Date: November 8, 2016

Junior Crowns win

sweden ice hockey

By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

At the Four Nations Tournament in Gothenburg the host nation won against all three opponents including two times in overtime.

In their first game it was the Czechs who opened the scoring with a goal from Dominik Lakatos after just 22 seconds of play. But Jesper Bratt tied it seven minutes later and at 5:39 of the middle frame Carl Grundstrom gave Sweden the lead.

Sweden outshot the Czechs 34-23 but didn’t have an easy time in front of netminder Jakub Skarek. At 11:31 Adam Kubik scored the 2-2 goal for the Czechs and the game remained tied for the rest of the second and third period. The Swedes started the extra period with a man advantage and while playing 4-on-3 Grundstrom scored his second goal of the night for the game-winner.

Against Finland it was the Swedes who started scoring. Elias Pettersson had two unanswered markers, one 54 seconds before the first intermission and the other 31 seconds into the second frame. At 11:10 Grundstrom even made it 3-0 against the defending World Junior champions.

The Finns didn’t give up though and reacted with three unanswered goals from Emil Oksanen, Otto Koivula and Urho Vaakanainen. Sweden earned the extra point thanks to Lias Andersson’s marker at 4:17 of the overtime period.

On the last day only Russia had the chance to prevent a Swedish party on home ice. The Russians had a shootout loss to Finland but beat the Czechs 3-2. With a win in regulation time against the Swedes they would be able to win the tournament.

However, the last game of the tournament turned out to be the only game that didn’t end with a one-goal gap. The two teams exchanged goals from Andersson and Igor Shvyryov in the seventh minute of play but Pettersson’s goal gave Sweden a 2-1 first-period lead.

Russia came out stronger in the second period but midway the period two goals within 26 seconds from Grundstrom and Linus Hogberg gave Sweden a 4-1 lead and forced the Russian coach to replace goalie Ilya Samsonov with Konstantin Volkov.

Russia came back with a pair of goals from Alexander Polunin but Grundstrom’s fifth marker of the tournament restored the two-goal cushion and Jonathan Davidsson made it 6-3 with 2:17 left in the game.

Grundstrom, who plays in the top senior league with local team Frolunda Gothenburg, finished the tournament as leader in scoring (7) and goal scoring (5). Pettersson and Andersson reached the seven-point mark as well.

Thanks to a 3-2 win over Finland in the last game the Czechs finished the tournament in third place while the Finns were fourth.

Belarus, Germany upset elite nations

Nine months after hosting the Youth Olympic Games, Lillehammer welcomed four U20 teams for an international tournament including Slovakia and Switzerland, who will play at the top-level World Juniors in Canada. The winner, however, came from Germany.

The Germans already won the tournament after two victories in their first two games. First they beat eventual runner-up Switzerland 3-0 with goals from Lucas Dumont, Valentin Kopp and Jakob Mayenschein, then they blanked Slovakia event 5-0 with goals from four different scorers including two from Charlie Jahnke. The last game didn’t change the standings despite Germany losing it 3-1 to host Norway, which finished in last place.

The Swiss took second place ahead of Slovakia thanks to wins in the other two games, 5-2 against Slovakia and 4-2 against Norway.

In Graz another tournament with two top-division nations, Denmark and Latvia, ended with an upset as well with Belarus claiming first place.

Denmark hoped to be en route to win the event after beating host Austria 4-0 and Latvia 2-1 but Belarus had a strong start as well with 4-1 victories against the same opponents.

The Danes were not able to capitalize on their chances going head-to-head with Belarus. Alexander Osipkov had a 25-save shutout while his teammates scored five goals. Denis Zaichik’s marker at 4:22 of play became the game-winner and in the second period the Belarusians scored three goals within two-and-a-half minutes from Yevgeni Astankov, Yegor Sharangovich and Yevgeni Farafontov.

Latvia, the team promoted to the World Juniors, started with two losses and was only able to win its last game, 2-1 in shootout against Austria to claim third place.

Alexeev’s OT winner boosts Russia to 3-2 win

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By Canadian Press

Denis Alexeev scored 55 seconds into overtime, giving Russia the first overtime victory in CIBC Canada Russia Series history by a score of 3-2 in Prince George, BC.

Alexeev crossed the Team WHL blue line off the rush before ripping a shot past a partially screened Connor Ingram (Kamloops Blazers) to give Russia an early 2-1 series lead in points.

Team WHL drops Game 1 despite outshooting Russia 34-21, but solid Russian penalty killing held the WHL power play to 1-for-7 on the night as netminder Anton Krasotkin turned aside 32 of the 34 shots he faced.

Russia got off to a quick start in the first period as Nikita Li threw a puck goalward just 1:13 into action, handcuffing Ingram to give the Russians an early 1-0 edge. Draft eligible Moose Jaw Warriors winger Nikita Popugaev gathered an assist on the play.

After failing to convert on consecutive power play opportunities, the WHL got on the board as Anaheim Ducks prospect Deven Sideroff made something happen off the rush. Sideroff slipped a backhand feed through the slot to an oncoming Jansen Harkins (Prince George Cougars) as the Winnipeg Jets draft pick brought the Prince George crowd to its feet at 9:48.

The two sides remained tied at one through 20 minutes as Team WHL outshot Russia 16-7, registering a number of quality chances on Krasotkin in the process.

The goaltenders went to work in a fast-paced second period as Ingram provided a big save off Alexander Volkov walking out of the corner seven minutes in before Russia’s Krasotkin denied the Regina Pats duo of Austin Wagner and Sam Steel shorthanded just a few shifts later.

The Russian penalty kill was the difference through 40 minutes, shutting down the WHL attack as they killed off another three disadvantages in the second frame.

Team WHL led the shot clock 24-17 after two periods as the game remained tied 1-1.

Russia climbed ahead 2-1 3:46 into the third as captain Danila Kvartalnov completed a three-way passing play off the rush. Alexander Volkov entered the WHL zone before dishing off to Kirill Urakov who quickly dropped for Kvartalnov who beat Ingram over the blocker with a quick release.

The WHL power play would come alive just shy of the midway point of the third period as Sam Steel (Regina Pats) knotted the score at two, tapping his own rebound past a sprawling Krasotkin at 9:34. Nick Merkley (Kelowna Rockets) and Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings) drew assists on the goal as the 5,802 at the CN Centre were in for an exciting finish.

The WHL controlled much of the third period, outshooting Russia 10-3 for a regulation total of 34-20, but Russia held on late, forcing overtime thanks to some timely saves from Krasotkin to keep the game knotted at two.

The Russian victory came early into overtime as Alexeev collected the puck deep in his own defensive zone, gaining speed through the neutral zone before he crossed the blue line and released a shot that rose over the shoulder of Ingram to silence the CN Centre and give the Russians a 3-2 Game 1 victory.

Monday’s overtime hero Denis Alexeev earned Player of the Game honours for Russia while Prince George Cougars product Jansen Harkins, who scored his third goal in as many CIBC Canada Russia Series games, earned WHL Player of the Game recognition in front of the Prince George crowd.

Team WHL looks for redemption on Tuesday night at the brand new Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB as Game 2 of the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series is set for 8:00pm MT/10:00 ET, a game that can be seen live across the country on Sportsnet.

South Korean Men’s Team Wins 2016 Euro ice Hockey Challenge

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By KBS World Radio

The South Korean men’s ice hockey team has created a sensation by winning the 2016 Euro Ice Hockey Challenge held in Budapest, Hungary.
 
Led by coach Baek Chi-sun, South Korea defeated Hungary 3-2 in the final on Monday with a series of goals scored by Shin Sang-hoon, Cho Min-ho and Michael Swift.
 
This marks the first victory South Korea has won since it began to participate in the Euro Challenge in 2013. The nation’s previous best record was set in 2014 when it finished second.
 
The Euro Challenge is a friendly match among national teams of countries, which is held during the international break of the International Ice Hockey Federation(IIHF.)
 
South Korea will face off against Kazakhstan, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine in the IIHF World Championships 2017.
 
The South Korean men’s team currently ranks 23rd in the IIHF world rankings.