by PuckStopsHere on 12/31/12 at 02:49 PM ET
The World Junior Championships are underway in Ufa, Russia. The preliminary round has just completed. Here are the results:
1. Sweden - Sweden won this group. They were undefeated although they required a shootout to defeat Switzerland. They significantly outscored their opposition 19-8. Their attack was balanced led by Viktor Arvidsson (undrafted), Sebastien Collberg (Montreal prospect), Emil Molin (Dallas prospect) and defenceman Mikael Wikstrand (Ottawa prospect). Their top goalie so far has been Joel Lassininatti (undrafted)
2. Czech Republic - The Czechs lost to the Swedes in the opening day of the tournament but went undefeated in their other games. The Czechs top scorer was Dmitrij Jaskin (St Louis prospect). Their defence was led by Petr Sidlik (undrafted). Patrik Bartosak (undrafted) has been their top goaltender.
3. Switzerland - The Swiss were a tough team to play against. Although they only defeated Latvia, they did not lose any of their games in regulation and the three overtime loss points put them in third place. Their offence was led by Sven Andrighetto (undrafted), Lino Martschini (undrafted) and Mike Kunzle (undrafted). Melvin Nyffeler (2013 draft eligible).
4. Finland - The Finns may have beaten the Latvians and the Swiss in a shootout but it wasn't enough to move on in this tournament. Their scoring has been led by Markus Granlund (Calgary prospect), Joel Armia (Buffalo prospect) and defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen (2013 draft eligible). Joonas Korpisalo (Columbus prospect) provided their goaltending.
5. Latvia - The Latvians were outmatched. They lost all their games scoring six times and allowing 21 goals. Their only multiple goal scorer was Nikolajs Jelisejevs (undrafted). Their top defenceman was Edgars Siksna (undrafted). Ivars Punnenovs (undrafted)
1. Canada - Canada went undefeated in the preliminary round outscoring their opponents 21 to 8. They had the most prolific offensive players in the tournament so far including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton prospect), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida prospect), Ryan Strome (NY Islander prospect) and Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg prospect). Malcolm Subban (Boston prospect) has been their goaltender.
2. Russia - The Russians were beaten by Canada and required overtime to beat Slovakia. Their top players have been Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay prospect), Nail Yakupov (Edmonton prospect) and defenceman Albert Yarullin (undrafted). Andrei Vasilevski (Tampa Bay prospect) has been their top goaltender so far.
3. USA - The Americans lost to both Canada and Russia but qualifies for the next round. Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal prospect) and defenceman Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg prospect) have been their top players. John Gibson (Anaheim prospect) has provided their goaltending.
4. Slovakia - The Slovaks beat the Germans and pushed the Russians into overtime but were outmatched against Canada and USA. Marko Dano (2013 draft eligible) and Matus Matis (undrafted) were their top scorers. Adam Nagy (undrafted) provided their goaltending.
5. Germany - The Germans have been badly overmatched. They lost all their games scoring four goals and allowing 26. Tobias Rieder (Edmonton prospect) provided two goals to lead the way. Marvin Cupper (undrafted) has been their top goaltender.
The top teams from each group qualify or the semi-finals on Thursday. This gives Sweden and Canada a bye. The quarter-finals occur on Wednesday. The winner of the Russia- Switzerland game will go on to face Sweden and the Czech Republic- USA game will face Canada.
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