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2008 World Junior Championship Recap

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators

The Predators had four players compete in the 2008 World Junior Championships, all for Team USA, including forwards Blake Geoffrion and Ryan Flynn, defenseman Jonathon Blum, and goaltender Jeremy Smith. (For more coverage from Czech Republic, read Blake Geoffrion’s contributions in Blake's Blog.)

Smith started all six games for Team USA, posting a 4-2 record with a 2.40 goals against average – third best in the tournament –  and .894 save percentage. Smith allowed just 12 goals during the WJC, eight even strength and four power-play.

Geoffrion and Flynn were used mostly in match-up defensive situations. Geoffrion finished with one assist and 10 shots on goal in the six games, while Flynn was scoreless with eight shots on goal. Blum posted one assist and four shots on goal from the blue line.

Team USA dropped its final game of the tournament, a 4-2 decision to Russia in the Bronze Medal Game. The US beat Russia 3-2 earlier in the tournament during the Preliminary Round.

In the Bronze Medal Game, Russia started fast scoring three first period goals. A Alexei Cherapanov opened the scoring 3:59 into the game. Evgeni Kurbatov gave the Russians a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal at the 11:04 mark. Nikita Filatov closed the first period scoring 5:53 later.

Filatov scored a power-play goal 1:30 into the second period to extend the Russian lead to four goals. Cheraponov and Filatov both assisted on each other’s goals to finish the game with three points (one goal and two assists for Cheraponov; two goals and one assist for Filatov).

Rhett Rakhshani put the US on the board with 9:13 left in the second period, his second goal of the tournament. Jordan Schroeder added a power-play goal at the 13:39 mark of the third period to bring the Americans within two goals, but Team USA was unable to draw any closer.

Team Canada beat Team Sweden 3-2 in overtime to win the Gold Medal, Canada's fourth consecutive WJC Gold Medal.

Team USA Schedule and Results
Preliminary Round Games   Group B
Dec. 26
vs. Kazakhstan

W, 5-1 (recap)

Dec. 28
vs. Switzerland
W, 4-2 (recap)
Dec. 29
vs. Russia
W, 3-2 (recap)
Dec. 31
vs. Finland
W, 5-3 (recap)
Medal Round
Jan. 2
(earned bye to semifinals)
Jan. 4
L, 1-4 (recap)
Jan. 5
Bronze Medal Game L, 2-4

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