World Juniors Day 2: Canada Holds off Switzerland, Russia Blanks Denmark, Sweden Downs Slovakia

Jerred Bapty
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@CaptainBapty

Saturday, December 29, 2018


VANCOUVER/VICTORIA, BC – Swiss Head Coach Christian Wohlwend’s optimism for his country’s matchup with Canada was well-founded. 

Switzerland played a strong game against Canada, despite the 3-2 loss. They took advantage of some sloppy play by Canada in the 2ndperiod and tied the game 46 seconds into the frame. 

Canada picked up their play and potted two later in the period and held a 3-1 lead for most of the 3rdperiod. 

Switzerland scored late in the 3rdto make it 3-2 but, fell victim to a premature whistle and some questionable officiating that prevented them from tying it up. The Swiss took 5 penalties and were outshot 32-15 by Canada. 

Other than the first goal for Canada 36 seconds in, Canada’s top line of Cody Glass, Max Comtois, and Owen Tippet were shut down by the Swiss. 

Hamilton Bulldogs MacKenzie Entwistle gave Canada the 2-1 lead and played his best game for Canada thus far. The fact that Head Coach Tim Hunter had him taking the defensive faceoff on a 6-on-5 with less than a minute to go means Entwistle won’t be the 13thforward for much longer. 

Both Canada and the Swiss have the day off Friday and on Saturday Canada will play the Czech Republic while Switzerland takes on Denmark. 

Denmark Makes Russia Nervous

The score says 4-0 in favour of Russia, but it was really a 2-0 game and a strong game for the Danish squad. 

The Danes outshot Russia 12-4 in the 3rdtrying to mount a comeback and they just about did until Pavel Shen scored on a ridiculous deflection goal. The fourth goal was an empty and those never really count anywhere other than the scoresheet. 

This was a penalty-laden affair, which is becoming a theme at this year’s World Juniors, but only Russia’s first goal was on the man advantage. Denmark had 7 powerplays and couldn’t cash on a single one. Denmark has to figure out how to put the puck in the net on the powerplay if they want to win one in Vancouver. 

The Danes fall to 0-2 and has Friday off while the Russians win their first game of the tournament and take on the Czech Republic Friday. 

Sweden Takes Down Slovakia

Swedish youngster Erik Brannstrom is starting to have himself quite a tournament. Sweden extended their Group Stage win streak to 46 with a 5-2 win over the Slovaks. 

Brannstrom scored on the powerplay again, while Emil Bemstrom scored twice to put the Swedes up 4-1 in the 3rd

Slovakia did get one powerplay goal in the 1stthat tied the game 1-1, but couldn’t capitalize on the five other man advantages they had. 

Swedish youngster Fabian Zetterlund took three penalties for his team, something I’d think his coach discussed with him after the game. 

Sweden and Slovakia both have Friday off to prepare for their matchups against the USA and Finland respectively. 

Finland Blanks Kazakhstan, But an Incredible Goalie Performance for Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is back after being relegated back in the 2009 World Juniors in Ottawa, and one young lad in particular put on an incredible performance. Sure, the Finns ended up getting 5 goals past him, but Kazakh goalie Demid Yeremeyev still stopped 46 of 51 Finnish shots, including silencing some intense flurries with poise that would match an NHL goalie. 

"I feel great," said Yeremeyev. "I liked the game a lot. I felt very good personally in the game. The emotions are very big. I’ve had difficult games before, but not on this level, not at a huge rink with so many people supporting the team."

The crowd in Victoria really got behind the Kazakh team in true Canadian fashion, cheering for the underdog. 

Kazakhstan has another tough task against the Americans Friday while Finland gets the day off to prepare for their match against Slovakia Saturday. 

Let me know what you think!!

Twitter: @Captainbapty

Email: jerred@barnburner.ca

Image: @IIHF