2020 World Junior Championship

AP Images

TV mixup has Russian World Junior fans celebrating despite losing

1 Comment

MOSCOW — Some Russian hockey fans were celebrating victory despite losing at the world junior hockey championships because of a confusingly timed TV repeat.

Two state TV channels showed Russia-Canada finals at the same time on Sunday. One was live, and the other was from 2011.

While most fans, and Russia’s players, commiserated after a 4-3 loss to Canada on Channel One, many Russians watched a nail-biting, 9-year-old 5-3 comeback win on rival broadcaster Match TV.

Some fans posted celebratory messages on social media, or complained media outlets were reporting the wrong score. It became hard to tell who was genuinely duped and who was in on the joke.

Soccer player Dmitry Tarasov wrote on Instagram: ”Well done guys, congratulations on the win.” After the post was widely mocked, Tarasov said it was meant as a joke after he forfeited in a board game he was playing with family.

Yana Tarasenko, a lifestyle blogger who is the wife of St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, posted on Instagram that her husband had watched the 2011 game for 10 minutes in the belief it was live – at least ”until he saw himself in the game.”

Tarasenko was on the winning Russian team in 2011, but at the age of 28 he is now far too old for world juniors.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Match TV decided to show the 2011 final at the same time as the live broadcast. It had shown live world juniors games earlier in the tournament, but the medal rounds were only on Channel One. Match TV didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Buzzer: Lightning look elite with streak; Killer goal by Akil Thomas

Lightning streak Buzzer three stars
Getty Images

Three Stars

1.  Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks

The Sharks coughed up a stunner by squandering a 4-2 lead late on Sunday, but don’t blame Kane.

Kane generated his second hat trick of 2019-20, scoring all three of his goals during the second period. Kane is delivering where many Sharks teammates are disappointing. The power forward bumped his season goals total to 18, giving him 32 points in 41 games.

Many of Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s moves look worse with each letdown — in a lot of cases, San Jose is just stuck — but Kane is doing some of his career-best work since joining this team. It just hasn’t been enough (not this season, and not on Sunday).

2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

Ducks fans could definitely argue that Getzlaf deserves the top spot.

The big center loomed large over Sunday’s game, generating three assists to end an unsettling eight-game pointless streak. Getzlaf also scored the shootout-deciding goal.

3. Adam Henrique, Anaheim Ducks

Actually, some might place Henrique ahead of Getzlaf. These three stars stand out on a night where others settled for two points or less (and goalies had nice nights, but not outstanding performances). Two of Henrique’s three points were goals, so some might consider that better than Getzlaf’s output. Henrique fired an impressive nine shots on goal and went 10-3 on faceoffs, too.

Highlights of the Night

How can it not be Akil Thomas’ gold-medal winning beauty for Canada during a roaring World Junior comeback win against RussiaGoodness that was pretty, and so, so clutch:

The Los Angeles Kings selected Thomas, 20, with the 51st pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, in case you’re wondering.

***

For most of Sunday, Juuse Saros was, well, John Gibson-ing John Gibson. Saros kept the Predators in a lopsided game the Ducks mostly dominated. Gibson reminded the world of his brilliance with this dazzling overtime save, though, and Anaheim ultimately won:

Factoids

  • The Wild congratulated Devan Dubnyk on his 500th game played. Considering how low things sank during the end of his run with the Oilers and that aborted Predators stay, Dubnyk must be proud to cross 500 GP.
  • The Lightning won their seventh game in a row on Sunday, cementing the notion that they’re “back.” NHL PR explains that Tampa Bay managed five different winning streaks of at least seven games since 2018-19. The 1983-84 and 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers stand as the only team with more such streaks at six. The Lightning are tied with the Canucks for the longest active winning streak in the NHL at seven victories apiece.
  • Another one from NHL PR: the Capitals are just the seventh team to overcome a multi-goal deficit in the last minute of a game and then win.
  • The Blackhawks won for the fourth time in five games by rallying against Detroit. Chicago has also scored four goals or more in six of its last eight.
  • Roman Josi extended his point streak to 10 games, the longest streak for any defenseman in the defensemen-rich history of the Predators.

Scores

WSH 5 – SJS 4 (OT)
FLA 4 – PIT 1
TBL 3 – CAR 1
CGY 5 – MIN 4 (SO)
CHI 4 – DET 2
ANA 5 – NSH 4 (SO)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Canada rallies to beat Russia to win World Juniors gold

AP Images
1 Comment

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Akil Thomas scored the winning goal in the final period and Canada rallied from two goals down to beat Russia 4-3 in the final of the world junior hockey championship on Sunday.

It was the 18th title for Canada, the most successful team in the tournament.

Thomas backhanded the puck past goaltender Amir Miftakhov with 3:58 left to avenge a 6-0 loss to Russia at their group stage game, the worst loss for Canada in the history of the tournament.

Dylan Cozens, Connor McMichael and captain Barrett Hayton also scored for Canada. Goaltender Joel Hofer made 35 saves.

Nikita Alexandrov, Grigori Denisenko and Maxim Sorkin netted Russia’s goals.

The Canadians were looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish last year when it hosted the event. They won the previous title in 2018 while Russia was seeking its first title since 2011.

It was the ninth final between the two rivals since the playoff system was introduced in 1996. Both teams had won four of them before their encounter on Sunday.

The Canadians were 3-1 down after Sorkin’s goal 8:46 into the final period. McMichael deflected a shot into the net with his leg and Hayton tied it at 3-3 on a power play with a wrist shot from the right circle, with the two goals coming in a span of 2:01.

McMichael added an assist and Calen Addison had three assists. Alexis Lafreniere, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick at the 2020 NHL draft, contributed two assists to finish the tournament with four goals and six assists from the five games he played.

Alexandrov broke the goalless deadlock 9:37 into the the middle period, deflecting a shot by Yegor Zamula from the point on Russia’s power play.

Canada answered on a 5-3 advantage 1:24 later with Cozens netting on a rebound.

Denisenko restored Russia’s one-goal lead, pushing the puck under the pad of Hofer still in the frame.

Earlier, Samuel Fagemo scored his eighth goal to become the best scorer of the tournament and help Sweden beat defending champion Finland 3-2 and take bronze.

Canada, Russia to meet in World Junior Championship final

AP Images
1 Comment

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP) — Alexis Lafreniere scored twice and Canada routed defending champion Finland 5-0 Saturday to set up a final against Russia at the world junior hockey championship.

Connor McMichael, Jamie Drysdale and Ty Dellandrea also scored and goaltender Joel Hofer stopped 32 shots to shut out the Finns.

Lafreniere backhanded his first to increase Canada’s lead to 2-0 early in the first period at Ostravar Arena in the eastern city of Ostrava. He wristed in his second on a power play in the middle period to finish the scoring.

The 18-year-old center, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick at the 2020 NHL draft, recovered from a left knee injury he sustained against Russia in the team’s second group-stage game, which the Russians won 6-0. He missed the following two games against Germany and the Czech Republic. Lafreniere has four goals and four assists in four games at the tournament.

Canada is the most successful team at the world juniors with 17 titles but is looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish last year when it hosted the event.

Finland eliminated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the quarterfinals last year on the way to the title.

Canada stormed the ice early, getting three goals from McMichael, Lafreniere and Drysdale 2:07 apart to jump to a 3-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.

Dellandrea stretched the lead to four, still in the opening frame.

Earlier, Ivan Morozov scored his second goal in overtime and Russia topped Sweden 5-4 to reach Sunday’s final.

Morozov collected the puck at his blue line and skated up the ice to wrist the winner past goaltender Hugo Alnefelt with 1:36 remaining in overtime.

Russia is seeking its first title since 2011.

Sweden will play the bronze medal game against Finland.

Yegor Sokolov also scored two goals for Russia and Alexander Khovanov added one. Russia outshot Sweden 44-25.

Rasmus Sandin scored two goals and added two assists for Sweden; Samuel Fagemo and Nils Lundkvist added one goal apiece.

It was an up-and-down game.

Russia answered Sandin’s first goal scored just 16 seconds into the game with three goals still in the opening period, including Morozov’s tying goal on a power play.

Sweden rallied and Lundkvist put the Swedes ahead 4-3 in the third before Sokolov tied the game again with 11:25 left in the final period to force overtime.

Finland eliminates U.S. 1-0 at World Juniors; Canada, Russia win

AP Images
1 Comment

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Joonas Oden scored late to give Finland a 1-0 victory over the United States on Thursday and send the defending champion into the semifinals of the world junior hockey championship.

In a rematch of last year’s final, Oden broke the deadlock on a power play 4:23 into the final period, one-timing a shot from the slot past goaltender Spencer Knight at Werk Arena in Trinec.

The U.S. pulled Knight for an extra attacker and a 6-4 advantage with 1:15 left but Finland held on.

Finland will play Canada in the semifinals on Saturday, with Sweden facing Russia.

Alexis Lafreniere marked his return from injury with a goal and an assist as Canada routed Slovakia 6-1 in their quarterfinal.

Lafreniere wristed a shot past Slovakia goaltender Samuel Hlavaj to increase Canada’s lead to 5-0 on a power play midway through the second period at the Ostravar Arena in the eastern city of Ostrava.

The 18-year-old center, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick at the 2020 NHL draft, recovered from a left knee injury he sustained against Russia in the team’s second group-stage game on Dec 28. He missed the following two games against Germany and the Czech Republic.

Captain Barrett Hayton scored two goals and added an assist for Canada.

Lafreniere assisted on Hayton’s opening goal in the first period. Connor McMichael, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Liam Foudy contributed second-period goals to build a decisive lead for the Canadians.

Hayton scored his second on a power play in the final period.

Oliver Okuliar spoiled goaltender Joel Hofer’s shutout bid with a late consolation goal.

Canada is the most successful team at the world juniors with 17 titles but is looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish last year when it hosted the event.

In the last quarterfinal, Nils Hoglander scored twice for Sweden in a 5-0 win over host Czech Republic.

Hoglander opened the scoring on a power play in the first period and added his fifth goal of the tournament in the second. Hugo Gustafsson, Victor Soderstrom and David Gustafsson also scored for Sweden in Ostrava.

Hugo Alnefelt stopped 23 shots for the shutout.

Earlier in Trinec, Dmitri Voronkov scored two power-play goals and Russia beat Switzerland 3-1 to become the first team to reach the semifinals.

Alexander Khovanov also had a goal and an assist and goaltender Yaroslav Askarov made 14 saves as Russia outshot the Swiss 36-15 in Trinec.

Gaetan Jobin scored for Switzerland.

Russia, which also beat Switzerland in last year’s bronze medal game, last won the title in 2011.