Day 4 of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship saw Canada skate to a commanding win over Latvia while the United States, Denmark and Sweden also came away on top. Here’s a look at Thursday’s action in Montreal and Toronto.
CANADA 10 – LATVIA 2
TORONTO – A dominant 10-2 win over Latvia featured four goals and one assist from Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters) as Canada improved to 3-0 at the World Juniors on Thursday. Raddysh’s natural hat-trick was complemented by Erie Otters teammate Dylan Strome who notched four assists while New York Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal (Seattle Thunderbirds) scored twice. Other Canada goals came from Nicolas Roy (Chicoutimi Sagueneens), Anthony Cirelli (Oshawa Generals), Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads) and Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs). Los Angeles Kings prospect Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings) had three assists in the win. Latvian goals came from Renars Krastenbergs (Oshawa Generals) and Player of the Game Martins Dzierkals (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies).
Raddysh’s four goals ties a Team Canada record for most in a single game at the World Junior also accomplished by Brayden Schenn (Brandon Wheat Kings 2010), Simon Gagne (Quebec Remparts 1999), Mario Lemieux (Laval Voisins 1983).
With a perfect 3-0 record, Canada looks ahead to a New Years Eve clash with the United States who defeated Russia on Thursday.
“It’s going to be great playing against them,” said head coach Dominique Ducharme (Drummondville Voltigeurs). “It’s going to be a really intense game. It’s good preparation for getting to the playoffs and those are the kind of games that are going to be played – quarters, semi’s and finals and I think we’re ready for that.”
Canada outshot Latvia 35-25 as Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips) recorded the win in goal. Three of Canada’s 10 goals came on the power play. Saturday’s game against the United States is set for a 3:30pm ET start.
UNITED STATES 3 – RUSSIA 2
TORONTO – A 25-save effort from Tyler Parsons (London Knights) helped the United States earn their first victory over Russia at the World Juniors since 2007, earning a 3-2 victory at the Air Canada Centre. The U.S.A. outshot Russia 37-27. Yakov Trenin (Gatineau Olympiques) and Sergey Zborovskiy (Regina Pats) both had assists for Russia in the loss. Windsor Spitfires defenceman Mikhail Sergachev was named Russia’s Player of the Game. The Americans take on Canada on New Years Eve at 3:30pm ET while Russia will face Slovakia.
DENMARK 3 – CZECH REPUBLIC 2
MONTREAL – The Cinderalla story of the 2017 World Juniors continued on Thursday as Denmark shocked the Czech Republic. Mathias From scored 47 seconds into overtime as Denmark took a 3-2 win, improving to 2-1 in the preliminary round. Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks) had a goal and an assist for the Danes while Filip Hronek (Saginaw Spirit) scored for the Czechs and earned Player of the Game honours. Adam Musil (Red Deer Rebels) chipped in with an assist in the loss as the Czech Republic outshot Denmark 34-22. The Czechs are now 1-2 in the tournament.
SWEDEN 3 – FINLAND 1
MONTREAL – Former Mississauga Steelheads forward Alexander Nylander had two goals and an assist as Sweden defeated Finland 3-1 to improve to 3-0 in the preliminary round. Finland outshot Sweden 29-20 as Olli Juolevi (London Knights) recorded an assist in the loss. The Finns drop to 0-3 at the World Juniors while Sweden clinches Group A with the victory. If the Swiss beat Denmark on Friday, the Finns will be eliminated quarter-final contention.
For news and updates on the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, visit hockeycanada.ca or worldjunior2017.com.