Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Florida Panthers

Panthers News

WJC: US Advances To Finals

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

USA Hockey

The World Junior Championships are underway as Panther prospects AJ Jenks (USA) and Jacob Markstrom (Sweden) are looking to earn gold for their country.

Day 9: 1/03
It's an all-North American final.

That's because the US, despite playing 24 hours before, knocked off Sweden with a 5-2 victory Sunday night in Saskatoon.

The victory sends the Americans to the Gold Medal game, a rematch of the best game of the 2010 tournament in which Canada won 5-4 in a shootout in the preliminaries.

The United States jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:24 into the game as Tyler Johnson rebounded the puck past Jacob Markstrom.

Sweden would rebound and hold a the lead 12:17 into the second period as Anton Lander scored twice. But it didn't last long as Jerry D'Amigo knotted it at two 2:49 after Lander's second goal on a great individual effort, passing it himself along the boards before beating Markstrom five-hole.

The US had a great opportunity to take a huge lead on Sweden 39 seconds into the third as M Johansson was sent off for five minutes for elbowing. But the Swedish fore check on the penalty kill limited any good opportunities for the Americans. John Carlson did eventually give the US a lead they wouldn't give up again with a blast from the point 12:34 into the third. They added to their lead, on a Sweden power play no less, when Derek Stepan stole the puck at the US blue line and raced down the ice before sending it over to D'Amigo who buried it short side for his second of the game.

AJ Jenks finished off the scoring when he scored into an empty net with 55 seconds left in the game. Jenks finished the game with the goal on four shots and was a plus-two while Markstrom finished stopping 30 of 34 shots.

Sweden will take on Switzerland (4pm ET Tuesday, NHL Network) in the Bronze Medal game while the US and Canada face-off for Gold (8pm ET Tuesday, NHL Network).

Day 8: 1/02
Well this should be interesting. AJ Jenks will face off against Jacob Markstrom in the semifinals.

That's because Jenks and Team USA won their quarterfinal matchup against Finland, 6-2.

The United States would score the game's first three goals on their way to a victory as Kyle Palmieri and Matt Donovan scored within 4:20 of each other early in the first period while Jerry D'Amigo gave them the 3-0 lead 12:51 into the second period.

Finland would make it a game by scoring two of the next three goals when Eero Elo made it 3-1 2:26 after D'Amigo's tally. After Chris Kreider made it 4-2 2:05 into the third, Iiro Pakarinen regained the two goal cushion with a goal with 5:29 left to play. D'Amigo scored an empty netter with 53 seconds left and Danny Kristo scored nine seconds later to give the Americans the 6-2 final.

Jenks registered his first assist of the tournament, being credited with the second assist on Kreider's goal.

The US and Sweden will battle it out for the right to play in the Gold Medal game Sunday night (9pm ET, NHL Network in US, TSN in Canada)

Day 6: 12/31
The Preliminaries ended Thursday in Saskatoon and Regina for the World Junior Tournament and Jacob Markstrom and Sweden sewed up an automatic bid to the semis with a 7-1 victory over Finland to finish 4-0 in Group B while despite an amazing game against the heavily favored Canadians, AJ Jenks and the United States ultimately fell to Canada 5-4 in a shootout.

For Sweden, their victory can be largely attributed to Markstrom. Finland threw 26 shots on goal, yes 26, in the first period alone and Markstrom turned away every single one of them. Sweden was outshot 26-3 in the opening period yet led 1-0. The Swedes turned up the heat with three goals in each of the second and third periods on their way to a 7-1 victory.

Markstrom, who was named Sweden's Best Player Of The Game for the second straight contest, was not as busy in the latter two periods, stopping nine in the second and three of four in the third. His preliminary ends perfectly at 3-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .969 Save Percentage, tops in the tournament.

For AJ Jenks and the US, it's really a matter of what should have been.

After Canada took a 1-0 lead 2:03 into the contest, the United States would score four of the next five goals of the game, including two short-handed, to be lead 4-2 just 1:01 into the third period. Philip McRae, Jordan Schroeder (sh), Tyler Johnson (sh) and Danny Kristo all scored for the US. Hanging around, Canada upped the pressure and got to within one on Jordan Eberle's second of the night with 9:57 to play and Alex Pietrangelo tied it on a shorthanded goal with 4:15 left in the game.

After the scoreless overtime period, the game went to the shootout with Eberle, Nazem Kadri and Brandon Kozun all scoring for Canada and Kristo and Jeremy Morin scoring for the US. With the chance to tie it as the third shooter, Schroeder was stopped by Jake Allen which sent the Canadians to the semis and the Americans to a date with Finland in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Jenks finished the contest with two shots on goal, four penalty minutes and was a plus-one.

Day 4: 12/29
Sweden and the United States got back at it in grand fashion Tuesday after both having off days on Monday.

The United States blitzed Latvia by a score of 12-1, scoring six times in the first 20 minutes en route to the victory while Sweden knocked off Russia with a 4-1 victory to capture first place in Group B with one game left to play.

Both Panthers prospects had a hand in their teams wins as AJ Jenks collected a goal in his second straight game while Jacob Markstrom turned away 36 shots for his second victory of the tournament. Jenks rebounded the puck in for the U.S' fourth goal of the game, a power play tally 14:40 into the first and finished with four shots and a plus-one. Markstrom was named Sweden's Best Player Of The Game for his efforts against the Russians.

The US now have a day break before their big showdown with Canada to determine who gets the bye into the semis for Group A while Sweden finishes up pool play on Thursday as well against Finland.

Day 2: 12/27
Day two was more of the same for Sweden and the USA. Jenks found the back of the net for the first time of the Junior tournament as the US defeated Switzerland 3-0 while Sweden didn't even need Markstrom between the pipes on their way to a 7-3 victory over Austria.

The Americans were actually in for a scare against the Swiss, not scoring their second goal until the 12:35 mark of the third period while Jenks tally gave the US the final scoring with 3:24 left to play in the game. Jenks finished with the goal on three shots and was a plus-one.

Day 1: 12/26
It was a great opening day for both Sweden and the United States as both teams had dominating final scores. Sweden posted a 10-1 victory over the Czech Republic while the US earned a pulled away from Slovakia 7-3. Markstrom turned a way 20 shots for his first victory of the tournament while Jenks finished with a shot on goal, a plus-one and a cross-checking penalty in the second period while centering the third line.

"It's always good to win the first game, and we won it big," Markstrom told "It's a good game we played, but I think we can play a lot better on defense and execute better on the power play. We have more to give. Still, a good start for sure."

Panthers 4th pick (100th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
 *11th overall in the tournament in face-off percentage (61.04%)

GP Goals Assists Points Shots +/- PIM Face-offs
6 3 1 4 14 +6 6 47 of 77
 Panthers 1st pick (31st overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
 *Named Sweden's Player Of The Game vs Finland (12/31)
 *Named Sweden's Player Of The Game vs Russia (12/29)
 *Second overall in the tournament in GAA (1.76)
 *First overall in the tournament in save-percentage (94.66%)

GP Saves  Goals Allowed Save % GAA Record
4  124  7  .947  1.76   3-1-0
Rank Team GP W OTW OTL  L
1 CAN 4 3 1 0 0 11 29 35 6   1 SWE 4 4 0 0 0 12 22 28 6
2 USA 4 3 0 1 0 10 17 26 9   2 RUS 4 3 0 0 1 9 6 14 8
3 SUI 4 2 0 0 2 6 -4 11 15   3 FIN 4 2 0 0 2 6 2 15 13
4 SVK 4 1 0 0 3 3 -8  14  22   4 CZE 4 1 0 0 3 3 -7 13 20
5 LAT 4 0 0 0 4 0 -34  9  43   5 AUT 4 0 0 0 4 0 -23 7 30
View More