WJC roundup: goalkeepers focus on day two, Germany upset
Sweden get shot but beat Slovakia
The Slovaks gave everything they had, but Swede Jesper Wallstedt stayed on his head in a 48-save shutout to win 3-0.
Shots were 6-0 at one point for Slovakia, but Sweden managed to score on their first shot of the game at 6:25. Playing on the power play, Theodor Niederbach put the puck into the box and beat Simon Latkoczy for the goal 1-0.
The lead lasted until 26:50 when Albert Sjoberg caught a Slovak defender trying to pinch the blue line and passed him for a 1: 1 with Latkoczy. Sjoberg was right on scoring a deflating goal against a Slovak side who left the ice with a 30-19 lead after two periods of action.
Wallstedt was the story of the game, especially after killing two potentially lethal penalties late in the third. Sweden lost a man for more than five minutes of play, but Wallstedt looked sharp in the winning effort. Daniel Ljungman scored the grueling empty net with just over a minute to go to complete the effort, the one in which Sweden were definitely dominated.
Both teams will have time off on Tuesday before returning on Wednesday. Slovakia will seek their first victory in a meeting with Russia, while Sweden will look to potentially secure Group B against the United States.
Germany surprises Czechia
In the tournament’s first real upheaval, Germany won 2-1 in a low-scoring affair against a battered Czech side.
Alexander Blank scored both goals for the Germans, including a right-angle shot that beat Jan Bednar over the shoulder in overtime for the win. Jan Mysak scored the Czechs’ only goal in the second half.
The goalie, however, was the story of the game. Florian Bugl made 39 saves for the win, Bednar himself pushed back 30 for a good performance at the other end.
With two points from the overtime win, Germany have positioned themselves well to take third in Group B if they can beat Austria and the Czechs – currently scoreless after two games – fail to win their last two rounds. -Robin games. Both teams will have a day off on Tuesday, with the Czechs opening Edmonton’s game on Wednesday against Finland before Germany clash with Canada.
Switzerland No game against Russia
After a poor outing against Sweden on Sunday, Russia are in the winning column with a 4-2 victory over Slovakia.
The first half started as well as you had hoped for the Russians. At 7:21, Danila Yurov scored after Nikita Chibrikov’s shot came out of the board and rebounded into the lunge, with Yurov making no mistake beating Kevin Pasche. Eight minutes later, Dmitri Zlodeyev got his own rebound off a close-angle shot, a shot Pasche never saw.
With Russian influence throughout the first, Pavel Tyutnev scored the third goal at 17:39, only to have Attilio Biasca with 1:04 remaining in frame to put the Swiss on the board for the first time in the tournament.
scored on a solid wrist shot for his third goal of the tournament in just two outings. Switzerland retaliated at 58:45 with a Fabian Ritzmann scorer, but by then the damage was already done and the game was out of reach.
The Russians will have a day off on Tuesday before meeting Slovakia on Wednesday afternoon. Switzerland will not have much down time with a start at 2:30 pm MT against a rested American team on Tuesday.
Cruises to Finland for a great victory over Austria
Everything turned out as expected in a game with these two teams, with Finland taking a 7-1 victory over Austria to take first place in Group A.
Forward Ville Koivunen paved the way for the Finns with two goals and one assist en route to claim the top player honors. Brad Lambert took sole control of the tournament’s top scoring spot with three points, giving him five in two games. Karri Aho, Samuel Helenius and Joel Maatta all scored two points each.
Austrian goalkeeper Sebastian Wraneschitz made 41 saves on 48 shots in the loss. A year ago, Wraneschitz faced at least 60 shots in her three starts for Austria, which will avoid relegation after the IIHF announced it would upgrade to 11 teams next year. Juha Jatkola stopped eight of the nine shots sent to him.
Austria will be forced to return to action quickly with a meeting with Canada on Tuesday. Finland will get their first break of the tournament before meeting Czechia on Wednesday.
News and Notes
– Czech defender David Jiricek, one of 2022’s top defensive prospects, will miss the remainder of the tournament with a leg injury suffered against Canada on Sunday.
– Czech defender Michal Hradek was suspended for a game against Kent Johnson 28:20 in the game. He will be eligible for a return to the Czech game against Finland on Wednesday.
– Xavier Bourgault did not train for Canada after receiving a high blow in that same game.
– Canadian Justin Sourdif could also face a suspension for a late hitting against a Czech defender on Sunday, skating as an additional forward in practice.
– Arno Nussbaumer left the Switzerland game after blocking a shot from his left knee in the second half and did not return.
– Contact with Leo Loof’s header could result in an additional penalty after receiving a misconduct foul midway through the third period.
1. Jesper Wallstedt, G (SWE): Wallstedt had to be perfect to beat a determined and talented Slovak side and that is exactly what he did.
2. City Koivunen, F (FIN): With two goals and an assist, Koviunen was all over the ice on Monday and fully deserves the highest honor here.
3. Alexander Blank, F (GER): Two big goals gave Germany a victory that gives them a realistic chance at third place in Group A.
December 28 program
United States vs. Switzerland – 4:30 p.m. ET
Canada vs Austria – 7:00 p.m. ET