Skip to main content
World Juniors

5 Things learned from Day 8 of World Juniors

U.S. survives scare from Switzerland; Canada defeats Czech Republic; Russia advances; Sweden rolls

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Monday was the eighth day of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, and four quarterfinal games were played in Montreal and Toronto.

Quarterfinal results

Russia 4, Denmark 0
Sweden 8, Slovakia 3
United States 3, Switzerland 2
Canada 5, Czech Republic 3

 
Relegation round result

Finland 2, Latvia 1
(Finland leads best-of-3 series 1-0)

 

Five things we learned

 

United States gets scare but advances

The United States survived a huge scare against Switzerland in a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

"We didn't have our best, there's no way around it, but we were able to find a way," U.S. defenseman Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins) said. "This game definitely shook our tree, and we're awake in that locker room now. We know that we have a second chance at this in the medal round.

"We're two [wins] away from this thing; we're going to sharpen up and play better."

Jeremy Bracco had a goal and an assist, and Luke Kunin (Minnesota Wild) and Jordan Greenway (Minnesota Wild) each scored for the United States, which will play Russia in the semifinals at Bell Centre in Montreal on Wednesday (3 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN). Goaltender Tyler Parsons (Calgary Flames) made 19 saves.

"I think we could have been better in a lot of areas, so going into the next game we have to be more dialed in and do what we need to do for 60 minutes to be successful," said Kunin, the U.S. captain.

Greenway scored a power-play goal from the slot 6:18 into the third for a 3-2 lead. Parsons made two big saves against center Nico Hischier (2017 draft eligible) at 15:51 of the third period and on defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (Washington Capitals) with nine seconds remaining. Hischier scored two goals.

"I think I play better under pressure," Parsons said. "It probably wasn't our best game, but I think facing adversity was big for us. Moving forward against Russia, I think we needed that. It's in our heads that we need to refocus and be ready Wednesday."

Video: WJC Quarterfinal Round Highlights: USA 3, SUI 2

 

Gauthier boosts Canada

Forward Julien Gauthier (Carolina Hurricanes) scored two third-period goals for Canada in a 5-3 win against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals at Bell Centre.

Canada, which will play Sweden in the semifinals Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN), outshot the Czech Republic 41-19, including 11-4 in the first period, when forward David Kase (Philadelphia Flyers) scored to give the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead.

Defenseman Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators) gave Canada its second one-goal lead of the second period when he scored at 13:32 to make it 3-2.

"We didn't let down after they scored the first goal even though we had a better period than they did," said Chabot, who got an assist when Gauthier scored his second goal to make it 5-3. "But we were really glad the way we bounced back and came back in that game."

Video: WJC Quarterfinal Round Highlights: CAN 5, CZE 3

 

Hischier gives U.S. fits

Hischier, an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2017 NHL Draft, scored two goals on three shots and was a handful for the U.S. each time he was on the ice.

"Hischier was the best player we've seen in this tournament," U.S. coach Bob Motzko said. "We tried all four lines against him, and I thought he was playing every shift because every time he got out there, the ice was tilted."

The 17-year-old led Switzerland with four goals and seven points in five games.

"He's a phenomenal player," McAvoy said. "All the hype surrounding him makes sense."

Hischier, who plays for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, was in no mood to discuss personal success after the game.

"I put all the personal stuff in the back of my mind," he said. "It's about team success, and we didn't have that [Monday], so I'm not really happy."

Video: Starman, Mears break down USA's win over Switzerland

 
Captain Kaprizov produces again

Russia captain Kirill Kaprizov, selected in the fifth round (No. 135) by the Minnesota Wild in the 2015 NHL Draft, scored two goals in a 4-0 win against Denmark in the quarterfinals at Air Canada Centre.

Kaprizov leads the tournament with seven goals in five games.

"Kaprizov is supposed to be a key player for our team and I've been satisfied how he's produced," Russia coach Valeri Bragin said. "He has created a great atmosphere in the dressing room for our team."

Kaprizov's second goal, which gave Russia a 4-0 lead 15:35 into the third, came off a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that beat goalie Kasper Krog (2017 draft eligible) over his left shoulder and inside the near post.

"There was a hole between the post and keeper and I shot it there," Kaprizov said.

Video: WJC Quarterfinal Round Highlights: RUS 4, DEN 0

 

Sweden remains dominant

Forwards Joel Eriksson Ek (Minnesota Wild) and Tim Soderlund (2017 draft eligible) each scored two goals to lift Sweden to an 8-3 win against Slovakia in the quarterfinals at Bell Centre.

Sweden, winner of five straight, will play Canada in the semifinals on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).

Soderlund scored his second goal of the game 2:36 into the third to give Sweden a 6-3 lead. Sweden, which scored three power-play goals, opened a 5-0 lead before allowing three straight goals.

Adam Ruzicka (2017 draft eligible) scored 1:53 into the third to pull Slovakia within 5-3 before Soderlund scored 43 seconds later.

"I think that made a calmness for the group," said Sweden defenseman Oliver Kylington (Calgary Flames). "It was a bit shaky when they scored their goal there, but I think we have a really calm group and we talk a lot on the bench, so I think it wasn't any panic and anything."

Video: WJC Quarterfinal Round Highlights: SWE 8, SVK 3

 

What's next

Tuesday

Relegation round

Finland vs. Latvia (5:30 p.m. ET; Bell Centre)
(Finland leads best-of-3 series 1-0)

 

Wednesday

Semifinals

United States vs. Russia (3 p.m. ET; Bell Centre, NHLN, TSN) -- The United States never has defeated Russia in the playoff round of the WJC (0-7), including three games in the semifinals. The U.S. did end a five-game losing streak against Russia with a 3-2 win in the preliminary round.

Sweden vs. Canada (7:30 p.m. ET; Bell Centre, NHLN, TSN) -- Canada is first in the tournament in shooting percentage (14.2 percent) and on the power play (39.1 percent). Sweden, making its 11th straight appearance in the semifinals, is second in shooting percentage (13.9 percent) and second on the power play (38.4 percent).

NHL.com correspondent Sean Farrell contributed to this report.

View More