Sunday’s Day 6 of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship saw the preliminary round draw to a close in Buffalo as the Czech Republic, the United States, Slovakia and Sweden ended on a high note. Here’s a closer look at the action.
SWEDEN 4 – RUSSIA 3 – SO
Linus Lindstrom and Oskar Steen scored shootout markers while Filip Gustavsson denied Artur Kayumov to lock down the victory as Sweden defeated Russia 4-3 to wrap up the preliminary round at the World Juniors.
The win sees the Swedes secure first place in Group B, finishing as the only undefeated team in the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record. Russia falls to 2-2 but will face the United States in quarter-final action on Tuesday.
Russia’s Alexei Polodyan tied the see-saw affair at three with just 3:45 left in the third period to force overtime and a shootout where Sweden prevailed.
Lias Andersson, Timothy Liljegren and Glenn Gustafsson provided Swedish goals while Dmitry Sokolov (Sudbury Wolves) and Klim Kostin joined Polodyan in the goal-scoring department for Russia.
Sweden outshot Russia 43-31 and sets up a quarter-final matchup against Slovakia on Tuesday.
UNITED STATES 5 – FINLAND 4
Adam Fox scored the game winner with 1:37 left in the third period as the United States snuck past Finland 5-4 at the Key Bank Center.
The Americans gave up a two-goal lead as Joona Koppanen and Kristian Vesalainen scored third period goals for Finland to knot the game at four before Fox’s difference-maker.
Fox and Casey Mittelstadt finished the game with a goal and two assists each while captain Joey Anderson scored twice and Trent Frederic found the back of the net.
Edmonton Oilers prospect Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs) had an assist in the win as the United States outshot Finland 37-24.
Eeli Tolvanen and Aapeli Rasanen both added Finland goals while Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks) and Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans) both recorded assists.
The Americans finish the preliminary round with a 3-1 record and face Russia in Tuesday’s quarter-finals. Finland sits at 2-2 and will square off against the Czech Republic.
CZECH REPUBLIC 6 – SWITZERLAND 3
The Czech Republic finished the preliminary round with a win, doubling up Switzerland 6-3 as they fired 60 shots on goal in the process.
Kristian Reichel (Red Deer Rebels) scored twice while Martin Necas, Daniel Kurovsky and Martin Kaut all had a goal and an assist. Jakub Lauko also lit the lamp while Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades) recorded a pair of helpers, guiding the Czechs to a 3-1 record.
Ken Jager, Dario Rohrbach and Elia Riva scored for the Swiss who managed to tie the score at three in the second period before surrendering three unanswered the rest of the way.
Switzerland finishes with a record of 1-3 but manages to punch a ticket to the quarter-finals where they’ll faceoff against Canada.
The Czechs prepare to face Finland.
SLOVAKIA 5 – DENMARK 1
Milos Roman (Vancouver Giants) scored twice while Adam Liska (Kitchener Rangers), Samuel Bucek and Martin Fehervary also found the back of the net as Slovakia downed Denmark 5-1 at HarborCenter.
Calgary Flames prospect Adam Ruzicka (Sarnia Sting) also had an assist as the Slovaks secured fourth place in Group A, punching their ticket to Tuesday’s quarter-final where they’ll face undefeated Sweden. Winless Denmark will play Belarus in a best-of-three relegation series.
Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks) opened the scoring for the Danes, but that’s all the offence they’d muster as Slovakia scored five unanswered and outshot Denmark 40-31.
For full coverage of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship visit the IIHF or HockeyCanada.ca.