Photo Credit: © Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

Jets at the Juniors: Day Three Recap

After a slow second day, things changed on day number three as eight teams were in action including both Jets prospects and team Canada.

Ville Heinola and team Finland was up first as they took on Slovakia. This game wasn’t close from the start as Finland opened with two goals in the first period. However, things got really out of hand in the second period as Finland scored five more and coasted their way to an easy 8-1 victory.

Heinola finished the game with one assist, three shots and a +1 rating in 16:30 of ice time. His assist came from very nice move along the wall in his own end to help the Finns break out with speed.

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This is exactly the type of play Winnipeg fans love to see. A smart move in the defensive zone which leads to a strong breakout pass with speed. Really good stuff from the young defensmen.

The next game of the day featured Germany playing against the Czech Republic. The Czech’s were coming off a big win against Russia, but things didn’t go their way this time around.

Germany got off to a hot start, similarly to the way they started against the USA the day before. Their strong first period led them to a win in a close 4-3 game.

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The third game of the day saw Gustafsson and team Sweden taking on Switzerland. Sweden took it to the Swiss as they opened up a 2-0 lead after the first period and rattled off three more goals in the second. With a 5-0 lead, they coasted to the finish line although they did give up two goals later in the game to Switzerland.

Gustafsson finished with two penalty minutes along with two shots and a +2 rating in 18:59 of ice time. Gustafsson is one of the top centres for Sweden and his ice-time will surely rise when the games get tougher for Sweden.

What about Canada?

The last game of the day was the biggest spectacle by far as team Canada was taking on team Russia. These teams have a long history and rivalry so everyone knew it was going to be a fun game to watch.

Well… it turned out the game was fun to watch, but only if you are Russian.

Team Canada looked confused, slow, and completely out-matched as Russia thoroughly dominated the game from start to finish. Team Canada’s goaltending was severely lacking, but Russia did a good job of getting to rebounds and tipping the puck.

On the other end, Russia’s defense was strong and Canada couldn’t get anything past the netminder. To make matters worse, Canada’s most exciting player, Alexis Lafreniere, went down with an apparent leg injury. He left the game and his status for the rest of the tournament is in question.

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With Russia ending up with a 6-0 victory, it was Canada’s worst ever loss at a World Junior tournament.

Canada will have to regroup as they get today off before facing Germany tomorrow.

Team Finland is taking on Kazakhstan today while Sweden has the day off but is playing Kazakhstan tomorrow.

The standings are still muddled as there have been a number of upsets so far. Things will likely start to become clearer tomorrow as teams begin to separate themselves from the others.