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Five Stars prospects still in hunt for gold at World Juniors

U.S., Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic advance to semifinals

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Five of the six Dallas Stars prospects playing at the 2018 World Junior Championship are still in the hunt for a gold medal at the tournament.

Riley Tufte (USA), Jake Oettinger (USA), Ondre Vala (Czech Republic), Fredrik Karlstrom (Sweden), and Colton Point (Canada) all advanced to the semifinals on Tuesday. Only Miro Heiskanen (Finland) saw his run at the World Juniors come to an end.

Here's an update on the Dallas prospects playing at the World Junior Championship.

D Ondrej Vala (Free agent/2016): Vala had no points and two shots on goal in Czech Republic's 4-3 shootout win over Finland. Czech goalie Josef Korenar was superb in stopping 51 shots in regulation and overtime in a game his team was outshot 54-30. Vala skated on the third defense pair and played 17:50 in the game. Vala has no points and a plus-two rating in five games for the Czechs, who will play Canada in the semifinals on Thursday.

Vala Stats: Czech Republic | 5 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS | +2 | 0 PIM

D Miro Heiskanen (1st round/2017): Heiskanen had no points, one shot on goal and a minus-two rating in Finland's 4-3 shootout loss to Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. Heiskanen played on Finland's top defense pair and logged 25:29 of ice time. He finished the tournament with two assists and 14 shots on goal in five games and led Finland in average ice time at 23:49 per game.

Heiskanen Stats: Finland | 5 GP | 0 G | 2 A | 2 PTS | +1 | 0 PIM

G Colton Point (5th round/2016): Point was the backup to Carter Hart in Canada's 8-2 win over Switzerland in the quarterfinals Tuesday. Canada dominated early, outshooting the Swiss 19-5 in the first period and building a 3-0 lead. Point has played in one game, stopping 20 shots in a 6-0 shutout of Slovakia. Canada plays Czech Republic in the semifinals on Thursday.

Point Stats: Canada | 1-0-0 | 20 SA | 20 SVS | 0 GA | 0.00 | 1.000

LW/C Fredrik Karlstrom (3rd round/2016): Karlstrom had no points and three shots on goal in Sweden's 3-2 win over Slovakia in Tuesday's quarterfinal round. Karlstrom started on Sweden's second line in the game but played only 7:59 on the night. Karlstrom has two points in five games at the tournament. Sweden plays the USA in Thursday's semifinals.

Karlstrom Stats: Sweden | 5 GP | 0 G | 2 A | 2 PTS | E | 6 PIM

LW Riley Tufte (1st round/2016): Tufte had no points, no shots on goal and a minus-two rating in the USA's 4-2 win over Russia in the quarterfinals Tuesday night. Kieffer Bellows scored the game-winning goal, tallying midway through the third to give the USA a 3-2 lead. Tufte, who played on the fourth line, logged 9:12 of ice time. He has two assists in five games. The USA plays Sweden in the semifinals on Thursday.

Tufte Stats: USA | 5 GP | 0 G | 2 A | 2 PTS | -1 | 2 PIM

G Jake Oettinger (1st round/2017): Oettinger was the backup to Joseph Woll in the USA's 4-2 win over Russia. Oettinger has played in one game at the tournament, stopping 19 of 22 shots in a 4-3 shootout win over Canada.

Oettinger Stats: USA | 1-0-0 | 22 SA | 19 SVS | 3 GA | 2.77 | .864


Tuesday's Quarterfinals

Czech Republic 4, Finland 3 (SO) 
Canada 8, Switzerland 2 
Sweden 3, Slovakia 2 
USA 4, Russia 2

Thursday's Semifinals

Sweden vs. USA, 3 p.m. 
Canada vs. Czech Republic, 7 p.m.

Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter at @StarsInsideEdge.

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