Group A Preliminary Games
Denmark had a rough opening game against Sweden, but they rallied to defeat Finland in an impressive team effort and are hoping for some of that same magic today. The Czechs will continue to rely on above-average goaltending along with defenceman Jakub Zboril and forward Michael Spacek, boasting three points each in the tournament so far. You can watch on TSN1/3/5 and RDS in Canada.
The Finns are sorely missing last year’s offensive firepower, and they’re currently sitting at the bottom of Group A with only three goals in the tournament so far. Sweden, on the other hand, is looking to continue their streak of undefeated group play (they’ve won 38 in a row) with another win here. Swedish goalie Felix Sandström looked a little bit shaky against Switzerland yesterday, and the team may choose to give him this one off. Joel Eriksson Ek, Carl Grundström and Alex Nylander lead Sweden with four points each, and Finland’s Joona Luoto has one goal and one assist. The game will be on TSN2 and RDS2 in Canada, and on NHL Network in the United States.
Group B Preliminary Games
Kirill Kaprizov currently leads the tournament with seven points already in two games (most of them coming in Russia’s 9-1 win over Latvia). Habs prospect Mikhail Sergachev has only put up one goal, but that never tells the whole story for a defenceman, and he has made it clear he’s confident in this team and his own abilities.
USA’s top line continues to impress, even with Tage Thompson getting moved around a little bit. Yesterday against Slovakia, Joseph Woll allowed two goals on 20 shots (which is 14 more shots than Canada allowed from the Slovaks on Tuesday). Even with above average goaltending, the Americans will need to tighten up in their own zone against a talented Russian team. The game is being shown on TSN1/3/5 and RDS in Canada, and on NHL Network in the US.
After a crushing defeat at the hands of Russia on Tuesday, Canada is probably not Latvia’s first choice for a follow-up. But this is a team that gave the Americans a brief scare on Monday, and if they can give their goalie a little more support, they do stand a fighting chance. Limiting Canada’s offence will definitely prove a challenge, though. Mat Barzal might be a few points behind the lead with four (to Kaprizov’s seven), but his ten shots on goal is the highest total in the tournament. Montreal prospect Noah Juulsen has seven SOG as a defenceman, as does Captain Dylan Strome (2G, 1A). Watch the game on TSN1/4 and RDS2 in Canada, and on NHL Network in the United States.