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World Juniors: Day 1 recap

by Tyson Giuriato / Vancouver Canucks
It was a good start to the World Juniors for all three Vancouver Canucks prospects, who all chipped in to help their teams to victories.

Canada (8) – Slovakia (0)
Jake Virtanen: 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 shots, +2

Robby Fabbri scored twice and setup two others as Team Canada cruised to an 8-0 win over Team Slovakia at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Friday night.

Jake Virtanen also factored into the scoring, adding a goal and assist, while Zachary Fucale stopped all 12 shots he faced for the shutout. In the second period, Virtanen, the Canucks first round, sixth overall, pick in 2014, took the puck behind the net and centred it out in front, resulting in Nick Paul’s first goal of the tournament. Then, late in the third period, Virtanen took the puck behind the goal line and banked it off Slovakian goaltender David Okolicany and into the net to cap off the Canadian offensive attack.

Next up: vs. Germany (Saturday, 5pm PT, TSN)

United States (2) – Finland (1)
Thatcher Demko: Win, 28 saves

Alex Tuch scored in regulation, while Chase De Leo and Jack Eichel netted shootout goals as Team USA prevailed with a 2-1 win over Team Finland on Friday afternoon at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

It may not have been the prettiest of games, but in the end, Thatcher Demko got the win. After a weird start where the puck bounced off American defenceman Auston Matthews and into the back of the net, Demko went on to stop 28 straight shots throughout regulation and overtime. Sure, there were times he appeared to be fighting the puck, but there were times he showed why he was the second goalie taken in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, most notably on a Finnish power-play with less than five minutes remaining in the middle stanza. After an opening shootout goal he would have liked to have back, Demko stoned Jusso Ikonen and Kasperi Kapanen with glove saves to help the United States to victory.

Next up: vs. Germany (Sunday, 5pm PT, TSN2)

Sweden (5) – Czech Republic (2)
Gustav Forsling: 2 assists, 2 shots, +1

William Nylander’s tally midway through the middle stanza stood up to be the game-winner as Team Sweden topped Team Czech Republic by a 5-2 score at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Friday.

Gustav Forsling had a strong game on the blue-line for Sweden, picking up a pair of assists on the night. The fifth round pick in 2014 finished with two official shots on goal, but managed to get a lot more through traffic and towards the net, giving the Swedish forwards a chance for a re-direction. Forsling also finished plus-2 in the game.

Next up: vs. Denmark (Saturday, 10am PT, TSN)

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