Although the World Junior Championships officially began on Boxing Day, it wasn’t until yesterday that each team had played their first game. In case you missed the highlights from day one, you can check them out here. Day two provided four more games, with only two of the three Jets prospects competing. Weirdly enough, almost all the games were blowouts, with the exception being Canada and Switzerland, which was close until the very end.
Day two began with Russia defeating Denmark 4-0. It’s a tough start for Denmark who had to play Canada and Russia back to back to start their tournament. It can only get easier for them as the tournament progresses.
The second game of the day had Sweden beating Slovakia 5-2. Gustafsson struggled to find the stat sheet despite a strong offensive showing from Sweden. He finished with no points, no shots, and a +1 in 15:07.
Canada and Switzerland highlighted the third game of the day and many people expected another blowout. This was not the case as Canada struggled to pull away from the Swiss in the later stages of the game. Canada got off to a great start by scoring in the first minute of the game however, they allowed Switzerland to tie the game up in the second period. Canada kept their composure and scored two goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. In the third, team Canada had three straight powerplay opportunities that they couldn’t score on before Switzerland scored a goal with their goalie pulled.
The game instantly became more tense once the Swiss pulled within one goal. Canada and Switzerland each took a penalty in the final minutes which lead to four on four action to close the game. Switzerland then pulled their goalie again and had nearly a minute of 5-4 chances before Canada was able to kill the clock and win the game. Despite the close finish, Canada is now 2-0 in the tournament.
The last game of the day had the other Jets prospect as Virtanen and the Finns took on Kazakhstan. The Finns dominated this game from start to finish and won 5-0. Virtanen had an assist along with two shots and a +2 rating. Virtanen accomplished these things while only playing 12:24.
Dylan Samberg was idle as the US are gearing up for Kazakhstan tonight.
Both Gustafsson and Virtanen get the night off as they both played back to backs to start the tournament.