BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Three Flames prospects are taking part in the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, New York. Calgaryflames.com is on location in Buffalo to provide you with daily reports, video, written features and more through to the end of the tournament.
The Flames prospects suiting up are defenceman John Ramage, captaining team USA, defenceman Tim Erixon for team Sweden and goaltender Joni Ortio for Finland.
DECEMBER 31st, 2010 GAMES
FINLAND 6 SLOVAKIA 0
Team Finland kept their winning ways alive Friday afternoon as they put on a dominating performance to defeat Slovakia 6-0 and climb on top of Group A of the IIHF World U20 Championship.
Team USA will need a win against Switzerland – either in regulation time or overtime – to claim back first place from Finland.
Calgary Flames prospect, Finnish goaltender Joni Ortio was perfect in goal again tonight for his team. He stopped all 10 shots that he faced before being replaced by Sami Aittokallio to start the third period who stopepd all 7 that he saw.
"We've been defending really well," said Ortio. "There hasn't been much work for me but it's been going pretty well and I hope it keeps going that way. I've been confident throughout the tournament. In the first game, the third goal, is a goal that I want to have back but since then I've been improving game by game and I'm feeling pretty good."
Before tonight's game, Ortio was second in goals against and save percentage behind USA's Jack Campbell. After his performance tonight, depending on what Campbell does, Ortio will move into the top spot for goaltenders.
"That's not important to me at all," said Ortio. "The only thing that matters is that we get wins and win these games. The team is the priority right now."
Ortio talked about the closeness of the team this year and how knowing each other from prior years and how growing together has really helped build the team they have this year.
"We have a great team with great guys," Ortio commented. "We all knew each other before this tournament and I think that's been helping us to keep going. We have fun together and we play well so I've got nothing to complain about."
Erik Haula picked up a pair of goals for Finland while Jyrki Jokipakka, Miikka Salomaki, Joonas Donskoi and Valtteri Virkkunen all net one of their own to contribute to the victory.
All the highlights from the Sweden Canada game on New Year's Eve. WATCH VIDEO ›
Tim Erixon Interview
Sweden defenseman talks about his team's big victory over Canada Friday. READ STORY ›
SWEDEN 6 CANADA 5
It took a shootout to find the winner between these two tight knit teams. Oscar Lindberg and Anton Lander were the shootout hero's that gave Sweden a 6-5 victory over Team Canada. With the loss, Canada is forced to play in the quarter-finals which is set to play on January 2. It also means that Canada cannot meet the US in the gold-medal game.
A Switzerland win tonight over the U.S. will set up a Canada-U.S. quarter-finals, and a win by the U.S. and subsequent wins by both teams would set up a semi-final game.Sweden will get the bye strait into the semi-finals.
Canada didn't waste any time getting on the board scoring just 58 seconds into the game. However, Sweden would answer back and that is how the game went all night. End to end action, goal after goal for both teams.
The 17.761 energized fans were at the edge of their seats all night however, they left silent as the majority of the crowd was behind Team Canada, who did not come out on top.
Flames prospect Tim Erixon picked up an assist on Sweden's fifth goal of the night. He had six shots on net to bring him to 18 in the tournament so far, 2nd on Sweden. After Friday's game, he has recorded three points (tied for 1st) and is leading his team in plus minus with +6.
"Of course it is a big win for us," said Erixon. "It's the first time on the small ice, at least for me. It was a big win but we can step up our game to another level. Canada is a good team and it's a really nice feeling right now.
"I think we have a hard working team. We work for 60 minutes and put a lot of pressure and back-check hard. We're going to keep playing the way we've been playing and skate hard for 60 minutes. That's our game."
RUSSIA 8 CZECH REPUBLIC 3
Russia scored eight goals to defeat the Czech Republic 8-3 in their final preliminary round game Friday night. It was Russia’s seventh consecutive victory against the Czech Republic at the IIHF World U20 Championship.
The loss forces the Czech's into the relegation round for the second consecutive year. They will join Germany, Norway and Slovakia in the Relegation Round with three points gained from the win against Norway.
Russia (3B) will now move on to play for a potential medal. They will face Finland (2A) in the quarter-finals on January 2 at 5:30 pm, MT.
USA 2 SWITZERLAND 1
Team USA have earned themselves a bye into the semi-finals after defeating Switzerland Friday night by a score of 2-1.
The quarter-finals are set. Switzerland will face Canada in the quarter-finals and the winner will play the Americans in the semi-finals.The other bye team, Sweden, will wait for the winner between Finland and Russia.
Inti Pestoni drew first blood for Switzerland however Chris Kreider found a way to tie it up a minute later for the Americans on the power play.
Mitch Callahan would seal the USA fate in the second period with the game winning goal.
Flames prospect and US captain, John Ramage did not muster up any points against the Swiss. The defenseman remains pointless through four games but is sitting at a +3.