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2019 World Juniors: Day 8 recap

...Team Canada is knocked out by Finland in the QF

by Tyson Giuriato @TysonGiuriato / Freelance writer

Toni Utunen broke a lot of hearts on Wednesday evening.

The Canucks prospect was the overtime hero as Finland upset Michael DiPietro and Canada in the quarterfinals. It's the first time ever Canada will finish a World Juniors on their home soil without a medal. 

Utunen isn't the only Canucks prospect moving on to the semifinals as Quinn Hughes, Tyler Madden and Team USA are off to the next round after a victory over the Czech Republic in Victoria.

Thursday is a day off before action resumes with the semifinals on Friday.

Finland (2) - Canada (1)

Toni Utunen (FIN): OT winning goal

Michael DiPietro (CAN): 32 saves

Utunen pinched up the ice, took a drop pass from Aarne Talvitie at the right faceoff dot and ripped the puck past the glove hand of DiPietro, ending the game 5:17 into the four-on-four overtime period.

It was the first point of the tournament for Utunen, the Canucks 5th round selection in 2018. In fact, it was the first goal the 5-foot-11 defenceman has scored all season.

If it wasn't for the spectacular play of DiPietro, Utunen wouldn't have even had the opportunity to play the role of the hero. The game would have been over in regulation.

The lively Rogers Arena crowd chanted his name throughout the game as he made big save after big save.

DiPietro stopped 32 shots in the game as Canada was outshot 34-25, including 23-16 in the first 40 minutes. He was once again named the Player of the Game for Canada, the second consecutive game he has earned the nod. The only shot to beat him in regulation was as flukey as they come, as Aleksi Heponiemi tied the game for Finland with just 47 seconds left in the 3rd period.

It was the second big upset of the day. The first saw Switzerland knock-off top seeded Sweden, which sets up a Finland vs. Switzerland semifinal matchup.

Next up (FIN): Semifinal vs. Switzerland (Friday, 5:00pm PT, TSN 1/4/5)

United States (3) - Czech Republic (1)

Quinn Hughes (USA): 0 shots
Tyler Madden (USA): 1 shot

It was the quietest game for both Hughes and Madden as the United States outplayed Czech Republic badly from start to finish. The only reason this one was close was because of the stellar play of Czech goaltender Lukas Dostal, who came up huge for his team on numerous occasions, finishing with 38 saves on the night.

"I thought we played our game," said Hughes. "We didn't give much up and were good offensively. The shots were 41-19. I liked our game today.

"They are a good team. As you saw today with all the upsets, there are a lot of good teams here. I don't think any of the games should be blowouts. You see the first line they (Czech Republic) have there, and some of the players they have on that team, they can make something happened any shift, so we needed to be prepared."

Hughes failed to record a shot on goal, but did log 20:35 of ice-time, tied for most on his team, while Madden ended with one shot on goal and 18:17 of ice-time, the most among all United States forwards.

Now, for the first time all tournament, the United States heads to Vancouver where they now have a date with Russia in the semifinals.

"I am excited," said Hughes. "Vancouver is the main event. I have only been to Vancouver once at the Canucks Development Camp and this should be really fun."

Next up: Semifinal vs. Russia (Friday, 1:00pm PT, TSN)

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