Reflections on the World Junior Championships 2000

by Lasse Johansson
on

The Czech Republic won their first ever
World Junior Championships gold medal after beating Russia in the penalty shootout
following a scoreless and pretty boring game.

Team Ukraine (10th place, relegated):

The Ukrainian team was packed with small players, and relied heavily on technique, skating and goalkeeping. Goalkeeper Vadim Seleverstov really stood out in the first relegation game against Slovakia, but displayed an unconsistent play in the other games. He is also very small and has probably had his fifteen minutes of hockey fame. The defenders didn’t play with maturity, often making simple mistakes in their own zone leading to a scoring opportunity for the opposing team. Denis Isaenko and Evgeny Pisarenko were the two most physical defensemen, and the two most suited for play in the NHL. Artem Gnidenko scored the goal of the tournament against Slovakia, when he in the final stages of the game scored a goal very similar to the one scored by Khlebnikov against Canada. Defender Alexander Skorohod, born in 1983 was the most interesting player in the Ukranian team.

Stars: Vadim Seleverstov G – Denis Isaenko D

Team Slovakia (9th place):

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WJC observations

by Peter Westermark
on

I was impressed by the smarts and the work-ethic of Canadian winger Chris Neilsen. He is very versatile, gives his all for the team and doesn’t ignore any part of the game. 16-year-old defenseman Jay Bouwmeester certainly looks like someone who can evolve into a world-class player. It is very rare that a player who’s 6’4″ can be such a magnificent skater.


Jason Spezza also looked good in the spot duty he got and in hindsight maybe he should have got all the icetime Mike Ribeiro, who was very disappointing, got. Josef Vasicek was a more consistent contributor that Milan Kraft, and deserved the All-Star nod ahead of the more inconsistent Kraft. The choice of Rick DiPietro as best goalie was right on. He was very solid, a true star in this tournament.

Of the 2000-prospects, Marian Gaborik shined, but also his smart all-round center Tomas Kopecky. Dany Heatley will surely be a high-pick in Calgary this summer. He looked better than highly-touted Jamie Lundmark and Mark Bell, picked 11th and 8th respectively, did. Heatley can put the puck in the net and has a deadly shot.

WJC – SEMIFINALS

by Peter Westermark
on
Team USA beat Sweden with a great team-effort in the quarterfinals, but could for some reason not find that game in the semis. The Americans are very good when they are playing with the lead, but not so good when they’re behind, and today they fell behind almost right away. Defenseman Pat Aufiero (Rangers) made a poor pass along the offensive blueline which was intercepted by the Czech’s and powerful center Milan Kraft (Pittsburgh) was sent in on a breakaway. Rick DiPietro made the initial save, but could not control the rebound which was jammed home by winger Michal Sivek (Washington). The US then had to put the pressure on to tie the score, and the offensive game has not been the strength of the American team this tournament. Energy, teamwork and dedication has, but the US even lacked this quality today. There were players who had their worst games of the tournament, already mentioned Pat Aufiero, goalie Rick DiPietro among many others, and few players who raised the level of their game. Winger Dan Cavanaugh, a Flames pick, got into the tournament on a banana-peel after defenseman John Liley injured his shoulder in the final exhibitiongame before the tournament. Cavanaughs icetime has increased every game, and he was given a chance to play with USA’s top offensive weapons – center Jeff Taffe and winger Barrett Heisten (Buffalo) today and did not disappoint. Cavanaugh was the Americans best forward showing good teamwork, good skating ability and very good passing ability. Cavanaugh got the Americans only goal on a rebound after setting up the play with a nice f Read more»

Game Summary, Sweden vs Ukraine

by pbadmin
on

Sweden-Ukraine 6-1 (3-0, 1-0, 2-1)

After 7-1 against Switzerland, Sweden got another comfortable win against Ukraine. The final score was 6-1 and could have been bigger if Sweden had played better in the second period. In a game of this kind where one team is supposed to be the better team it’s always good for them to get an early goal. That happened in this game. After only 18 seconds Henrik Sedin had opened the scoring. David Nyström threw the puck towards the goal and goalie Vitaly Lebed couldn’t stop the puck and Sedin took care of the rebound and backhanded an ice-shot beside Lebed. 2-0 came 5.52 in to the first period from Christian Berglund. After nine minutes Sweden got a chance to play 5-on-3 and with their fourth-line on the ice they managed to make the score 3-0. The goal was scored by Herman Hultgren with a slap-shot from the blueline.

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Henrik Zetterberg – the next star

by pbadmin
on

Henrik Zetterberg – the next star

Henrik Zetterberg has been playing great the whole season. He was drafted very
late (210 overall) by Detroit Red Wings in 1999. The truth is that he wasn’t a
top prospect last season. But the way he is playing this year is incredible.
He has dominated in the 2nd Tier League with Timra and been playing great on
the National Junior Team. Detroit made a real bust when they drafted him. He
is expected to join an Elite league team next season and that will make him
one of the top candidates for the Rookie of the Year award. So far Zetterberg
has 23 points (15g, 8a) in 28 games with Timra.
So what makes Henrik so special? He is not big, but he has great moves and an
impressing scoring touch. His skating skills are above average and he’s good
defensively.

Zetterberg was the best player in Sweden’s (vs Switzerland) opening game in
WJC. He showed some great puckhandling skills and scored a highlight goal on
his own. He got much ice-time, on the power-play as well as on the penalty
killing unit.

The report above was courtesy of Johan Nilsson, who runs his own Elitserien page located
at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/. I highly recommend
checking this site out, as it is one of the best sites on the net in regards to hard to find Swedish hockey info. Read more»