IIHF Press Release
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After netting three goals in the third period, the defending U18 gold medalists, USA, skated to a 4-2 win against Russia in both team’s opening game of the 2006 IIHF U18 World Championship.
The teams got out to a quick start, exchanging goals in first 4:01 of the game. Evgeny Bodrov scored on the rebound for Russia 1:16 into the game, and Jamie McBain countered for the U.S. with a virtually identical goal. The Russians left the first period with a 2-1 advantage after getting a shorthanded goal from Artem Anisinov.
The teams settled in after the first period action, playing a physical, back-and-forth game. The score stayed static until the U.S. was awarded a penalty shot 3:21 into the third period. Bill Sweatt took the shot for the U.S. and beat Semen Varlamov between the legs to even the game at two.
After tying the game, the Americans put steady pressure on the Russians, and were rewarded for their efforts when Sweatt struck again, forcing the puck again between the feet of Varlamov in heavy traffic in front of the net. The U.S. added an empty-netter with one second left to seal the 4-2 win.
Last year’s bronze medallist, Sweden, struggled against newly-promoted Norway, but thanks to a two-goal, third period rally, the hosts were able to come away with a 5-2 win in Halmstad.
Sweden held a slim 2-1 advantage at the end of the first period with all three goals coming in a 2:03 span. The defense pair of Eric Moe and Niclas Andersen combined for four points on the pair of Swedish goals while Patrick Molberg was the Norwegian scorer.
Norway continued to frustrate the Swedes in the second period allowing only one goal on 18 Swedish shots. The lone Swedish tally of the period came on the power play form Tomas Larsson 7:23 into the period. But, the 3-1 lead was short lived when 3:03 later Lars Petter Mengshoel pulled the Norwegians back to within one on the power play.
Sweden sparked to life in the third period, netting two unanswered goals, both of which came in the first 5:11. The goals gave the Swedes room to relax as they skated on to the 5-2 win.
The Czech Republic overcame Germany, 4-2, in the opening game of the U18 World Championship in Angelholm, Sweden.
Both teams were tentative in the opening period, but the Czechs eventually got on the board on their first power play when Jakub Voracek fired the puck in high midway through the first. The Czechs doubled their lead early in the second period with a picture-perfect goal from Martin Bartos.
Despite the 2-0 deficit, the Germans played the Czechs closely, creating several break-away chances through the second period. The persistence paid off late in the period when Elia Ostwald tipped the puck in, cutting the Czech lead in half.
With a tight, one-goal lead, Jiri Tlusty, came through for the Czechs with a key goal early in the third period on a breakaway. Voracek, who finished the game with two goals and an assist, topped off the win with his team’s fourth goal as the Czechs skated to the 4-2 win.
Despite a slow start, Canada was able to come away with a 3-1 win against Slovakia to open the U18 World Championship. The Canadians, last year’s silver medallist, are the top-seeded team in the Halmstad-based Group B.
After a scoreless first period, Justin Azevedo wasted no time giving Canada its first goal of the game a mere 1:23 into the second period. Slovakia countered five minutes later with a power play tally from Rastislav Konecny. The game stayed tied for a mere three minutes until Francios Bouchard restored the Canadian lead with a power-play effort.
The game stayed close through the third period as Canada clung to its one-goal lead. The win was up for grabs until Canada came through in the 59th minute with an empty-netter to skate to the 3-1 win.