WJC 2019 Day One Round Robin Report
The first day of round robin is behind us with the conclusion of the Finland vs Sweden matchup. There were highs and lows, and if you’re Denmark, today never happened.
The first day scores are as follows:
CZE 2-1 SUI (OT)
USA 2-1 SVK
CAN 14-0 DEN
SWE 2-1 FIN
Yes, that is correct. The Canadians scored two touchdowns in an absolute onslaught, their biggest victory since the 16-0 drubbing of Latvia nine years ago, to the day.
Czech Republic v Switzerland
The early game was the only contest to need overtime, and while most had the Czechs winning, the Swiss made a game of it. Captain Nando Eggenberger scored a powerplay goal to give Switzerland the lead in the second period. It was only a minute before Martin Kaut, a Colorado first round pick, tied it up.
Kaut would later assist the overtime winner to David Kvasnicka. Luca Hollenstein made 25 saves for Switzerland, and Lukas Dostal (ANA) stopped 26. The overtime shot looked harmless enough, but was able to see itself through traffic in front.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 26, 2018
Martin Necas, a top-10 prospect in the coming draft, assisted Kaut’s goal in the second. Necas found him from below the goal line, and Kaut was able to somehow jam the puck between the post and Hollenstein’s pad. The Czech team should not be overlooked as a medal threat, with extremely talented first round forwards like Filip Zadina (DET), Martin Necas (2019), and Martin Kaut (COL).
Philipp Kurashev of Switzerland led both team’s skaters in ice time with 25:44. He was credited with an assist.
United States v Slovakia
Fans of great goaltending loved this matchup. Both keepers played well, with American Kyle Keyser (BOS) keeping his team in the game long enough to wake up. He made just 13 stops to Samuel Hlavaj’s 32, but nearly half of them were high quality chances against.
Keyser stopped numerous one-on-one chances from American defensive breakdowns before defenseman Marik Korencic stepped into a rush and slid one by him. That would be all for the Slovakians, and they had a chance to tie late in the third. Oliver Wahlstrom (NYI) was called for hooking with just over six minutes remaining, and a penalty shot was awarded. Andrej Kukuča was denied by Keyser, and that would be all.
Offensively, nothing counted for the Americans until captain Mikey Anderson (LAK) capitalized on Evan Barrett’s screen in front. Just two minutes into the third, the United States had life. Hlavaj was able to seal the five-hole to stop Jason Robertson (DAL) on a penalty shot bid.
— John Smith (@NJviDs) December 27, 2018
Barrett (CHI) later stepped into the slot with the puck, and was able to get a decent backhand shot off before falling to the ice. It managed to find the top corner as the game winner with not much time left on the clock. This is why he’s a top NCAA scorer.
— ✶ ✶Tony Gianares✶ ✶ (@Certified_TonyG) December 27, 2018
Hopeful first overall draft pick Jack Hughes, playing above his age level, showed excellent skating and playmaking abilities. He assisted Anderson’s tying goal in the third period.
Canada v Denmark
This one was fun for exactly 17 players, and they were all Canadian. Many on twitter cried out for the mercy rule to be put in effect, but nonetheless, Morgan Frost (PHI) led the way with a hat-trick and two primary assists. Maxime Comtois (ANA), Canadian captain, potted four of his own. Michael DiPietro (VAN) posted the shutout with 14 saves and expressed that he had never made as many saves as his team scored goals.
Brett Leason and Owen Tippett (FLA) both enjoyed multi-goal games. Only two players on team Canada failed to record a point: Alexis Lafreniere and Noah Dobson (NYI). Even DiPietro was credited with one assist.
Morgan Frost had his hat-trick in just 22 minutes of play, the first being one of the goals of the tournament so far. In what was the beginning of a long night for Danish keeper Mads Soegaard, Frost was all of a sudden completely alone in front of the net. This ended poorly for Denmark. Frost showcased great hands, and was nearly robbed by the stretched out leg of Soegaard.
The Philadelphia first-rounder was named Canada’s player of the game.
Finland v Sweden
Pre-tournament, Sweden was praised for an excellent crew of defenders. That’s exactly what was on display tonight, with some incredible goaltending from both sides.
Finland went long stretches of time with almost zero shots, and the ones going through to goaltender Samuel Ersson (PHI) were low-danger heaves from the boards. Swedish captain Erik Brannstrom (VGK) scored both goals for his team, each one a powerplay goal.
Finnish goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (BUF) made unbelievable saves the majority of the night. He left several Swedish shooters looking skyward time after time, but was unable to keep a couple of pucks out from behind some thick screens. Brannstrom took over, displaying exactly why he was chosen captain with a timely blocked shot as time expired. A fully loaded slapshot off the shoulder to keep his team in front, 2-1.
Samuel Ersson was only beaten by a beautiful passing play finished by Aarne Talvitie (NJ). He very nearly got that one too, but Kaapo Kakko looked him off just long enough to give Talvitie a good look on the rush. Credit Jesse Ylonen (MTL), for a nice zone entry to find Kakko.
Henri Jokiharju (CHI) of Finland led all skaters in ice time with 25:06. He played nearly two minutes more than any other skater on either side.
Russia vs Denmark (4:00 EST)
Slovakia vs Sweden (6:30 EST)
Switzerland vs Canada (7:30 EST)
Finland vs Kazakhstan (10:30 EST)
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