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WJC NOTES - January 3, 2005

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

NYR World Junior Championship Coverage >>

PHOTO: Ivan Baranka collected an assist in Slovakia's 3-2 win over Switzerland in Relegation Round play. RECAPS: January 3, 2005 >>

5th place game - Finland 4, Sweden 3 (OT)

Finland did it to the Swedes again. After not holding the lead the entire game, Finland scored the game-winner 1:37 into overtime to claim fifth place at the U20 World Championship with a 4-3 win.

Finland was nipping at Sweden's heels throughout the game, unlike in their first meeting of the championship, in which Finland trailed by as much as three goals, but won after coming back with four, unanswered third-period goals.

The teams exchanged even-strength goals in the first period, and Sweden gained the second period edge with a power-play effort near the end of the second period. Seven minutes into the third period, Finland's Aki Seitsonen tied the game at two, only to have the tie erased five minutes later by Sweden's Nicklas Bergfors.

It looked like Sweden would hold on for the win when, with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, Finland's Teemu Nurmi struck with the game-tying goal with 50 seconds left, sending the game into overtime. Buoyed by the last-minute heroics, it took Finland's Janne Kolehmainen just over a minute to give Finland its second win over Sweden and the edge in the standings.

7th place game - Slovakia 3, Switzerland 2

Slovakia came out as the winner of the relegation round and in finished in seventh place at the 2005 U20 World Championship after earning a 3-2 win against Switzerland.

Two first-period goals proved to be the difference for the Slovaks, who held off a Swiss surge to hold on for the win. Slovakia scored bookend goals in the period with one coming just 29 seconds into the game and the second coming with just over a minute left.

Switzerland pulled to within one in second period and then evened things up 8:36 into the third period when Kevin Romy scored. But five minutes later Marek Hascak struck with the game-winner for the Slovaks. Switzerland out-shot Slovakia 32-26 in the loss.

9th place game - Germany 4, Belarus 3

The Germans saved all their offense for their last game of the U20 championship as they skated into ninth place with a 4-3 win over Belarus. The win was the first for Germany during the championship and gave them a moral boost on their last day of competition.

The German victory was dramatic as Andre Reiss scored with 1:57 left in the game in the come-from-behind win. Germany trailed the entire game until Marcus Kink tied the game at three with seven minutes left in the game, setting up Reiss' game-winner five minutes later.

Before the third period, Belarus seemed to be in control of the game, owning a 2-0 lead after Alexey Ugararov scored twice in the first. The teams exchanged goals making it a 3-1 game when Germany mounted its comeback.

Belarus, which won one game during the preliminary round finishes the championship in tenth place and will also return to division I next year. Germany closes the tournament in ninth place.
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