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2014 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP: DAY 2

Rasmus Ristolainen returned to action as Finland downed Norway 5-1

Friday, 12.27.2013 / 2:45 PM / News
By Kris Baker  - SabresProspects.com
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2014 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP: DAY 2
Rasmus Ristolainen returned to work Friday, logging three shots on goal and an even rating as Finland kicked off the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 5-1 victory over Norway.
Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Ristolainen returned to work Friday, logging three shots on goal and an even rating as Finland kicked off the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 5-1 victory over Norway. Saku Mäenalanen (NSH) paced the Finnish offense, scoring twice and adding an assist to earn the club’s player of the game honor.

Thankful for the NHL experience gained but excited to represent Finland alongside his junior-aged peers, Ristolainen was smooth and confident in his execution on the Finnish blue line while paired with former TPS Turku teammate Mikko Lehtonen. The right-hander showed poise in transition, smarts in front of his net, and was strong on both the power play and penalty killing units. The steady performance was encouraging given how it was Ristolainen’s first game action since suffering an upper body injury Nov. 29 while playing with the AHL’s Rochester Americans.

FINLAND/NORWAY GAME SUMMARY

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Ristolainen, whose only hiccup came when he was beat to a corner puck on the lone Norwegian goal, will look to build upon the performance when Finland renews their rivalry with host Sweden on Saturday. Norway, who falls to 0-2 in the tournament, will get a day off before battling the Swedes on Sunday.

In the day’s early game, Marko Dano (CBJ) and Milan Kolena each recorded two goals and an assist as Slovakia throttled Germany 9-2. German draft prospect Leon Draisaitl captured a pair of assists in defeat, highlighted by a nice play when he displayed nifty stickhandling in tight before sending a cross-crease pass to Dominik Kahun for a second-period tally. Draisaitl, who posted six points (2+4) in last year’s tournament, currently ranks fifth overall in WHL scoring with 51 (18+33) through 33 games with the Prince Albert Raiders. Draisaitl and the Germans will look to right the ship on Sunday when they square off with the United States.

SLOVAKIA/GERMANY GAME SUMMARY

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Saturday will serve a full slate of action with four games in total. In addition to the Sweden-Finland matchup, Group B will see Nikita Zadorov and Mikhail Grigorenko resume play as Russia takes on Switzerland. In Group A, the United States battles Slovakia (7:30 a.m., NHL Network/NHL.com) while Canada faces the Czech Republic (11:30 a.m., NHL Network).


For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82