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Day 2: Canada, Czechs Secure Semifinals, US Defeat Russia

By on August 13, 2014 in Ivan Hlinka Memorial with 0 Comments

By Radoslav Vavřina, Lead Writer, The Czech List

BŘECLAV, CZE – Another day of Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, another day of top-quality junior hockey. So far two teams managed to claim spots in the semifinals, Czechs doing so by beating Finland 4-3 and Canada dominating Sweden 5-1. On the other hand, two teams found out they won’t get past the group stage this year, Russia being the first after 7-4 loss to United States, Slovakia the other.

Canada opened the day over in Slovakia once again, facing the Swedes. Tre Kronor hung on to the scoreless tie for quite a while until seven minutes into the second period, Travis Konecny broke the deadlock and gave his team a crucial lead. Just eight minutes later, Lawson Crouse would expand the lead to two goals and that would actually prove to be the game-winning goal.

Sweden scored just a while later though when Philip Magnusson cut the deficit in half deflecting the puck in in traffic, but that wasn’t enough as Mitchell Stephens added two goals and Jansen Harkins capitalized on a penalty shot with three minutes left to play in the third. With the win, Canada secures a place in semifinals.

Coming off a two-goal defeat at hands of the co-hosts from Czech Republic, Team USA knew they needed a win if they wanted to stay alive and keep hope for semifinals. That same challenge, however, lied in front of Russia as well. And it was the European hegemon who scored first with Kirill Kaprizov beating otherwise great goalie Evan Sarthou seven minutes in.

Russian-American forward Dennis Yan, representing the U.S., would tie the score just two minutes later, add another one before the end of the first and then also assists on third and fourth goals of the Americans. Thanks to another goal by Kaprizov and two by Artyom Ivanyuzhenkov, Russians stayed alive for a long time until a three-zip third period broke them. Grant Gabriele with the winning goal, 7-4 the final.

Ending the day were the Czechs, looking to claim semifinals in just two days, something they don’t do a lot. Great start was provided by first-minute goal by Finnish-based forward Radek Koblížek that had Suomi, the opposition, down by one. They’d come back and Petrus Palmu would even give them a lead midway through the second.

Great effort by both teams, including loads of rough stuff, especially in the second period, was decided in favor of the Czechs in the final frame. After Palmu scored his second to tie the score at three apiece, Lukáš Jašek responded in great fashion and great defensive performance along with outstanding goaltending by Daniel Vladař kept the score at 4-3, giving Czechs a spot in semifinals.

East of the border, action concluded with Switzerland beating Slovakia, 3-1. The co-hosts won’t get to semis, but they can still battle for fifth-place game. However, facing Canada on final day of group stage, doesn’t really look well.

Photo courtesy of Juniorský hokej CZ/SK


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