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Great Game Friday At World Juniors

by Chrissy Parente / Florida Panthers

World Juniors

Aiming For World Junior Gold

Mike Lewis -
The World Junior Championship is one of the biggest events in the world of hockey; a tournament where players under twenty years of age can represent their country and where the stars of tomorrow come out to shine.

Official IIHF Site

On Friday, all seven Panther prospects/players with Panthers ties were involved in extremely competitive games in Ufa, Russia. The hosts earned a victory over the US 2-1, Canada recording a 6-3 comeback victory over Slovakia and Sweden beat Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout.

The best game of the day in Ufa was the USA against Russia in what would be a very competitive game. Russia got on the board first with Albert Yarullin taking a one timer from the faceoff circle that made it in after deflected off a stick at 2:42 in the first period. The USA bounced back in the second period as Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg’s prospect, scored a power play goal of his own with 6:42 left giving the team plenty of time to take the lead. However in the third period at 4:09, Russia’s Vladimir Tkachyov found a puck in the crease and knocked in he rebound after a nice rush up by Nikita Nesterov got the puck on net, which would make the score 2-1. With a late power play, the USA pulled their goalie in hopes of getting the tying goal but Russia’s defense stood strong and led the team to a 2-1 victory. While no Panther prospects got on the scoring sheet, former JR Panther Shayne Gostisbehere had four shots on goal.

Rocco Grimaldi finished with two shots and was a plus-one, Vincent Trocheck collected three shots and was a minus-one and Yaroslav Kosov finished with two shots and was a plus-one.

Canada won its second straight game to start the tournament with a 6-3 victory over Slovakia. Despite being down 2-0 and 3-1, the team rallied and came back to score five straight goals to secure the win, overcoming playing with just 10 forwards after two were given game misconducts. Jonathan Huberdeau recorded an assist, had three shots and ended the game a plus-2 in the victory.

Sweden and Switzerland found themselves in a shootout with the regulation and overtime ending tied at two. Sweden decided to pull goalie Joel Lassinantti after playing the whole game and put in Niklas Lundstrom for the shootout and the move worked out. He stopped all three of Switzerland’s shots and Sweden’s Victor Rask scored the lone goal of the shootout to give Sweden the 3-2 victory. Panther prospect Rasmus Bengtsson did not play in Friday’s game.

The USA is currently third in Group B with three points. Russia is second with five points and Canada at tops the list with six points after two games played.

On Saturday, Latvia will face off against Sweden while Germany will be playing Russia who are looking to push themselves to the top spot in Group B. Look for a fun rivalry game on Sunday though when the USA takes on Canada.

From 2013 World Juniors Site:


Compared to previous tournament games, the speed and intensity were cranked up a notch, and it was evident that both teams were determined to deliver a passionate but generally clean game.

Albert Yarullin also scored for the Russians, and Jacob Trouba replied for the United States.

"Both teams played pretty well, competed hard, and got good goaltending," said Trouba. "We just came up a little short."

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Canada maintained its perfect record in Group B with its second straight regulation victory. Its all-time World Junior record against Slovakia now sits at eight wins and one tie. The Slovaks remain fourth in the group with one point.

Ryan Strome led the way with two goals for Canada. Morgan Rielly stepped up with a goal and two assists. Scheifele and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins notched a goal and an assist apiece, Ty Rattie chipped a single, and Xavier Ouellet chipped in two helpers.

"You’ve got to be happy with the way we bounced back," said Strome. "That’s the sign of a growing team."

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Victor Rask scored the only goal of the shootout to give Sweden a tense 3-2 win over Switzerland. Sweden changed goalies prior to the extra shots, a unique strategy that paid off.

Although Joel Lassinantti played the full 65 minutes of regulation and overtime, coach Roger Ronnberg went with Niklas Lundstrom for the penalty shots.

"I told the coach I wanted to go in," Lundstrom admitted after. "I like shootouts, and I think I'm good at them." He stopped all three Swiss shots while all three Swedes went to the stick side of Swiss goalie Melvin Nyffeler.

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