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WJC NOTES - December 27, 2004

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

NYR World Junior Championship Coverage >>

Speedy forward Nigel Dawes tallied his first goal of the tournament in Canada's 8-1 rout of Sweden on Day Three of the 2005 World Junior Championship.

With the win, Canada improved to 2-0-0 and are back in action on Tuesday when they face Germany.

In other WJC action, Team USA also remained unbeaten at 2-0-0 with a wild 6-4 win over Switzerland. Ryan Callahan netted his first WJC goal in the win with Al Montoya between the pipes for Team USA.

Nigel Dawes (Canada) ... tallied his first goal of the tournament in Canada's 8-1 rout of Sweden.

Ryan Callahan (USA) ... netted his first WJC goal in Team USA's 6-4 win over Switzerland.

Al Montoya (USA) ... turned aside 31 of 35 Swiss attempts to help Team USA to a 6-4 victory against Switzerland. RECAPS: December 27, 2004 >>

Canada 8, Sweden 1

Canadian fans had to wait over an hour and a half at the U.S. border on their way to today's Canada-Sweden game in North Dakota, but their U20 team made it worth the wait as it treated the 10,739 fans, mostly Canadian, to an 8-1 romp over Sweden.

Canada dominated nearly every aspect of the game, but several penalties hampered the Canadian offense in the first period as the game was locked at one after 20 minutes. Canada scored just over two minutes into the game, but Sweden's David Fredriksson tied the game five minutes later with a power-play tally.

Canada went down two men at the end of the period, but still managed a breakaway effort with only three skaters. Fortunately for Sweden, goaltender Christopher Heino-Lindberg saved that and the other 15 shots he faced in the period.

But Heino-Linberg could only do so much in the second period as Canada stayed in front of his net virtually the entire period, peppering him with shots. Within the first three minutes, Canada had climbed ahead, 3-1, and thanks to the dynamic duo of Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron, it became a 5-1 lead by the end of the period as the linemates each scored once in the second half of the period.

The pair finished the game with two points each, but were out-done by Ryan Getzlaf, who had three points on one goal and two assists.

Canada scored on its first two shots of the third period, including on the opening face-off play to make it a 7-1 advantage within the first 46 seconds. Even a goaltender switch couldn't help the Swedes, who went on to lose, 8-1.

It was the second straight eight-goal performance for Canada against the Swedes, who last met in an 8-2 decision at the 2003 U20s in Halifax. Canada now owns a 2-0-0 record and is on top of its preliminary round group, while Sweden is now 1-0-1.

Czech Republic 1, Russia 4
Russia's two first period, power-play goals proved to be the difference in its first win at the 2005 IIHF World U20 Championship. Thanks to the early tallies, Russia was able to defeat the Czech Republic, 4-1, in Thief River Falls.

Both Russia and the Czechs now have 1-0-1 records in the preliminary round.

Russia controlled much of the first period, out-shooting the Czechs nearly two-to-one. Alexander Radoulov and Sergei Shirokov gave Russia the early-game advantage when they connected on the power play.

Evgeni Malkin, the 2004 second overall NHL draftee scored an unassisted goal 14 seconds into the second period and closed the game with a goal and an assist. But Russia's offense stalled after the Malkin goal, remaining scoreless for over 25 minutes, while the Czechs closed in with a power-play goal midway through the second period.

The score stood at 3-1 until Evner Lisin sealed the win in the third period with
Russia's fourth goal. The 2004 top NHL draftee, Alexander Ovechkin, assisted.

Finland 0, Slovakia 2
It took patience and time, but Slovakia eventually earned its first win at the 2005 IIHF World U20 Championship after skating to a 2-0 win over Finland.

The quiet 2-0 contest was a departure from the high scoring games that have defined the tournament thus far. However, the squads managed to get a respectable amount of shots on net as Slovakia out-shot the Finns, 27-19.

After a scoreless first period, it was Slovakia's Tomas Bulik that broke the silence with just over five minutes remaining in the second period with an even-strength effort. It was no surprise in the stingy game that Bulik's goal stood as the eventual game-winner. Andrej Meszaros added a second goal for good measure with 59 seconds left.

Jaroslav Halak had 19 saves in the shutout win.

The win was important for the Slovaks (1-0-1), who tightened things in their preliminary round group with the win. Meanwhile, the defending bronze medalists, Finland, dropped to 1-0-1 after their first loss.

United States 6, Switzerland 4
After virtually no action in the first two periods, the United States and Switzerland decided to pack all the excitement in the final 20 minutes, as the teams combined for eight goals in a seven-minute span in a rollercoaster finale.

In the end, the United States managed to survive the Swiss scare in a 6-4 win.

The teams made up for the lack-luster start with a sensational opening to the third period, which saw a combined four goals in a two-minute span. Down 2-0, Switzerland came out in the third period and scored two goals 19 seconds apart in the first 1:04. The goals were mirror images as both Yvan Benoit and Roman Wick each tapped in the puck from the side of the crease.

Drew Stafford got the United States back on track with a breakaway goal 30 seconds later to break the tie and T.J. Hensick added a wrist-shot goal at the 2:25 mark to increase distance between the teams. The U.S. struck again less than two minutes later and made it a solid 5-2 lead. But the persistent Swiss bounced back again with a pair of goals 36 seconds apart to pull within one again. Patrick O'Sullivan added the sixth U.S. goal just over seven minutes into the frenzied period, but it stopped the madness as the score stood for the rest of the game.

The game started innocently enough as the 9,000-plus fans in Grand Forks were patient with the Americans as they muddled through the first period. The only goal of the period came midway, when Ryan Callahan forced the puck in past a Swiss defender that was down in the crease.

Switzerland took advantage of the U.S. lethargy and came out strong in the second period, getting the first five shots of the stanza and testing U.S. goaltender Al Montoya with solid scoring chances. It only was when Ryan Kessel created an odd-man rush for the United States that led to a goal by Kevin Porter and a 2-0 lead. The lead stood until the third-period when wildness started.

With the win, the United States remained undefeated with a 2-0-0 record, while the Swiss fall to 1-0-1.
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