Sweden, Canada Both Win at Worlds

The IIHF World Championship continued with some exciting action today. Firstly, although it does not pertain to the Devils, congratulations to Great Britain who prevailed over France in overtime to avoid relegation and play in next year’s Worlds. Likewise, congrats to Italy, who also staved off relegation by beating Austria in a shootout. The Italians had not scored a goal through their first few games in the round-robin but were able to persevere and fought back to win this one. Austria will join France in relegation as they try to fight their way back to the World Championship for 2021.

Now onto games that really matter to Devils fans. First Sweden outlasted Latvia 5-4 in Group B.

Elias Pettersson got the Swedes going by scoring on the power play 10:15 into the first period. Oskars Batna had gone off for a hold putting Sweden on the man advantage and Pettersson was able to capitalize.

The Swedes took that 1-0 lead into the second when, at 7:47, Oliver Ekman-Larsson was called for a slash. Roberts Bukarts scored on the power play for Latvia, leveling the game at one.

Adrian Kempe would put Sweden back on top at 2-1 when he scored an even strength goal at the 13:38 mark of the second period. Before the end of the second, Adam Larsson was called for high-sticking which would put the Latvians on the power play to start the third period.

And Latvia would respond. Bukarts scored unassisted for his second of the afternoon just 1:11 into the third to tie the game up at two.

Just 2:31 later, Latvia took the lead at 3-2 when Janis Jaks notched one. That lead was short-lived however when Sweden’s Anton Lander tied it at the 9:00 mark. This one was back-and-forth and seemed destined for a great finish.

At 10:09 of the third, Patric Hornqvist gave the Swedes back the lead at 4-3 but that would only last about three minutes. Bukarts completed his hat trick at 16:36 of the third to knot the game back up, this time at four.

Latvia would draw a power play when Sweden’s Adrian Kempe was called for delay of game following the fourth Latvian goal. Towards the end of that power play, Latvia pulled goalie Kristers Gudlevskis in favor of Elvis Merzlikins and then they promptly pulled Merzlikins. They needed the win and took the risk but Dennis Rasmusssen scored into the empty net for Sweden giving them the 5-4 lead.

And that was the final. Gudlevskis was put back in net and he finished out the final thirty seconds or so of the game.

The Latvian goaltenders made 30 saves on 35 Swedish shots. Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves on 29 shots against. Jesper Bratt played just 2:44 over three shifts and was an even plus/minus.

Sweden will next take on Russia tomorrow in their round-robin finale.

Five seemed to be today’s magic number as Canada blanked Denmark 5-0 in Group A action in Kosice.

Canada took a 1-0 lead just one minute into the game, scoring when Pierre-Luc Dubois took a nice pass from Jonathan Marchessault as he reversed course behind the Danish net and passed from behind the short side of the net.

Canada added another one at 6:06 when Jared McCann made it 2-0. Marchessault finished off the first period scoring for the Canadians when he tipped a Damon Severson shot by Danish goaltender Patrick Galbraith. The goal was reviewed for a high-stick but was deemed a good goal. This came at 8:23.

In the second period, Canada was put on the power play when Markus Lauridsen of Denmark was called for a high stick. Sam Reinhart scored at 13:53 to make it 4-0 Canada and notch his first of two on the afternoon.

Reinhart scored his second 4:34 into the third period on a goal that was also reviewed for a high stick. It counted as well and Reinhart had his second goal of the game and the Canadians had a 5-0 lead. This would go on to be our final as Canada cruised to victory.

Starting goalie Carter Hart was pulled at the 10:56 mark of the third in favor of Mackenzie Blackwood as Blackwood was given some time in the tournament and Hart was given some time to rest. It was a nice gesture from Canadian coach Alain Vigneault. Blackwood preserved the shut out and the Canadian goalies combined to stop all 24 Danish shots that they saw. Galbraith stopped 29 of 34 Canadian shots for Denmark.

Damon Severson has the assist for the point, three total shots on goal and was a plus-2 in 17:26 of time on ice (23 shifts).

Canada takes on the Americans tomorrow in a biggie of a game to finish off round-robin play for both teams.

So games on tap for tomorrow include: Finland versus Germany, Czech Republic versus Switzerland, Slovakia versus Denmark, Canada versus USA and Sweden versus Russia. See you then!

USA Clinches Spot in Quarterfinals at Worlds

In one fell swoop, the American team at the IIHF World Hockey Championship got revenge on a foe for a loss earlier in the tournament and also punched their ticket to the next round, the quarterfinals. With a 3-1 win over Germany, the USA clinched a spot in the tournament semifinals and eliminated host country Slovakia from further competition. The Slovaks had upset the US in the first game of the tournament for both teams.

The Germans actually got off to a quick start, netting the first goal of the game when Frederik Tiffels potted one at 11:55 of the first from Leon Draisaitl.

But the Americans were quick to respond. Less than two minutes later at 13:47. James van Riemsdyk scored to tie the game. Clayton Keller and Alec Martinez had the assists, marking the first of two assists on the day for Martinez.

Following a scoreless, penalty-free second frame, Dylan Larkin gave the USA the lead when he scored 10:03 into the third period. Van Riemsdyk and Martinez had the assists, marking two points for both of them.

At 14:21 of the third, Germany took a bench minor for too many men on the ice and the US went on the power play. Jack Eichel scored with six seconds left on the man advantage to make it 3-1 USA, which was our final.

Cory Schneider made 24 saves on 25 German shots against while Mathias Niederberger was 26-for-29. Jack Hughes got limited playing time, just 9:19 of ice time over 14 shifts and was a minus-1 in that time.

The Americans finish off round-robin play on Tuesday against rival Canada.

In another game of interest to Devils fans, Finland defeated France by a score of 3-0.

The Finns got a goal 9:24 into the game from Joel Kiviranta, one in the second at 1:51 from Niko Mikkola and one 12:31 into the third period from Jere Sallinen to take the game 3-0.

\Florian Hardy made 44 saves on 47 shots for France while Kevin Lankinen turned aside all 21 French shots that he saw. Kaapo Kakko had four shots on goal and was a plus-1 plus/minus in 14:30 of time on ice over 22 shifts.

Finland plays next on Tuesday against Germany.

The final game of the day at the Worlds showed that three was the magic number today as Switzerland lost to Russia 3-0.

Russia scored at 3:36 into the first (Artyom Anisimov) to make it 1-0. In the second period, Nico Hischier took a delay of game penalty at 5:02 which led to Nikita Kucherov scoring at 6:20 to make it 2-0. Kucherov scored again 15:20 into the third for his second goal of the game to make it 3-0 Russia. Anisimov also had the primary assist on Kucherov’s second goal, which gave him two points in the game.

The Swiss would pull goalie Leonardo Genoni for an extra attacker late in the third period, but to no avail. The Russians came away with the 3-0 victory.

Genoni made 31 saves on 34 shots against while Russia’s Alexander Georgiev stopped all 31 he saw. Nico had the two penalty minutes plus four shots on goal and a minus-1 plus/minus in 16:51 of ice time (24 shifts).

The Swiss play Czech Republic on Tuesday in their next game.

Tomorrow’s slate includes two games for us here on the blog. Sweden will take on Latvia and Canada will do battle with Denmark.

We now move back to Nova Scotia for the 2019 Memorial Cup where Jocktan Chainey and the Halifax Mooseheads took on the champions of the Ontario Hockey League, the Guelph Storm. The Mooseheads won this one 4-2 to improve to 2-0 in the Memorial Cup round-robin stage.

Antoine Morand got Halifax on the board first 5:10 into the first period. Chainey had the primary assist on a goal that would give them the 1-0 lead. They would hold that 1-0 lead until, with just 50 seconds to go in the frame, Sean Durzi scored for Guelph to tie it going into the first intermission.

In the second period, Halifax jumped out to a two goal lead when Raphael Lavoie scored shorthanded at 6:48 and Maxim Trepanier scored at even strength at 10:34. It was now 3-1 Mooseheads as we headed off to the third period.

Just 1:07 in to that period, Durzi scored his second of the night to make it 3-2 Halifax That goal came on the power play and, in fact, while the Mooseheads were 0-for-6 on the man advantage, Guelph did capitalize once, going 1-for-6.

At 7:20, Samuel Asselin would score for the Mooseheads to make it 4-2 and restore the two goal lead. But a late penalty to Jared McIsaac of Halifax would put the Storm on the power play to end the game. Luckily for the Mooseheads, they would kill that off and go on to preserve the 4-2 win.

The stars of the game were Halifax goalie Alexis Gravel (first), Nick Suzuki of Guelph (second) and Morand of Halifax (third). Gravel made 33 saves on 35 Storm shots. Guelph goalie Anthony Popovich stopped 38 of 42 Halifax shots.

Chainey had a stat line of the assist for a point, a plus-1 plus/minus and six shots on goal.

Halifax next plays on Wednesday in a rematch of the QMJHL Final against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. We will have that for you right here then.

Four Devils-Related Games at Worlds

Four games took place at the IIHF World Hockey Championship today that were of interest to Devils fans.

In the first game, the USA and Cory Schneider defeated Denmark by a score of 7-1. With this win, the United States moved past Canada into second place in Group A.

Frank Vatrano opened the scoring for the Americans 10:34 into the first period. Alex DeBrincat quickly made it 2-0 when he scored on the power play at 11:03. Julian Jakobsen had been called for delay of game 14 seconds after the first US goal.

Clayton Keller put the US up 3-0 when he scored at 14:24 and Chris Kreider made it 4-0 going into the break when he potted one at 18:49. The Kreider goal was notable because Jack Hughes had the primary assist on the goal. For Hughes, this was his first point of the tournament. This had been a major talking point throughout the tourney as the comparisons (no matter how unfair or non-grounded it may be) between Hughes and Kaapo Kakko were in full force. At least he can get that monkey off of his back.

At the start of the second period, Denmark made a goaltending change, switching out Simon Nielsen for Patrick Galbraith. The team would respond as Nick Olesen scored 4:50 into the second frame to make it 4-1.

But DeBrincat restored the four goal lead by making it 5-1 with his second of the night at 11:55 of the second. Less than two minutes later at 13:17, Dylan Larkin scored to make it 6-1 USA.

Jack Eichel capped off the scoring when he notched one at 11:19 to make it 7-1 USA. DeBrincat had the secondary assist on this goal, giving the young Blackhawks star three points (two goals and an assist) on the evening.

Cory stopped 21 of 22 Danish shots while Galbraith stopped 19 of 26 American shots. Hughes had the assist for a point, two shots on net and a plus-1 plus/minus. He did that in 12:33 of ice time over 16 shifts.

The Americans next take on Germany tomorrow.

In our second game of interest, Canada defeated Germany 8-1 to give the Germans their first loss of the tourney so far.

Germany went on the penalty kill early when Marco Nowak was called for holding just 1:19 into the game. Thomas Chabot took advantage by notching one on the power play for the Canadians. Canada’s Mark Stone then made it 2-0 less than twenty seconds after a Canadian penalty was up when he scored from Damon Severson and Darnell Nurse. It was 2-0 Canada going into the first intermission. Not a bad deficit for the Germans to overcome.

Then they began to let Mark Stone loose.

The Vegas Golden Knight scored 6:02 into the second to make it 3-0 Canada. Germany’s Yasin Ehliz would notch one on the power play at 18:01 to make it 3-1 Canada. Then Stone would complete his hat trick by scoring 48 seconds after the German goal to make it 4-1. Things were starting to get out of hand for Germany.

Just 42 seconds into the third, Germany’s Patrick Hager took a boarding penalty and was assessed a ten minute misconduct to go along with it.

At 3:01, Anthony Mantha made it 5-1 Canada unassisted. He scored again 1:54 later this time with an assist to Kyle Turris to make it 6-1.

Sam Reinhart followed the pair of Mantha goals by making it 7-1 at 5:28 and Anthony Cirelli finished off the Canadian day by scoring shorthanded at 13:10 while Chabot was in the box for hooking.

In nets, Matt Murray made 15 saves on 16 German shots while Niklas Treutle made 41 saves on 49 Canadian shots for Germany.

Damon Severson had the assist for a point, two shots on goal and was a plus-3 in 17:43 of ice time over 23 shifts.

Canada’s next game is Monday against Denmark.

At this point I would like to stop and alert everyone that Italy finally scored a goal! They had been shut out all throughout the first round of Group B play but finally notched one today against Norway. They did, however, still lose the game 7-1.

Speaking of a 7-1 score, that was the final in our next game between Slovakia and Great Britain.

The Slovaks jumped out to a very quick 2-0 lead when Andrej Sekera scored 2:04 into the game and Tomas Tatar scored 21 seconds later. At the 7:43 mark of the first period, Britain’s Colin Shields was called for a trip and Martin Marincin made them pay. He scored at 9:02 to make it 3-0.

The Brits made a goaltending change at the 16:32 mark when Ben Bowns was pulled for Jackson Whistle and they immediately responded. Mike Hammond scored 1:12 after the goalie change to make it 3-1 Slovakia. That was our score as we headed into the first intermission.

The Slovaks would pick up right where they left off in the first period (despite the blip of the British goal). Michal Cajkovsky scored 4:33 in to make it 4-1. Marian Studenic scored from Michal Kristof at 9:09 to make it 5-1. At 15:11, Matus Sukel scored to make it 6-1 and that mercifully ended the period for the Brits.

Both teams were held off the scoresheet for the majority of the third period until there were two minutes remaining and David Bondra hit paydirt for the seventh Slovak goal of the game to give us our final of 7-1.

Bowns and Whistle combined to make 31 saves on 38 Slovak shots against. Denis Godla made 16 stops on 17 British shots in the game. Marian Studenic had the goal for a point and four shots on goal and a plus-1 plus/minus in 16:42 of ice time over 19 shifts.

Slovakia’s next opponent is Denmark on Tuesday, the final day of the round-robin portion of the tournament.

Our final game of the evening saw Sweden edge out Switzerland 4-3.

The Swiss got on the board first when Sven Andrighetto scored 4:09 into the contest. But Sweden would tie things before the first period was out.

At 18:41, Simon Moser took a hooking minor and Alexander Wennberg converted for the Swedes just three seconds into the man advantage. That made it 1-1 going into the first break.

Sweden took the 20-1 lead when William Nylander scored 5:20 into the second. Then, at 6:40, Adam Larsson was called for a delay of game giving the Swiss the power play. But Vincent Praplan was sent off for a hold just 23 seconds into the man advantage to make it a 4-on-4. And this is where Switzerland would strike to tie things at two. Joel Genazzi scored at 7:58 to knot the game.

But the Swedes would retake the lead when Erik Gustafsson scored with about 2:30 remaining in the second period. That made it 3-2 Sweden and that was where we were headed into the second intermission.

In the third, Switzerland’s Gaetan Haas tied things at three on the power play. Sweden’s Anton Lander was called for a cross-check at 8:27 and at 10:27, the puck crossed the line to tie the game at three.

But Sweden had one more effort left in them. One minute and twenty seconds after the Swiss tied things, Oliver Ekman-Larsson gave Sweden the 4-3 lead that they would never relinquish.

In goal, Henrik Lundqvist let in three of the 24 shots he faced while Swiss goalie Reto Berra stopped 25 of 29 Swedish shots against. Nico Hischier had a shot on goal and was a minus-3 plus/minus in 18:54 of time on ice over 22 shifts. Jesper Bratt was back in the Swedish lineup and was an even plus/minus in just 1:09 of ice time (two shifts).

Sweden will now play Latvia on Monday while Switzerland will play Russia tomorrow.

So tomorrow, we will have coverage of Germany versus the USA, France versus Finland and Switzerland versus Russia in addition to the Memorial Cup where the Halifax Mooseheads will be taking on the OHL champion Guelph Storm.

Big Day at Worlds; Memorial Cup Kicks Off

It was a big day for Devils’ prospects as the World Hockey Championship continued in Slovakia and the 2019 Memorial Cup kicked off in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

First to the Worlds, as host Slovakia doubled up France 6-3 in Group A action.

The Slovaks got on the board 13:25 into the first on the power play when Richard Panik scored. Antonin Manavian was off for a hook, putting the Slovaks on the man advantage. The French had taken two penalties previous to Manavian’s, but Slovakia had been unable to convert on either. That goal made it 1-0.

It would be 2-0 as the teams headed into the first break when Matus Sukel scored with 50 seconds to go in the first period.

The second period kicked off with France going on the penalty kill once again. Peter Valier was given an elbowing penalty at 3:43 and Libor Hudacek of Slovakia would score at 5:31 to make it 3-0.

Manavian would redeem himself for the penalty which led to the first Slovak goal when he scored the first French goal at 12:16 of the second to make it 3-1. Slovakia would get into penalty trouble themselves when Erik Cernak was assessed a high-sticking penalty at 14:14 and Alexandre Texier cut the Slovak lead to one when he scored for the French. That made it 3-2 heading into the second intermission.

Just 16 seconds in to the third frame, the Slovaks regained the two goal lead when Cernak scored to make it 4-2. At 1:07, Marko Dano was called for a charge but Michal Cajkovsky scored shorthanded for the Slovaks to make it 5-2.

At 3:46, Valier was off again, this time for high-sticking and Slovakia took advantage, scored with five seconds to go on the power play at 5:41 to make it 6-2.

France would pull goalie Florian Hardy in favor of Henri Coretin Buysse at this point. The two goaltenders would combine for 21 saves on 27 Slovakian shots.

France would add one more goal by Anthony Rech at 17:50, but it was too little too late as Slovakia came away with the win.

Slovak goalie Patrik Rybar made 17 saves on just 20 French shots against. Devils prospect Marian Studenic was a minus-1 plus/minus in 14:03 of ice time over 18 shifts.

Slovakia plays Great Britain tomorrow in their next game.

Speaking of Great Britain, they were involved in our next game as they were defeated by the Finns, 5-0.

The Brits held their own in the first period, battling to a scoreless game through one. But Finland began to show their strength just 24 seconds into the new period as Toni Rajala scored to make it 1-0.

Atte Ohtamaa made it 2-0 at the 5:08 mark and Joel Kiviranta made it 3-0 at 14:59 to end a second period of Finnish dominance.

Things would explode in the face of the British when they pulled goalie Ben Bowns with a little more than four minutes to go in the game. Kristian Kuusela scored into the empty net to make it 4-0. Then, at 18:45, Ben Davies took a high-sticking penalty for the British and Mikko Lehtonen converted on the ensuing power play to make it 5-0, our final. Lehtonen’s goal came with 11 seconds remaining in the game.

Bowns was under siege all game, stopping 44 of 49 Finnish shots against while Finnish goalie Jussi Olkinuora had a relatively easy night, stopping all 12 shots he saw.

Kaapo Kakko had four shots on goal and an even plus/minus in 14:36 of time on ice spread over 19 shifts.

Finland next takes on France on Sunday.

Tomorrow we have a full slate of games for you, as the USA takes on Denmark, Canada faces off with Germany, Great Britain and Slovakia clash and Sweden and Switzerland do battle.

Now back to North America as the 2019 Memorial Cup began with the WHL champion Prince Albert Raiders taking on the host Halifax Mooseheads. The Mooseheads, of course, feature Devils prospect Jocktan Chainey. The Mooseheads were the home team in this, the first round-robin game of the mini tournament. They won the game, 4-1 putting them in a good position in the short tournament.

Samuel Asselin got the scoring kicked off 10:49 into the game to give Halifax the 1-0 lead. A little less than eight minutes later, Xavier Parent potted what would go down as the game winner as Asselin picked up the primary assist on the goal. Asselin would finish the game with the two points and be named the game’s first star.

Noah Gregor scored at 10:46 of the second period to get Prince Albert on the board, but that was all the Raiders could muster. Gregor would be named the game’s third star.

Jake Ryczek put the Mooseheads up 3-1 when he scored on the power play 15:52 into the second. Maxim Trepanier had the primary assist on the goal (he had the secondary assist on Asselin’s goal) giving him two on the night. He was named the game’s second star.

Antoine Morand added an empty net goal to make it 4-1 with just under two minutes to go in the game as Prince Albert had pulled goaltender Ian Scott for the extra attacker. Scott made 33 saves on 36 Halifax shots while Alexis Gravel made 23 saves on 24 shots against. The Raiders were 0-for-4 on the power play while Halifax was 1-for-6. Prince Albert played a largely undisciplined game, especially in the second period, something they will need to clean up to go any further in the Memorial Cup.

Chainey finished the game with a shot on goal and an even plus/minus rating.

The Mooseheads will next take on the Guelph Storm, champions of the Ontario Hockey League in the round-robin portion of the tournament on Sunday at 7 PM local time, 6 PM eastern time.

Canada, Sweden and Finland All Winners at Worlds

It was another busy day of action at the IIHF World Hockey Championship as Canada downed France, Sweden blew out Austria and Finland got by Denmark.

First to Group A and Canada-France where the Canadians won 5-2.

The French got behind the eight-ball early when Olivier Dame-Malka was called for a slash at 6:22 of the first and then Eliot Berthon was called for a hook at 6:40, putting Canada up on a 5-on-3 power play. Anthony Mantha would score to make it 1-0 with Shea Theodore and Damon Severson picking up the assists. That goal came at 8:19, just as the Dame-Malka penalty was set to expire.

Darnell Nurse made it 2-0 two minutes and change later when he scored at 10:50. When Anthony Cirelli made it 3-0 at 16:15, the rout seemed to be on in Canada’s favor.

Early in the second period, Severson was whistled for tripping, but the Canadians killed off that power play opportunity for France. What they could not kill off was when Nurse went off for a trip at 14:19 and Damien Fleury scored for France. This came at 36:13, six seconds as the penalty to Nurse was about to expire. That made it 3-1 Canada.

The third period featured France scoring their second of the game and Canada countering with two. France’s goal came when Severson tried to bank the puck behind the Canadian net in a D-to-D pass to Nurse. France’s Anthony Rech was forechecking aggressively and intercepted the puck, beating Canadian goalie Carter Hart to make it 3-2.

But Canada would come surging back from that. Mantha scored his second of the game when he poked a loose puck that had not yet crossed the French goal line over to make it 4-2.

Mark Stone then finished off the scoring for Canada to make it 5-2, our final.

Hart made 21 saves on 23 French shots while Henri Corentin Buysse made 41 stops on 46 Canadian shots.

Severson had the assist for a point, the two penalty minutes and one shot on goal as well as a plus-1 plus/minus in 22:29 of ice time over 32 shifts.

Canada next plays on Saturday against Germany.

We shift now to Group B action as Sweden demolished Austria, 9-1.

Although neither Jesper Bratt or Jesper Boqvist played, we will report on this game here anyway just to keep things consistent.

Gabriel Landeskog scored 1:09 into the game to get the ball rolling for Sweden. Marcus Kruger scored 88 seconds later to make it 2-0. William Nylander scored on the power play at 5:41 to make it 3-0. Our old pal Adam Larsson scored at 7:32 to make it 4-0. Finally, Adrian Kempe scored to make it 5-0 at 14:39 while both teams were down a man, making it 4-on-4.

In the second period, Dennis Rasmussen scored shorthanded at 9:13 to make it 6-0 and Elias Lindholm scored at 13:22 to make it 7-0.

In the third, Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored at 2:40 on the power play to make it 8-0 and Eiias Pettersson finished out the Swedish scoreing, making it 9-0 at 5:31.

Michael Raffl added one at 7:46 to get the Austrians on the board and break Henrik Lundqvist’s shutout, but that was not nearly enough. Our final was 9-1 Sweden.

Lundqvist stopped 21 of the 22 shots he saw for Sweden and Bernhard Starkbaum saw 36 shots and turned aside 27 of them.

Sweden plays Switzerland on Satuday in their next contest.

FInally, we end with Finland edging out Denmark 3-1.

Following a scoreless first period, Denmark got on the board first for the 1-0 lead. Morten Madsen scored on the power play at 1:49 into the second frame while Miika Koivisto of Finland was off for a hook.

That lead would not last long as Kaapo Kakko got yet another one by scoring at 5:49 to tie the game at one. Sakari Manninen would give the Finns the 2-1 lead at 14:19, just before the horn sounded on the second period.

Harri Psonen scored 11:07 into the third (with Kakko getting the lone assist) to give us our final of 3-1.

In nets, Kevin Lankinen made 25 saves on 26 Danish shots while Denmark’s Sebastian Dahm stopped 34 of 37 Finnish shots.

Kakko had the goal and assist for two points as he continues on his tear along with two shots on goal and a plus-3 rating. He did all of that in 14:02 of ice time total over 21 shifts.

Finland will next take on Great Britain tomorrow. We will have that game for you here along with France versus Marian Studenic and Slovakia.¬†Also, we will have coverage of the first game of the 2019 Memorial Cup in Halifax as Devils’ prospect Jocktan Chainey and the Halifax Mooseheads take on the Western Hockey League winners the Prince Albert Raiders.

Round Robin Continues at World Hockey Championship

The IIHF World Championship continued with three games featuring Devils players or prospects on tap for the day.

First off, we begin with Group A action in Kosice where the US took on Great Britain. The Americans won the game, doubling up the Brits 6-3.

Britain has had a rough go of it in the tournament after fighting their way up from the lower levels of the IIHF to get here. They only had one goal for through the round robin so far. They notched three against the USA, but it was not enough to win the game.

Britain’s Mike Hammond set up the first US goal when he took a holding minor at the 10:51 mark of the first. James van Riemsdyk scored on the ensuing power play to give the USA the 1-0 lead at 12:17.

But Hammond would redeem himself by scoring the tying goal at 15:08 of the first. We headed into the first intermission knotted at one.

Hammond was involved in the go-ahead goal for the US as well, as he took a hooking penalty that set up a Clayton Keller power play goal 9:07 into the second period. Chris Kreider followed up at 11:20 to give the US the two goal lead and Alex DeBrincat scored at 17:54 to make it 4-1 USA.

But with just six seconds to go in the second frame, Brett Perlini cut the US lead in half when he scored unassisted for Great Britain to make it 4-2.

The US would restore a three goal lead when Patrick Kane scored just one minute into the third. Derek Ryan made it 6-2 for the Americans when he scored on the power play at 9:10 (Matthew Myers was off for high-sticking for Great Britain).

Ben Davies of Britain took a goalie interference penalty at the 14:20 mark and then, eight seconds after his penalty expired, he scored to make it 6-3, which was our final.

Thatcher Demko made 23 saves on 26 British shots against. Ben Bowns was bombarded with 65 American shots and made 59 saves.

Jack Hughes had six shots on goal and was an even plus/minus in 11:28 of ice time (15 shifts).

USA next plays Denmark on Saturday.

Going over to Bratislava for Group B action, we have the Swiss over Norway 4-1.

Andres Ambuhl got the Swiss on the board 5:30 into the game to make it 1-0.

Nico Hischier took a slashing penalty at 17:29 of the first period, meaning it would straddle the intermission. When the penalty was killed off 29 seconds into the second, Nico jumped on to the ice and scored five seconds later. His goal made it 2-0 Switzerland.

Gregory Hofmann made it 3-0 9:01 into the third period when he scored from Lino Martschini.

Ambuhl bookended the scoring when he added a second for the fourth Swiss goal at 16:02 of the third. Norway would add a goal from Tobias Lindstrom with just under two minutes to go but it was window dressing. The Swiss came away with the 4-1 win.

In goal, Leonardo Genoni made 31 saves on a respectable 32 shots for Norway. Norwegian goalie Henrik Holm made 38 saves on 42 Swiss shots.

Nico finished the game with the goal for a point, two penalty minutes (the slashing penalty), three shots on goal and a plus-2 plus/minus in 17:21 of ice time (23 shifts).

The Swiss play Sweden next on Saturday in what will be a real test for them.

Now, we move back to Group A where Germany defeated Slovakia 3-2 at the Steel Arena in Kosice.

Marian Studenic took the first penalty of the game, a tripping call 3:13 into the contest. Slovakia would kill that off and the first period was scoreless.

But Germany would only need 3:54 into the second to take the 1-0 lead. Marc Michaelis beat Slovak goalie Marek Ciliak to make it 1-0.

The Germans would get into some penalty trouble early in the second when Moritz Seider was given two minutes for holding at 8:01, Moritz Muller was called for tripping at 8:24 and on the same play, Korbinian Holzer was assessed a ten minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct.

With a 5-on-3, Slovakia would capitalize when Andrej Sekera tied the game with a goal at 8:30. Then, with a 5-on-4 man advantage, Libor Hudacek scored at 9:55 to make it 2-1 Slovakia.

Slovakia’s Ladislav Nagy was given a two minute minor for boarding and a ten minute misconduct to go with it 13:38 into the third. Studenic would serve the minor for Nagy.

At 18:08, with German goalie Mathias Niederberger pulled for the extra atttacker, Markus Eisenschmid tied the game for Germany at two. The Germans would pull Niederberger again and, with less than thirty seconds to go in the contest, Leon Draisaitl scored to give the Germans the 3-2 lead. This would go on to be our final.

Niederberger made 34 saves on 36 Slovak shots against while Ciliak made 18 saves on 21 German shots.

Studenic had two penalty minutes (the tripping penalty, not the one he served), one shots and was a minus-1 plus/minus in 12:08 of ice time (16 shifts).

Slovakia plays Friday against France in their next game.

Tomorrow we will have Damon Severson and Canada taking on France for you, plus Sweden versus Austria and Finland against Denmark.

Swiss Defeat Austrians at WHC

First things first. I appologize for the site being down the last week or so. Long story short, I was installing an update and the site crashed. We are obviously back up (a big thank you to Steve Paskovich for helping get things back on track) but have lost the posts between last September and now (including all of the 2018-19 Devils season).

Since I intended for this site to act as an archive of all things Devils, I may try to get those posts back up and running in time. It would be time consuming but we will see. I had also been keeping track of the World Championship and the CHL doings during the time the site was down, so those posts may see the light of day at some point too.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual around here with Nico Hischier and the Swiss taking on Austria at the World Hockey Championship in Bratislava. THe Swiss won the game 4-0 as the Austrians just had a complete breakdown of discipline.

Kevin Fiala got the Swiss on the board first with a goal with 33 seconds to go in the opening period. Nico picked up the primary helper on the goal. It was 1-0 Switzerland.

The rest of the scoring came in the third period (and mostly on the power play). Roman Josi scored an even strength goal at the 13:02 mark to give Switzerland the 2-0 lead. This was followed by a lengthly delay in the game as a plexiglass panel was broken and the arena staff tried as fast as they could to get the new piece in. It was the rounded piece near the end of the bench that is springy so that players do not get run into the old-syle turnbuckle.

Once the new glass was in, Austria went on the penalty kill when Thomas Raffl was called for high-sticking at 17:08. The Swiss quickly capitalized when Philipp Kurashev scored (with Hischier getting the lone assist on the goal) to make it 3-0.

With exactly one minute to go, Austria’s Raphael Herburger was given a ten minute misconduct, ending his night. Thirty-four seconds later, Raphael Wolf cross-checked Hischier in the Austrian crease to go off for two minues. Sven Andrighetto made them pay by scoring to make it 4-0 at 19:47.

Austria took 28 minutes in penalties (admittedly only ten minutes more than Switzerland, just more ill-timed) in the game.

Switzerland’s Reto Berra stopped all 18 Austrian shots that he saw and, in the other net, David Kickert was under siege. He faced 45 shots total, making 41 saves.

Nico’s stat line read: the two assists for two points, one shot on goal, was a plus-1 plus/minus in 19:46 of ice time (29 shifts).

Switzerland has a quick turnaround, playing tomorrow against Norway. We will also have coverage tomorrow of the USA-Great Britain game and Germany versus Slovakia.

Prospects Challenge: Devils Defeat Bruins 6-2

The Devils wrapped up the 2018 Prospects Challenge this morning in Buffalo. With a 9:30 AM puck drop it was certainly rise and shine time for the players.

And shine they did, defeating the Boston Bruins prospects 6-2. It was the second consecutive game the Devils prospects won by that score, after defeating Pittsburgh 6 to 2 on Saturday.

Boston actually took the early lead, when Valach Marek scored just 5:57 into the game from Senyshyn Zach. That made it 1-0 B’s. However, the Devils would tie things up before the end of the first period. At 14:57, Jeremey Groleau scored from Dylan Seitz and Blake Speers to tie the game moving into the second period.

The Devils would add two more in the second frame. At 7:00 minutes in, Brandon Baddock scored a power play goal from Yegor Shanrangovich and Speers – who finished the game with two assists. The Devils now had a 2-1 lead. Joey Anderson put them up by two when he scored unassisted at 9:29. Boston’s Clifton Connor would score the Bruins’ final goal of the morning at 15:03 of the second from Lauko Jakub to make it 3-2 going into the third.

The third period was all Devils. First, Ryan Schmelzer made it 4-2 when he scored on the power play at 7:01 from Colton White and Fabian Zetterlund.

Following that, Michael McLeod turned it on, scoring two goals within about three minutes of each other. He made it 5-2 when he scored at 10:03 from Schmelzer (his second point of the morning) and Colby Sissons. Then, at 12:55, McLeod struck again to give us our 6-2 final. He scored from Seitz (his second assist of the game) and Marian Studenic.

And that was it. The Devils closed out the Prospects Challenge with a record of two wins and one loss and both of those wins were by 6-2 score lines.

In nets, Akira Schmid went for the Devils and stopped 16 of 18 Boston shots for a .889 save percentage. For the Bruins, Weatherill Dawson saw 28 shots and stopped 22 of them.

On the power play, the Devils were 2-for-4 while going a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

New Jersey will now gear up for training camp beginning on Friday with the first preseason game proper coming on Monday, September 17 when the Rangers come to Prudential Center.

Devils Blitz Pens at Prospects Challenge

The Devils’ rookies took the ice for their second game of the 2018 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo at HarborCenter and with the NFL season fully kicking off tomorrow, put up a football score on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Devils won 6-2, after a five-goal outburst in the second period.

Brandon Gignac broke the seal on the game, scoring 12:32 into the first peirod from Yegor Sharangovich and Ryan Schmelzer. That goal came on the power play, on which the Devils went 2-for-10 on the afternoon.

The offensive cloudburst that came in the second began just 49 seconds into the new frame, with Blake Speers scoring from Brandon Baddock. That made it 2-0 Devils. Colby Sissons scored at 5:15 from Joey Anderson to make it 3-0 and the blitz was on.

At 6:42, Marian Studenic scored from John Quenneville to make it 4-0. Anderson notched his second point of the afternoon at 10:23 when he scored off an assist from Sissons to make it 5-0. Gignac wrapped up the Devils scoring at 13:45 of the second period when he connected from Jocktan Chainey on the power play to make it 6-0.

The Pens would break up the shutout, scoring two on the power play in the third (Troy Josephs at 7:19 and Adam Johnson at 10:35). Pittsburgh was 2-for-7 on the man advantage in the game.

After getting pushed around by the somewhat bigger and more physical Sabres yesterday, the Devils showed some fight today, literally, as Baddock fought Joseph Masonius at 19:05 of the third period. Baddock took the extra boarding minor on the play plus the fighting major.

Cam Johnson went between the pipes, making 32 saves on 34 Penguins shots for a .941 save percentage. For Pittsburgh, Tistan Cote-Cazenave started, stopping just 18 of 24 shots against. Christian Propp took over in net for the third period, turning aside all nine shots he faced.

The Devils finish up the 2018 Prospects Challenge on Monday when they take on the Boston Bruins at 9:30 AM.

Prospects Challenge Kicks Off as Devils Fall to Sabres 6-4

Hockey season has officially started! Kind of.

The 2018 Prospects Challenge got underway tonight at HarborCenter in Buffalo as the Devils took on the Buffalo Sabres in the first game of the rookie mini preseason tournament.

The Sabres came away with the 6-4 win as they looked a little bit more physical than the Devils and threw their bodies around, taking advantage of their bigger size overall. The Devils did a good job of responding generally, especially John Quenneville, who was arguably the Devils’ most physical player.

Two other takeaways from the game that I noticed was the Devils’ ability to respond offensively, as the majority of the game would see Buffalo go up a goal and the Devils immediately tie things up. It remained that way until the third period when the Sabres finally pulled away and scored two to take the 6-4 lead that would be the final.

The other thing of note was the debut of the first overall pick in this summer’s NHL Draft: Rasmus Dahlin, who had a pair of goals and an assist. He seemed to be real deal for the Sabres and gave the Devils some fits all night.

Of a minor note was the condition of the ice. It is still hot and humid out in Buffalo and the ice was not in the best of shape.

Regardless of some of the negatives, the Devils who did stand out were Brett Seney and this year’s first round draft pick, Ty Smith. Smith, especially was praised by the Buffalo announcers who were calling the game for putting a good showing in. Seney recorded a goal in the first period, the one that tied it up at one.

Cole Coskey had the first goal of the game for the Sabres, scoring at the 17:31 mark of the first. Seney tied it at one on the power play at 18:53.

In the second period, Victor Olofsson scored at 7:02 before Nathan Bastain tied things up just over 30 seconds later.

Buffalo then jumped out to a two goal lead as Alexander Nylander scored shorthanded at 10:19 and Dahlin scored his first 59 seconds later at even strength. The Sabres crowd gave the first overall pick a standing ovation following the goal, but his night was just getting started.

The Devils would respond quickly to those two goals, as Colton White scored at 11:53 and Fabian Zetterlund scored at 12:01. Seney had the lone assist on Zetterlund’s goal, giving him two points on the night.

In the third period, the Sabres pulled away when Dahlin put them up 5-4 for his second of the night at 4:28. Dahlin would also assist on Tage Thompson’s shorthanded goal that ended the night. It was the second shorty of the night for the Sabres.

The Devils were a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill but failed to scored on any of their seven power plays.

In goal, Mackenzie Blackwood looked pretty good, making 26 saves on Buffalo’s 32 shots on goal for a .812 save percentage. Buffalo’s Jonas Johansson made 30 saves on 34 Devils shots.

The Devils next play tomorrow at 3 PM against the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects.