scored a pair of goals 19 seconds apart in the early stages of the second period to lead Team USA to a 12-0 win over Kazakhstan in Day 5 of the World Junior Championships. With the win the US improved to 3-0-0 heading into the preliminary round finale against Team Canada on Wednesday. Wilson now has three goals through the first three game of the World Juniors, tied for fifth best in the tournament. (Click here for Preds World Junior Championships main page
Team USA broke a scoreless tie with three goals in the final 3:34 of the first period and then added Wilson’s pair of goals at the 0:52 and 1:11 marks of the second frame. The US added three more goals later in the second period and then finished with a four goal third period to close out the scoring. Preds prospect Jonathon Blum
was scoreless in the game, but 10 players on Team USA finished with multi-point performances, led by Aaron Palushaj with four points on two goals and two assists.
In other Day 5 action, Preds 2008 draftee Jani Lajunen
and Team Finland posted a 5-1 win over Latvia. Lajunen took a pair of shots on goal, but finished the game without a point. Mikael Granlund scored two goals to pace the Team Finland offense.
The Finns scored a power-play goal 2:03 into the game to grab the early 1-0 lead. Finland pushed the lead to 2-0 midway through the opening frame and then netted three goals in the first 10:34 of the second period to blow the game open. Latvia scored a five-on-three power-play goal with 5:57 remaining in the second period. Finland dominated a scoreless third period, out-shooting Latvia 20-3 over the final 20:00 of play.
Czech Republic shutout Germany, 6-0, and Russia downed Slovakia, 8-1, in the day’s other games.
Czech Republic took a major step toward qualifying for the quarterfinals with the win, tying Germany with three points in the Group A standings. The Czechs need a win or overtime loss in Wednesday’s preliminary round finale vs. Kazakhstan in order to secure the No. 3 seed in Group A. In Group B, Team Finland and Team Slovakia meet on Wednesday in an elimination game. Both teams enter tied for third in Group B with three points. The top three teams in both groups qualify for the Medal Round, while the bottom two teams move to the Relegation Round. Latvia (Group B) is eliminated from Medal Round consideration, while Kazakhstan would have to beat Czech Republic by at least a 30 goal margin to earn the No. 3 seed in Group A.
Through the first five days of the preliminary round, Canada & USA are tied for the top spot in Group A with 3-0-0 records, while Russia & Sweden are tied for the top spot in Group B, also with matching 3-0-0 records. US/Canada and Russia/Sweden both meet on Wednesday to determine first place in the Groups. The No. 1 seeds earn a bye into the Jan. 3 semifinals, while the No. 2 seeds play in the Jan. 2 quarterfinals.