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World Junior Championships: Preliminary Round

The World Junior Hockey Championships are underway.  They are being played in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.  The ten teams in the tournament are divided into two five team groups that are playing a round robin, with the top four finishers moving onto the playoffs.  The preliminary round portion of the tournament completed today.  Here are the results:

Group A:  This group played its games in Montreal.

1. Sweden.  The Swedish team dominated this group winning all four of its games and outscoring opponents 18-6.  Alexande Nylander (Buffalo prospect) leads the tournament and the Swedish team in points with nine.  Joel Eriksson Ek (Minnesota prospect) and Carl Grundstrom (Toronto prospect) are also chipping in offensively.  David Bernhardt (Philadelphia prospect) is leading their defence.  Felix Sandstrom (Philadelphia prospect) has performed strongly in goal.

2 Denmark.  The Danes have been a surprise team with two wins and two losses.  One of each came in regulation and one of each came in overtime giving them six points.  Their offence was led by Joachim Blichfeld (San Jose prospect) and Nikolaj Krag Christensen (St Louis prospect).  Nicolai Weichel (undrafted) is their top defenceman to date.  Kasper Krog (undrafted) has been their top goalie so far.

3. Czech Republic. The Czech team had only one win against Finland but two of their losses against Switzerland and Denmark were not regulation losses giving them five points in the tournament as in the IIHF system regulation wins are worth 3 points, overtime wins 2, overtime losses 1 and regulation losses zero.  This system which would be better for the NHL but since it does not lead to the appearance of false parity as the NHL system does it is unlikely to be adopted.  The Czech offence was led by Filip Chlapik (Ottawa prospect) and defencemen Filip Hronek (Detroit prospect) and Jakub Zboril (Boston prospect).  Jakub Skarek (draft eligible in 2018) has been their most successful goalie so far.

4. Switzerland.  The Swiss had two wins and two losses but both wins came in overtime giving them four points.  Nico Hischier (2017 draft eligible) and Damien Riat (Washington prospect) led their offence.  Jonas Seigenthaler (Washington prospect) has been their top defenceman.  Joren Van Pottelberghe (Detroit prospect) has been their goaltender.

5. Finland.  The Finns are the defending champions but finish last in their group this year.  They had a win against Switzerland with all other games ending in losses.  Aapeli Rasonen (Edmonton prospect) and Eeli Tolvanen (2017 draft eligible) lead the way offensively.  Perhaps their top defenceman has been Urho Vaakanainen (2017 draft eligible).  Veini Vehvilainen (undrafted) has been their goaltender.

Group B.  These games took place in Toronto.

1. USA.  The Americans won all the games they played in this group and had a dominant 17-6 scoring rate.  Clayton Keller (Arizona prospect) and Colin White (Ottawa prospect) led the way offensively.  Charlie McAvoy (Boston prospect) has been their top defenceman.  Joseph Woll (Toronto prospect) has been their top goaltender.

2. Canada.  The Canadians lost to USA but otherwise played dominant games.  They outshot their opponents 21 to 8.  Dylan Strome (Arizona prospect) and Mat Barzal (NY Islanders prospect) led the way offensively.  Thomas Chabot (Ottawa prospect) has been their top defenceman.  Connor Ingram (Tampa Bay prospect) has the better numbers so far in goal.

3. Russia.  The Russians lost to USA and Canada but won their other games.  Kiril Kaprizov (Minnesota prospect) and Mikhail Vorobyov (Philadelphia prospect) led their forwards in scoring with Yegor Rykov (New Jersey prospect) scoring from defence.  Ilya Samsonov (Washington prospect) has been their top goaltender.

4. Slovakia.  The Slovaks only win came against Latvia.  Their scoring was led by defenceman Michal Roman (undrafted) and forward Boris Sadecky (undrafted).  Matej Tomek (Philadelphia prospect) has been their more successful goalie so far.

5. Latvia.  Latvia struggled in the tournament losing all their games.  Martins Dzeiekals (Toronto prospect) has been their top scorer. Karlis Cukste (undrafted) led their defence.  Mareks Mitens (undrafted) has been their most successful goaltender.

The quarterfinals will be played on Monday with USA meeting Switzerland, Canada meeting the Czech Republic, Denmark meeting Russia and Sweden meeting Slovakia.

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com

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