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Photo Credit: WinnipegJets.com / JetsTV

Jets at the Juniors: Heinola And Gustafsson Move On To The Semis

It was a busy day of playoffs at the World Junior Championships as all 10 teams were on the ice for the only time in the tournament. All four quarterfinal matches were played while the relegation series also began.

First up was the relegation game. Germany and Kazakhstan are playing a best of three series to see who moves down to the “B” tournament next year. Germany won the first game with a big 4-0 victory.

Next up was the first of the quarterfinal action. This featured Russia taking on Switzerland. It was a bit of a weird matchup as Switzerland surprising finished second in their group while Russia was third in the other group. Russia took care of business in this game as they won by a score of 3-1.

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The second quarterfinal game featured team Canada taking on Slovakia. This game started in Slovakia’s favour as Nolan Foote was called for a five minute major and a game misconduct for a check to the head. Despite getting a full five minute powerplay, they couldn’t score the opening goal as Canada used their strong penalty kill as momentum for the rest of the game. After the penalty was over, Canada began scoring early and often as they cruised to an easy 6-1 victory.

The other two games of the day featured both Jets prospects as USA took on Finland before Sweden faced Czech Republic.

The USA game was really interesting as both teams struggled to score goals. It was a defensive battle from start to finish as both teams went without a goal in the first two period. Finland opened the scoring in the third period and that proved to be the game winner as Finland sends the USA home without a medal. Heinola played 18:06 and finished with four shots on goal. Most importantly, he registered an assist on the only goal of the game to help push Finland to victory.

The final game of the day featured David Gustafsson and the strong Swedish team against the hosts. The Czech’s were out-matched from the start of the game as Sweden took a two goal lead into the first intermission. They added another three goals throughout the game and came away with the easy 5-0 victory.

Gustafsson played 16:07 and scored his first goal of the tournament. He added three shots as well.

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With a bit of confusion, the tournament moves on to the semi final round. In previous years the elimination portion of the tournament was a bracket style where teams knew their path to the finals. This year, the teams are being re-seeded after the quarterfinal which means the top seed will play the bottom seed regardless of where they were put in the bracket. That means Russia takes on Sweden while Canada takes on Finland.

Both semi-finals will happen on Saturday with the finals being completed on Sunday.