WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP: DAY 5
Finland stifles the Russians; Canada rallies late to beat Slovakia
Mikhail Grigorenko produced one assist and a game-high six shots on goal Monday as Russia was defeated by Finland 4-1 at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. Star defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen did not play for Finland due to illness.
Grigorenko earned a secondary assist as Valeri Vasiliev opened scoring at 5:27 of the first period, but that was all the Russians could muster after entering the contest with 18 goals through their first two games. Finland owned the second period of play, securing a 12-5 shot advantage en route to scoring three goals, and was able to add another marker in the final frame while holding off the Grigorenko-led Russian attack the rest of the way.
Defenseman Nikita Zadorov finished with a minus-one rating in defeat for Russia. The hulking defender exhibited his hitting ability at times, but was unable to generate much activity in the offensive zone.
Russian will look to get back on track Tuesday when they face unbeaten Sweden. Finland will complete their round robin schedule versus Switzerland.
WATCH: RUSSIA/FINLAND HIGHLIGHTS
RUSSIA/FINLAND GAME SUMMARY
In a Group B shocker, Marvin Cupper stopped all 40 shots sent his way and Frederik Tiffels snagged two goals and an assist to guide Germany to a 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic. The German win was their first ever over the Czechs at the under-20 event. Top draft prospect Leon Draisaitl sat the game out after being issued a one-game suspension following a checking from behind penalty in Saturday’s loss to the United States.
WATCH: GERMANY/CZECH REPUBLIC HIGHLIGHTS
GERMANY/CZECH REPUBLIC GAME SUMMARY
Anthony Rouiller scored the game winning goal in the 51st minute as Switzerland downed Norway 3-2. Fabrice Herzog (TOR) and Mirco Muller (SJS) also scored for the Swiss, who with the win advanced to the tournament quarterfinal while sending Norway to the relegation round.
SWITZERLAND/NORWAY GAME SUMMARY
Jonathan Drouin (TBL) tied the game with 5:53 to play in regulation and Nic Petan (WPG) scored twice in the final three minutes to thrust Canada to 5-3 come-from-behind victory over Slovakia. The Slovaks got out to a 3-1 lead in the second period before Canada shook off four minor penalties and got it together with four unanswered goals to close the game in thrilling fashion. Anthony Mantha (DET) earned player of the game honors for Canada with a goal and three assists, while highly-rated 2014 draft prospects Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad recorded one assist each.
CANADA/SLOVAKIA GAME SUMMARY
The Canadian victory provides a beautiful backdrop entering Tuesday’s showdown with the United States (11:30 a.m., NHL Network). Canada would need to defeat the defending gold medalist in regulation to earn the top playoff seed in Group A, while a USA regulation victory or tie will earn them the preferred quarterfinal matchup.
The final Group B playoff seeds will also be determined Tuesday. If Russia can defeat Sweden in regulation and Finland does the same over the Swiss, there will be a three-way tie for first place, with goal differential in the games between the teams determining the positioning.
Tuesday’s action will be rounded out with the Czech Republic battling Slovakia (8 a.m., NHL Network). A Slovakia victory will send the Czechs to the relegation series and place Germany in the quarterfinal.
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.