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.

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.