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.