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.

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