It’s been two great days to open up the World Juniors, and a lot of teams grabbed a rest with just two games on the schedule.
Czech Republic V Russia
Russia did manage a 4 – 0 win in their opening game over Denmark, but struggled to impress while the Czech Republic took a narrow 2 – 1 victory over Switzerland in their opening match.
The Czech’s impressed through the course of the game, skating toe-to-toe with the Russians, but couldn’t find the opening goal themselves.
Pyotr Kochetkov held strung in the Russian net, and it took a man advantage for Russia to solve Lukas Dostal. A nice rush up ice saw Artyom Galimov pick up the puck on the right hand side before making a nice move to cut to the middle, then turning and ripping his shot past Dostal for the games opening goal with time almost up in the first period.
Late in the second, it was special teams again that came up big for Russia, but this time with their own man in the box. Less than a minute into the penalty kill, Nikolai Kovalenko picked up the puck after a solid tape-to-tape pass by Pavel Shen, making a couple of moves before roofing it into the net for a 2 – 0 Russia advantage.
With Ivan Muranov still in the box, the Czech’s finally found a way past Kochetkov, a shot from the point somehow managed to find the back of the net with it bouncing off the face of Jachym Kondelik who had set up a screen in front, but despite coming off his face it still found its way into the net to cut into the Russians lead.
Both teams traded chances but couldn’t make them count in the third as Russia held on to a 2 – 1 victory that puts them second in Group A, while Czech Republic currently hold third spot.
Kazakhstan V USA
The return of Kazakhstan went more or less the way we expected as they fell 5 – 0 in their opening game to Finland, with the USA coming into their second game after a narrow 2 – 1 win over Slovakia on day one.
It was to be more of the same for the returning team, they managed just 13 shots all night and were largely dominated by the US who took an early lead through Oliver Wahlstrom inside the opening two minutes.
Just seconds later however, Kazakhstan responded, a great pass sent Andrei Buyalski in alone and he went one-on-one with US goalie Cayden Primeau, firing a wicked shot past him and into the net to tie things up at one, and give Kazakhstan their first goal of the tournament.
Just minutes later however and USA started to take control. Joel Farabee put on a dominant first period performance, completing a natural hat-trick with his first goal coming at the 5:13 mark, and third at the 12:05 mark to open a 4 – 1 USA lead by the end of the first period.
Three goals followed in the second through Alexander Chmelevski, Ryan Poehling and Tyler Madden, and then Josh Norris added the final goal for USA to give them an 8 – 1 lead just seconds into the final frame.
Kazakhstan did have one response through Dimitri Mitenkov to make it 8 – 2, but the US cruised to victory to put themselves at the top of Group B after three days of competition.