2012 WJC Journal – Day Nine

By Ken McKenna
Photo: Czech forward collected a goal and an assist in his team’s 5-2 win over Slovakia (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

Day Nine of the 2012 World Junior Championship was all about seeding for next year’s tournament. Three games were played, two to determine the finishing order, and one to determine who stays in the top grouping and who is relegated to a lower bracket.

In the game to seed teams #5 & #6, the Czech Republic defeated Slovakia, 5-2, to finish fifth. The seeding for the Czech’s is two places better than last year’s WJC performance, so that country can at least point to some improvement in their results if not an actual medal.

You can find a more detailed review of that game here…

Czech Republic Beats Slovakia 5-2, Earns 5th – KuklasKorner

www.kuklaskorner.com1/5/12

The Czech Republic came out of the gate fast and furious, overwhelming the Slovakian team with shots and keeping the play in the Slovakian end. A hard shot from Czech best player of the game Radek Faska at the hash

The story of the tournament for the Czechs was their goaltender, Petr Mrazek. Mrazek garnered attention for his celebrations, but he also provided some dandy goaltending to aid the Czechs’ cause.

Here is short video of some stops Mrazek made against Russia

Petr Mrazek great save Czech vs Russia WJC 2012

Detroit Red Wings 5th round (141st overall) pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

In the game that set the #7- #8 seedings, the United States took a close game against Switzerland, 2-1. Swiss goaltender Tim Wolf nearly led his team to an upset of the U.S. as Mrazek did for the Czechs, but the Swiss couldn’t beat U.S. goaltender Jack Campbell for the equalizer.

The seventh place finish is not what the U.S. envisioned coming into the tournament, while the Swiss can take some solace in the fact that they were able to hang tough with the better teams in the tournament.

Here’s a short recap of the USA-Switzerland game…

WJC Recap: Switzerland 1, USA 2 – IIHF 2012 World Junior

flames.nhl.com1/5/12

WJC Recap: Switzerland 1, USA 2. CALGARY, AB — Flames Prospect, Bill Arnold was named one of the top three players of the tournament for Team USA, following the 2-1 relegation round victory against Switzerland.

The early game was the relegation game between Latvia and Denmark that would determine who plays in Ufa, Russia at next year’s WJC, and who is relegated to the lower bracket.

Latvia won the right to continue playing in the top bracket, defeating Denmark in dramatic fashion, 2-1. Latvia’s leading scorer in the tournament, Nikita Jevpalovs, scored the overtime winner, providing Latvia some reward for the hard work they turned in at this WJC.

Germany will return to the top bracket at next year’s WJC while Denmark will drop down to the Division 1 World Junior tourney next year.

Medal games today, enjoy!