For the third consecutive year, Sweden has defeated Russia by a single goal in a World Juniors’ playoff game.
The Nashville Predators’ Filip Forsberg and Pittsburgh Penguins’ Oskar Sundqvist each found the back of the net for Sweden in their 2-1 win today. Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk, who was taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the 31st overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, also played a key role in the victory with 27 saves.
It was when the game ended though that tensions boiled over as several of the Russian and Swedish players broke into a sparring match. Most notably, Swedish defenseman Jesper Pettersson jumped out of the penalty box to attack Andrei Mironov.
You can see the brawl below:
Mironov and Pettersson were both given roughing minors for their actions.
Sweden will attempt to win the gold medal at home against the winner of the Canada-Finland game. Russia will attempt to secure their second straight Bronze medal.
The 2014 World Junior Championships’ “final four” have been determined on Thursday. PHT already caught you up to speed on Russia’s 3-2 win against the United States, but here’s a rundown of the other three games that determined which teams made the semifinals.
Sweden 6, Slovakia 0
Sweden’s group is being described as some as one of the best world junior teams in years. The results speak for themselves, as they’ve often dominated in going 5-0, including today’s 6-0. (In witnessing portions of the game, it seemed like 6-0 was more than a fair score … one could argue that it could have gotten even worse.)
They’re playing for a medal for the eighth consecutive work thanks to continued strong work by their bevy of hot prospects, including Elias Lindholm (Carolina first-rounder) and Filip Forsberg (Nashville first-rounder), who have already gotten their feet wet at the NHL level.
Sweden will face Russian for the right to play for the gold.
Canada 4, Switzerland 1
Griffin Reinhart had a goal and assist while Canada’s other goal scorers were Anthony Mantha, Derrick Pouliot and Curtis Lazar. Zachary Fucale stopped 19 out of 20 shots for Canada.
The Canadian Press captures Canada’s profund advantage over the Swiss over the years:
Curtis Lazar and defenceman Derrick Pouliot also scored for Canada, which is 20-0-0 and has a 130-34 goal advantage all-time against the Swiss at the world juniors.
Finland 5, Czech Republic 3
Canada’s opponent will be Finland, who came back from 3-2 deficit entering the third period to win 5-3 on Thursday. Saku Maenalanen (two goals), Rasmus Kulmala (two assists) and Teuvo Teravinen (two assists) were the multiple-point men for Finland.
So, to review, it’s Russia vs. Sweden and Canada vs. Finland in the semifinals. Should be fun.
The United States were not able to defend their 2013 gold medal winning run in this year’s World Junior Championship.
After falling short in their match against Canada in the Preliminary round, Team USA was forced to play against Russia in the Quarterfinals.
The Americans got off to a strong start and held a 3-2 lead through the first 20 minutes. Stefan Matteau, who the New Jersey Devils took with the 29th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, led the charge for Team USA with a goal and an assist.
Buffalo Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov turned things around for Russia in the second period by scoring back-to-back goals over the span of just 61 seconds. Pavel Buchnevich collected the empty netter with 28 seconds remaining to finalize Russia’s 5-3 victory.
Team USA’s Jon Gillies allowed four goals on 24 shots while Andrei Vasilevski made 30 saves.
Russia will advance to play the winner of Sweden versus Slovakia in the Semifinals.
Brent Bulmer is headed back down to the minors.
On Friday, Minnesota announced they re-assigned Bulmer to AHL Iowa after the 21-year-old appeared in four games for the club, scoring no points while putting six shots on goal.
Bulmer’s story is an interesting one, given he went two full years between NHL games.
In October 2011, he debuted for the Wild and scored three points in his first nine contests at the pro level. The 39th overall pick in 2010 was then sent back to Junior, and proceeded to score 62 points in 53 games with WHL Kelowna.
But Bulmer failed to crack the Wild roster last season and missed out on the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — the Wild, like all NHL teams, didn’t have a full training camp. He was then was slowed during this summer’s prospect camp and exhibition campaign by a knee injury, eventually being dispatched to Iowa.
Bulmer’s demotion suggests that injured forward Mikael Granlund — who has missed extensive time this year with a concussion — could be ready to return to action.
Scott Laughton has been named Team Canada’s captain for the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships in Malmo, Sweden.
Laughton, Philadelphia’s first-round pick (20th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, was given the honor on Thursday by Canadian head coach Brent Sutter, who also announced that Minnesota’s Mathew Dumba and Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin would serve as alternates.
Laughton, 19, is in the midst of a stellar campaign with OHL Oshawa, racking up 24 goals and 50 points through 29 games. This comes after he was on the bubble to make the Flyers out of training camp, on the heels of a ’13 campaign in which he played five games for Philly before the club dispatched him back to Oshawa.
Laughton has never represented Canada at the World Juniors before, but has played at both the Under-17 and Under-18 levels.