IIHF Press Release
Click here for complete statistics & scores from World U18 Championship
Group A Final Standings:
1. USA* 4-0-0
2. Russia 3-0-1
3. Czech Republic 2-0-2
4. Germany 1-0-3
5. Belarus 0-0-4
Group B Standings:
1. Finland* 3-1-0
2. Sweden 3-0-1
3. Canada 2-1-1
4. Slovakia 1-0-3
5. Norway 0-0-4
* denotes automatically into semi-finals
Quarterfinal #1: Russia vs. Canada 16:00 Angelholm
Quarterfinal #2: Sweden vs. Czech Republic 19:45 Angelholm
For both Sweden and Slovakia a berth into the playoff round was on the line entering tonight’s last Group B game in Halmstad, and thanks to a stunning special teams effort, it was host Sweden who earned the coveted spot skating to a 5-2 win and to second place in the group.
Sweden scored three five-on three goals and also had a shorthanded tally in the special teams show. The only equal strength goal of the game came 11:07 into the action when Viktor Sjodin broke the scoreless tension to make it 1-0. The goal helped swing the momentum to Sweden’s favor as 1:45 later Robin Figren scored a textbook five-on-three goal with a one-timer. Just over a minute later Tomas Larsson made it a 3-0 game with the second two-man advantage tally.
Patrik Berglund opened up the second period scoring for Sweden with a breakaway, shorthanded goal. Figren then netted his second goal of the game with virtually the same goal he scored in the first period, to make it a dominant 5-0 Swedish advantage.
The fifth goal prompted Slovakia to put in goalkeeper Tomas Hiadlovsky, who settled things down, not allowing a goal for the rest of the game. Once Hiadlovsky was able to stall the Swedish offense, the Slovaks staged a small comeback, scoring a power-play goal with 46 seconds left in the second period and adding a second, five-on-three goal 2:07 into the third.
But ultimately, the hole was too deep for the Slovaks to dig out of, as Sweden held on for the 5-2 win and a trip to the quarterfinal game against the Czechs. Slovakia will remain in Halmstad for the relegation round, which begins on Wednesday.
The United States showed why it was the top team coming out of the A Group after a 12-1 drubbing of Belarus in the final game of the preliminary round in Angelholm.
The game had little meaning in the standings as the U.S. had already guaranteed itself a first-place finish in the group, while Belarus was certain to finish in last place.
After skating to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period, the Americans opened up an enormous lead in the second, out-scoring Belarus 8-1 in the period and going to a double-digit, 11-1, lead. In the first two periods alone, the U.S. out-shot Belarus 57-6. One lastAmerican goal in the third period closed the scoring In total four U.S. players finished with at least three points, in the lopsided game. Erik Johnson paced the team with four goals and an assist.
Belarus heads to the relegation round with a 0-0-4 record and no points to carry over. On the other end of the spectrum, the U.S. will have two days off before its semi-final game and will face the winner of the Sweden-Czech Republic quarterfinal game.
After downing the Czech Republic 2-0, Russia clinched second place in the A Group with a 3-0-1 record. The loss put the Czechs into third place with a 2-0-2 mark.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, both teams knew that they were locked into the quarterfinals and were battling only for final placement in the preliminary round group.
That knowledge led to a lack-luster first period for both teams. The Czechs opened the game unable to convert on five consecutive power-play chances in the first 11 minutes.
Russia got its penalty trouble under control in the second period and it showed as the squad out-shot the Czech Republic 3-11 in the 20 minutes, and took a 1-0 lead on the strength of a power-play goal from Artem Anisimov at the 24:58 mark.
The 1-0 lead stuck until the final 18 seconds when Anton Glovatsky added the empty-netter to seal the 2-0 win the second place finish in the group.
Both Russia will face Canada in its quarterfinal game, while the Czechs will take on Sweden. All teams will have a day off tomorrow before the quarterfinals begin in Angelholm on Wednesday
Finland may not have scored any goals in its final preliminary round game in the B Group, but it didn’t matter, as the team secured first place in the group and an automatic berth in the semi-finals after skating to a 0-0 tie against Canada.
The tie gave the Finns a 3-1-0 mark in the group, good for seven points and first place. Meanwhile Canada, 2-1-1, finished in third place in the group after Sweden skated to second palce after downing Slovakia. The Canadians now face Russia, which is the second seed from the A group in its quarterfinal tilt.
The game itself just what one would expect from a 0-0 affair, tentative and choppy. With both teams playing not to lose, there was little end-to-end action and few scoring chances. The Finns best chances came in the last five minutes of the second period when they had two break-aways, but failed to convert on either chance. In the end, it made little difference to the team, who went from playing in the relegation round at last year’s championship, to a first-place finish in the preliminary round group this year.
Finland will have two days off before its semi-final match, and will take on the winner of the Russia-Canada quarterfinal game.