forth play. Slovakia would have several excellent shorthanded chances as the USA tried to put themselves up by two goals again. With just under 10 minutes left in the game they would do that with the first even strength goal of the game. In the last 10 minutes of the game the USA would put two more goals past the Slovaks.
With a few minutes left in the game Martin Reway would get his second of the game to make the score 6-3 to the USA.
Final Score: 6-3
Sweden vs Finland
The hosts Sweden faced off against their fellow Nordics on Saturday. The first goal came very quickly, coming from a point shot by Stars prospect Esa Lindell. The scramble in front of the net 40 seconds in gave him the room he needed to score the opening goal. Sweden responded within a few minutes with a goal by Alexander Wennberg. They entered the first intermission tied up at 1-1.
The second period was filled with the same intensity as was present in the first but Sweden continued to dominant play. They got two more goals passed the Finnish goaltender to give them a 3-1 lead heading into the second break. The third goal by Jacob de la Rose was set up by a very nice play by Filip Forsberg.
Both teams would score during the third period. Rasmus Ristolainen got a goal from Teuvo Terravainen while Alexander Wennberg got his second goal of the game for Sweden.
Final Score: 4-2
Canada vs Czech Republic
This was meant to be one of those games where a big four team dominants one of those teams that are lurking in the midpack of the WJC. It was anything but that.
The Czechs got themselves on the board first when David Kampf scored seven minutes into the first period. Sam Reinhart then leveled the Canadians up.
The second period saw Michal Plutnar score the only goal of the period for the Czech Republic. He will probably be more well known for his body 'czech' of a linesmen (Sorry, I couldn't resist).
Going into the third period the Czechs were leading 2-1. What followed was one of the crazier periods in WJC hockey as Canada equalized to see the Czechs equalize again. Throughout an entire game, one that was probably expected to be relatively easy for Canada, they did not lead in regulation.
Radek Faksa proved his defensive credentials in the last parts of the third period, being on the ice defending the tie game and helping make key plays to get the play away from the front of the Czech net. He might not have been on the scoreboard due to actual goals but he certainly made his presence felt in other ways.
Not entirely sure, but it seems like CZE's Radek Faksa (Dallas Stars) has played 50 of the 60 minutes vs. CAN.— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) December 28, 2013
During the OT sudden death period no one scored sending the game to the shootout. There was one particularly impressive setup by Faksa for his teammate in the slot. The shot was saved though, but it was a nice show of offensive skill by Faksa.
The Czech Republic would go on to win the game in the skills competition; they were never behind during the entire game.
Final Score: 5-4 SO Czech Republic
Russia vs Switzerland
Russia faced off against the Swiss in the final game of the day. The first period saw the Swiss get the first goal of the game 15 minutes in. The Russians responded with two goals in two minutes from Ivan Barbashyov and Andrei Mironov. Mironov's goal was scored on the powerplay.
The Russians would really hammer home the advantage in the second period scoring three goals. Bogdan Yakimov, Alexander Barabanov and Damir Zhafyarov would all score. Oilers prospect Yakimov would get his goal on the powerplay.
The third period would see even more goals from the Russians. First up was Vyacheslav Osnovin and Buffalo Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko. Grigorenko's goal was assisted by fellow Sabres prospect Nikita Zadarov. Both goals came on the powerplay. All seven of the Russian's goals were scored by different players.
Final Score: 7-1 Russia