World Juniors Day 5: Russia Comes Back Against Switzerland, Slovakia Dominates Kazakhstan
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, December 31, 2018
VANCOUVER/VICTORIA, BC – Another slow start for the Russians almost cost them their first loss of the tournament to a strong Swiss squad.
Russia managed to score 4 goals in the 3rdto come back and win 7-4.
Special teams were once again an issue for the Swiss, giving up two powerplay goals and a shot-handed goal that sparked the Russian comeback.
There weren’t too many penalties in this game, probably for the first time in a while, but the Russians capitalized on the man-advantage when they needed to.
With just over 3 minutes left to play in the 2ndperiod, Russian defender Dimitri Samorukov lost a battle for the puck with Swiss forward Marco Lehmann at his own blue line. Samorukov proceeded to trip Lehmann twice as he tried to break to the net for a scoring opportunity.
The referees had initially called a penalty shot and a two-minute minor but, changed the call and awarded Switzerland with 2 penalty shots.
The Swiss sent both their top scorers out, Philipp Kurashev first and Lehmann second.
Both boys couldn’t score.
The game remained tied at 3 and the Swiss had to kill off another 33 seconds of a high-sticking penalty against Sandro Schmid, but it was still 3-3 at the end of the 2nd.
Switzerland couldn’t capitalize on a golden opportunity and the Russians made them pay in the 3rd.
It looked like the Swiss just ran out of gas in the 3rd. They scored one but, didn’t have enough in the tank to mount a full comeback.
It was the last game of the Group Stage for the Swiss, so they’ll wait and see who they’ll face in round 1 of the playoffs, while the Russians matchup against Canada for the classic New Year’s Eve game.
Slovakia Dominates Kazakhstan
Demid Yeremeyev started in net again for the Kazakhs but, didn’t quite have the same stellar performance as he did against the Finns back on Day 2 of the tournament.
He still managed to stop 35 of 46 shots in an 11-2 loss to the Slovaks.
It was unfortunately an ugly one from the beginning as Slovakia scored on their first two possessions of the game and potted 6 goals in the 1stperiod alone.
Andrej Kollar had a hattrick for the Slovaks, while Marcel Dlugos and Adam Ruzicka had two apiece. Pavol Regenda had a goal and two assists for a 3-point night.
Artur Gatiyatov scored both Kazakh goals and Daniyar Samat assisted on both.
Kazakhstan will have to play Sweden before likely facing Denmark in the relegation round where they’ll battle to see who stays and who gets replaced by Germany for the 2020 World Juniors.
Slovakia meanwhile will face the winner of Canada vs. Russia, the deciding game for 1stin Group A.
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