WJC 2018 Quarter-Final Recap
An eventful day of Quarter-Final action at the World Juniors saw Canada, the United States, the Czech Republic and Sweden punch their ticket to Thursday’s semi-final round while Switzerland, Russia, Finland and Slovakia saw their tournament come to an end. Here’s a look at Tuesday’s elimination action.
CANADA 8 – SWITZERLAND 2
Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors) found the back of the net 48 seconds into action and Canada never looked back, defeating Switzerland 8-2 to advance to Thursday’s semi-final.
Howden finished the game with a goal and three assists while Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres) had a goal and two helpers, Drake Batherson (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) scored twice and other goals came from Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting), Conor Timmins (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets) and Cale Makar.
Canada outshot Switzerland 60-15, scoring twice on the power play while Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) made 13 saves.
“We managed the game we wanted to,” said head coach Dominique Ducharme (Drummondville Voltigeurs) after the win. “Guys stuck with the game and when you run the score a little bit sometimes you can get away from our game and we didn’t do that. They kept their focus.”
Canada got up 5-0 before Dario Rohrbach got Switzerland on the board with an assist from defenceman Simon Le Coultre (Moncton Wildcats). Axel Simic scored Switzerland’s second goal shorthanded 11:12 into the third period.
Switzerland returns home with an eighth place finish while Canada prepares to take on the Czech Republic in Thursday’s semi-final matchup.
UNITED STATES 4 – RUSSIA 2
Player of the Game Kieffer Bellows’ (Portland Winterhawks) second goal of the night 12:31 into the third period was the game winner as the defending gold medalist United States are off to semi-final action against Sweden on Thursday.
A New York Islanders prospect, Bellows opened the scoring 2:18 into the first period before Edmonton Oilers draftee Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) scored for the Americans in the second. Team USA captain Joey Anderson also found the back of the net as the U.S. outshot Russia 43-29 before 6,242 at the Key Bank Center.
Marsel Sholokhov and Andrei Altybarmakyan scored for Russia while Edmonton Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov (Guelph Storm) registered an assist. The Russians fail to earn a medal for the first time in seven years, finishing fifth in the tournament.
Bellows and his tournament-leading six goals looks to power the United States to victory against Sweden in semi-final action on Thursday at 4:00pm ET.
CZECH REPUBLIC 4 – FINLAND 3 – SO
Josef Korenar made 51 saves, backstopping the Czech Republic to a 4-3 shootout win over Finland to advance to Thursday’s semi-final round at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
Despite being heavily outshot, the Czechs managed to get into a shootout with the Finns as 2018 NHL Draft prospect Filip Zadina (Halifax Mooseheads) scored his second of the game with 2:26 left in the third period to tie the score at three.
Kristian Reichel (Red Deer Rebels) and Martin Necas scored shootout markers before Korenar stopped former London Knights defenceman Olli Juolevi to lock down the win.
Reichel also scored during regulation while defencemen Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades) and Vojtech Budik (Prince Albert Raiders) both recorded assists.
Finnish goals came from Aapeli Rasanen, Juolevi and Kristian Vesalainen as they outshot the Czechs 54-30.
The Czech Republic faces Canada in semi-final action on Thursday.
SWEDEN 3 – SLOVAKIA 2
Isac Lundestrom scored a pair of goals including the game winner midway through the third period as Sweden hung on to defeat Slovakia 3-2 and advance to Thursday’s semi-finals.
Fabian Zetterlund also found the back of the net while Tim Soderlund had a pair of assists, helping the Swedes edge a hard-working Slovakian club that got both its goals from blueliner Martin Bodak (Kootenay ICE).
Sweden outshot Slovakia 39-22 as the Slovaks return home with a seventh place finish at the World Juniors.
DENMARK 5 – BELARUS 4 (DEN leads best-of-three relegation series 1-0)
Andreas Grundtvig scored with just 15 seconds left in the third period to give Denmark a 5-4 win over Belarus in Game One of a best-of-three relegation series.
The Danes overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third period as Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks) scored a pair of goals 10 minutes apart to tie the score at four before Grundtvig completed the comeback.
Blichfeld finished the game with two goals and an assist while teammate Jonas Rondbjerg had a goal and two helpers. Philip Schultz provided Denmark’s other goal in the closely-fought matchup.
Vladislav Yeryomenko (Calgary Hitmen) and Igor Martynov (Victoria Royals) found the back of the net for Belarus, joining Ilya Litvinov and Ivan Drozdov on the scoresheet while Philadelphia Flyers prospect Maksim Sushko (Owen Sound Attack) gathered a pair of assists.
The two clubs meet again on Thursday.