2012 WJC Journal – Day Six

By Ken McKenna

Photo: Swedish forward Rickard Rakell scored one of goals in their comeback, 4-3 win over Russia 9courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

The sixth day of the 2012 World Junior Championship provided probably the best match-up so far at this year’s event.

The preliminary round schedule was setup to close with the New Year’s Eve battle between last year’s gold medal winners, Russian, and the team that they kept from contending for gold last year, Sweden.

Although the Swedes were looking for a measure of revenge against the Russians, that was not at all evident in the first period of last night’s game, as Russia jumped out to a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission. But rather than allow the game to turn into another preliminary laugher, the Swedes turned on the afterburners, dominating play for the final two periods and coming back to tie the game at 3 in regulation.

The teams went to overtime, where Sweden’s Joakim Nordmark deflected a shot past Russian netminder Andrei Vasilevski to send the Swedes to the semi-final playoff round. The deflected puck was close to being touched with a high stick, but the play was reviewed and deemed a goal, leaving Sweden with their 4-3 win.

A more thorough recap of the game can be found at this link…

Finland%2Bbounces%2BCzechs%2Bsecure%2Bsecond%2Bplace/5933354/story.html”>Sweden storms back to stun Russians in OT – Montreal Gazette

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National PostSweden storms back to stun Russians in OTMontreal GazetteThere were New Year’s Eve fireworks inside Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome at the end of the Russia-Sweden game in the IIHF world junior hockey championship, but they had to be del …

For a look at the game-winning goal, you can view this YouTube video…

Winning Goal NORDSTROM Joakim (Russia – Sweden) U20 Hockey World Championship 2012

Russia – Sweden, U20 Hockey World Championship 2012, 31.12.2011 3-4 OT Goal NORDSTROM Joakim Assist: NEMETH, FRIBERG

The favorite to win gold at this year’s tournament, Canada, finished their preliminary round with a perfect record after defeating the United States, 3-2. Canada had opened up a 3-0 lead in the first period before the U.S. finally woke up and played some of their best hockey of the tournament. But the effort wasn’t enough for the U.S., and they must now avoid the embarrassment of being relegated to a lower bracket.

You can check out a game report at this link…

WJC: Canada beats USA 3-2; advances to semifinals – TSN

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TSNWJC: Canada beats USA 3-2; advances to semifinalsTSNCanada capped a perfect run in the preliminary round of the world junior hockey championship with a 3-2 win over the United States on Saturday night. The team now heads south to Calgary to play i …

Team USA goaltender Jack Campbell is finishing up his WJC eligibility this year on a disappointing note. NHL.com’s Mike Morreale has a good feature on Campbell, which can be found at this link…

In defeat, Campbell savors WJC moment – NHL.com

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In defeat, Campbell savors WJC momentNHL.comCanada defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, who holds dual US-Canadian citizenship, never doubted that his former teammate would rise to the occasion on a big stage. "Campbell is a proven goalie and he did a great jo …

Another team staging a comeback win and, in this case, avoiding playing in the relegation round was Slovakia, who defeated Switzerland 6-4 to move on to the quarter-finals. Switzerland held a 4-2 lead early in the third period, but Slovakia exploded for four goals in a little over five minutes to seal the win over a Swiss team that may have run out of gas.

You can check out this Vancouver Sun article for more info on Slovakia’s win…

Sweden shoots down plucky Swiss squad – Vancouver Sun

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Globe and MailSweden shoots down plucky Swiss squadVancouver SunSweden takes on Slovakia on Friday followed by Switzerland battling Latvia in the night game. In Wednesday’s late Pool A game, the Russians had trouble capitalizing on numerous opportuni …

One Canadian sportswriter offered up his surprise at the USA’s performance at the WJC…

RossRomaniuk

Somewhat dismayed that USA has come up so short at the WJC. Came pretty close against Canada, though, and made them work for the win.

Sunday, January 01, 2012 11:41:57 AM

Finland was the other winner on Day 6 of the WJC, defeating the Czech Republic, 4-0. The Finns opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period, then rode the goaltending of Sami Aittokallio to finish off the Czechs.

The Finns head into the quarter-finals with some momentum, a fact highlighted in this article…

Finns on a roll heading into junior quarter-finals – Montreal Gazette

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24 Hours VancouverFinns on a roll heading into junior quarter-finalsMontreal GazetteBy Allen Cameron, Postmedia News January 1, 2012 8:59 PM Finland’s Joonas Donskoi (L) celebrates his goal with teammate Ville Pokka during the second period of play a …

The playoff and relegation rounds begin tomorrow. Switzerland faces Denmark in the relegation game while Finland and Slovakia make up the early playoff pairing, and Russia and the Czech Republic square off in the evening quarter-final match-up.