2012 WJC Journal – Day Eight

By Ken McKenna
Photo:  Sweden‘s Oscar Klefbom and Max Friberg enjoyed the postgame scrum following Sweden’s shootout win over Finland (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

Whoa, Canada!

Day Eight of the 2012 World Junior Championship was Semi-Finals Day in Calgary, Alberta as the tournament heads to its conclusion.

The marquee game of the day featured long-time rivals Canada and Russia squaring off in a rematch of last year’s final. Canada was looking for revenge after giving up five goals in the third period last year to lose the gold medal game to Russia.

Despite outshooting Russia in the first frame, two goals by the Russians and some sharp goaltending by starter Andrei Vasilevski sent Russia to the dressing room with a 2-0 lead. Brett Connolly seemed to give Canada some life early in the second with the team’s first goal of the game. But then the roof figuratively caved in on the Canadians as the Russians tallied the next four goals, taking the lead to 6-1.

To their credit, Canada didn’t quit and in the last ten minutes of the third period put heavy pressure on Russia that brought Canada back to within 6-5. But the goaltending of Russian backup Andrei Makarov and the shortened clock conspired to end Canada’s valiant comeback, allowing the Russians to move on to the gold medal game.

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

Russian Around: Russia Beats Canada 6-5 – KuklasKorner

www.kuklaskorner.com1/4/12

So much so that after the first period when the team was down by two, tickets for the Sweden vs Russia gold medal game could be found on online classified ads. Now that Canada is officially playing for bronze, the number of

Last night, as in last year’s final, Russian forward Yegeni Kuznetsov was a thorn in the side of Canada. In this year’s semi-final game, Kuznetsov netted the hat trick while tacking on an assist for a four-point night.

Kuznetsov’s hat trick goal to make the score 4-1 can be viewed below…

1:4 Goal (3rd) KUZNETSOV Yevgeni (Canada – Russia) U20 Hockey World Championship 2012

SEMIFINALS: Canada – Russia, U20 Hockey World Championship 2012, 3 JAN 2011 1:4 Goal KUZNETSOV Yevgeni Assist: YAKUPOV Nail, SERGEYEV Artyom

Not sure who this kid is, but it sounds like Dad will be a busy guy today…

asdfghjkl_erica

Best part of my dad’s job is all the hilarious hate mail that is recieved after Canada loses the World Juniors #lovecrazypeople

Wednesday, January 04, 2012 2:32:27 PM

TSN’s may have spotted some karmic intervention in last night’s loss…

tsnjamesduthie

6-5 was the score when Eberle and Canada beat Russia in Ottawa. 6-5 Russia here. Sometimes you get miracles, sometimes you hit the post.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 9:35:45 PM

Another tweeter offers up a stat showing the dominance of these two countries at this tournament…

dcmartin29

RT @NHLWinnipeg: Interesting stat: together Canada and Russia account for 27 of the 33 overall gold medals ever awarded at the WJC.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012 1:29:39 PM

Russia will be looking to make it 28 out of 34 golds as they will face Sweden in the gold medal game on Thrursday night.

Sweden moved on to the final via a 3-2 shootout win over rival Finland. As has been the case throughout this tournament, forward Max Friberg provided the heroics for his team as scored both the game-tying goal and the shootout winner for Sweden. Finland played hard and looked to be headed to an upset win over the Swedes until Friberg intervened.

Now, the Finns must face the team that whipped them to start the tournament, Canada, to come away with a medal.

The IIHF provides a good rundown of the Sweden-Finland match here…

Sweden breaks Finnish hearts – IIHF

news.google.com

IIHFSweden breaks Finnish heartsIIHFFinnish goalie Sami Aittokallio, despite struggling at times with rebound control, was heroic between the pipes as Sweden outshot Finland 58-24. But he still lost the goaltending duel with Sweden’s Johan Gustafsson

The Swedes were thought to be a gold medal contender at last year’s WJC but failed to win a medal. The stars might be aligning for the Swedes this time around, but they’ll be facing a Russian team looking to avenge an earlier tournament loss to Sweden.

What does Twitter Nation think of this gold medal matchup? See below…

SNPatrickKing

Want Canada to get some revenge against Russia? If format stays the same, a Sweden win would pit CAN-RUS on New Year’s Eve next year.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012 3:14:24 PM

Steve_Dangle

Sorry Sweden, but i want Russia to win gold now. Winning after the Lokomotiv tragedy for Sobchenko and Urychev would be amazing. #2012WJC

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 9:50:17 PM

Enmanshow

Sweden’s only got 1 Gold in the World Juniors, but 9 Silver. Russia’s got what? 13 gold? We’re the underdogs, let’s have it! Come on!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012 3:13:45 PM

There was one relegation game on Day Eight, with the United States beating Latvia, 12-2. The U.S. showed that they had plenty of offense when they didn’t need it in this tournament, but suffered power outages when they needed it most. Unfortunately, that is familiar territory for the U.S., so they’ll need to re-group to see if they can return to medal contention next year in Russia.