One world hockey power achieved a predictable result the hard way, while another worked to demonstrate its dominance (and its unwillingness to take any opponent lightly). Both Sweden and USA maintained perfect win records in the third day of competition at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Day 3 was relatively quiet, with only two games on the schedule. Here’s a quick look at how they played out:
Sweden 4, Switzerland 2
Minnesota Wild prospect Joel Eriksson Ek and Team Sweden kept their tournament record perfect against future NHL Draft star Nico Hischier and Team Switzerland.
Both pulled heroics for their teams: Eriksson Ek scored twice, including the game-winner, and a Hischier assist on Calvin Thurkauf’s power-play tally tied the game at 6:17 in the second period. That stalemate persisted until nearly 15 minutes into the third, when Eriksson Ek got the go-ahead goal.
Even so, one of the best performances of the game came from Swiss goalie Joren van Pottelberghe, who stopped 42 of the 46 shots he faced even as his teammates put only 15 pucks on net.
The game marked Sweden’s eighth consecutive win over Switzerland at the World Juniors.
Stars forward prospect Fredrik Karlström (AIK Solna) is having a quiet round so far, with two SoG through the first two games and a +1 plus/minus record.
USA 5, Slovakia 2
Both Team USA and Team Slovakia brought improved play to Air Canada Centre, but the Americans were an overwhelming force. Five different players scored goals, with 12 recording points, for the 5-2 win.
Shots on goal were lopsided in this game as well; the U.S. team pelted netminder Matej Tomek with 50 SoG. In contrast, American goalie Joseph Woll faced only 20 shots. The Slovaks have now been outshot 94-26 over their first two games.
Dallas Stars blueline prospect Joseph Cecconi racked up assists on Tanner Laczynski’s opening goal and on a Charlie McAvoy one-timer midway through the second period. The Michigan Wolverine and fifth-round draft pick has two points a +1 plus/minus record in the tournament so far.
St. Louis Blues prospect Tage Thompson scored the GWG 2:01 into the second period on a delayed penalty.
What’s Up Next
The schedule for December 29:
- Denmark vs. Czech Republic, noon Central time
- Russia vs. USA, 2:30 p.m. Central time
- Finland vs. Sweden, 4:30 p.m. Central time
- Latvia vs. Canada, 7 p.m. Central time