Full Day of Action at World Hockey Championship

There were a full slate of games today at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in Riga, Latvia.

In addition to the four games involving Devils players, Norway defeated Italy 4-1 and Kazakhstan continued to roll as they beat Finland 2-1 in a shootout.

Up first in the Devils-related games, Belarus defeated Sweden 1-0.

Yegor Sharangovich had four penalty minutes and a shot in 18:00 of total ice time.

Sharangvich’s penalty minutes came 56 seconds into the game as he received a double minor for high sticking. Belarus would kill it off.

The only goal of the game came 33 seconds into the third period as German Nesterov scored from Mikhail Stefanovich and Stanislav Lopachuk.

Sweden would pull goaltender Adam Reideborn with just over three minutes to play to no avail. Belarus came away with the win.

In the next game involving a Devil, Nico Hischier, Jonas Siegenthaler and the Swiss defeated Denmark 1-0.

Hischier ended up with an assist for a point and two shots on net in 16:47 of time on ice. Siegenthaler had a shot on goal in 17:25 of ice time.

This 1-0 game was different from the Sweden-Belarus 1-0 game in that the lone goal came early and the Swiss fended off the Danes the rest of the game.

Timo Meier scored 13:12 into the first from Hischier and former Devils’ defenseman Mirco Muller.

Denmark pulled goalie Sebastian Dahm with a little more than two minutes to go in regulation, but Switzerland gets the three points.

In another Devils-related game, Slovakia edged Great Britain 2-1.

Marian Studenic had a total of five shots on goal for the Slovaks over 16:01 of total ice time.

It seemed to be another one of those games for the British when Marek Hrivik scored just 25 seconds into the game. Robert Lantosi had the lone assist. Just like that, it was 1-0 Slovakia.

However, when the Slovaks came out for the second period, goalie Branislav Konrad was replaced by Julius Hudacek.

The British would take advantage of a cold goalie, with Liam Kirk scoring 2:03 into the new frame to tie it at one. Brett Perlini and Mark Richardson had the helpers.

The Slovaks would answer right back, though. 2:39 later, Lantosi scored from Peter Cehlarik to put Slovakia back up 2-1 in what ended up as our final.

Britain pulled goalie Ben Bowns with just under 2:30 left to play but the Slovaks came away with the victory.

And that brings us to the main event. In any situation, a day headlined by a rivalry game was going to be a big deal. The United States and Canada is a rivalry game and it was contentious.

For the US, Matt Tennyson ended with a goal for a point and a shot on goal in 15:45 while Matt Hellickson had an assist for a point in 16:19 of total ice time. Of another note was that Anaheim Ducks goalie/Edison, New Jersey-native Anthony Stolarz started for the Americans, but left at the 4:58 mark in favor of Jake Oettinger.

The USA got on the board at 7:42 when Jason Robertson scored from Conor Garland to make it 1-0.

The Americans doubled the lead 1:19 into the second when Adam Clendening scored. Hellickson had his assist on this goal. It was now 2-0 USA.

Almost a minute later, at 2:12, Canada’s Gabriel Vilardi was called for a hook. With the US on the power play, Trevor Moore scored from Robertson to make it 3-0.

Moore would strike again at the 18:20 mark when he scored from Garland to make it 4-0.

The Canadians began the third period by replacing goalie Darcy Kuemper with Adin Hill. That seemed to spur Canada on as Maxime Comtois scored a little later at 11:35 to make it 4-1. Nicolas Beaudin assisted on the goal that got Canada on the big board.

The Americans, however, would finish things off when Tennyson would score with just over three minutes left in regulation. Clendening had the lone assist on the goal that made it 5-1 USA.

And with that, Canada has yet to record a win in the tournament this year – after finishing as the runner up two years ago.

Tomorrow, Slovakia takes on the formidable Russia while Belarus goes toe-to-toe with the Czech Republic.

Swiss Win, USA Lose at Day Two of World Hockey Championship

There were two games at day two of the 2021 IIHF World Hockey Championship that involved Devils players.

They went fifty-fifty as Matt Tennyson and Matthew Hellickson and Team USA lost 2-1 to Finland while Nico Hischier and Jonas Siegenthaler and the Swiss defeated the Czech Republic 5-2.

First off, the United States. Tennyson finished the game with one shot in 15:21 of total ice time, while Hellickson logged 13:25 of time on ice.

Following a clean first period – no scoring, no penalties – the Finns broke the seal 6:54 into the second. Atte Ohtamaa scored from Saku Maenalanen and Marko Anttila.

The rest of the scoring also took place in the second as Iiro Pakarinen scored at 15:41. He got assists from Ville Pokka and Olli Maatta.

The US cut things in half on the power play. At 18:01, with five seconds to go on a Pokka tripping call, Jason Robertson scored from Christian Wolanin to make it 2-1

The USA pulled goaltender Cal Petersen with a little less than two minutes to go in regulation, but to no avail.

It was a tough contest out of the shoot. The US now gets Canada in another test tomorrow.

Some of the other scores around the tournament saw Denmark not only hang with the Swedes, but defeat them, 4-3. That was the Danes’ first win over their Nordic brethren in WHC play. Germany was all over Norway, 5-1 and if you think that is bad, the Russians had their way with the British 7-1. Latvia – fresh off of their upset over Canada on day one, needed a shootout against Kazakhstan. The Latvians could not replicate the magic as Kazakhstan won in eight shootout rounds, 3-2.

Now on to the Swiss and Czechs.

Nico, wearing an “A” with the Swiss team, notched an assist for one point and had one shot on net in 19:15 of total ice time. Jonas Siegenthaler had a minor penalty for two total PIMs and one shot on net all in 9:57 of ice time.

The Czech Republic got things started with a power play goal 14:46 into the game. Filip Chytil scored from Jan Kovar and Jakub Vrana to make it 1-0 Czechs.

The Swiss would get the game tied at 17:09 with two seconds remaining on a Radan Lenc hooking penalty. Gregory Hofmann scored from Andreas Ambuhl and Dario Simion. And that was how we ended the first frame.

In the second, Timo Meier wasted no time. Three minutes into the period, Lenc took a slashing call to put Switzerland back on the power play. Meier scored 1:12 later (the lone assist to Hischier) to put the Swiss up 2-1.

Siegenthaler took his slashing minor at the 7:00 mark of the second. Nothing came of it as the Swiss killed it off.

The Swiss would add another goal (an even strength one) a the 18:19 mark of the second. Tristan Scherwey connected from Vincent Praplan and Christoph Bertschy to make it 3-1 Switzerland.

The Czechs started the third period with a new goalie as Roman Will came on in relief for Simon Hrubec. The penalty trouble, however, continued.

At 5:40, David Skenicka was called for interference and once that was killed off, Chytil was called for a high stick at 8:55.

The Chytil one would result in a Swiss goal. At 10:27, Meier scored again when he made it 4-1 off assists to Enzo Corvi and Philipp Kurashev.

The Czechs would get one back at 14:59 when Jiri Smejkal scored from Chytil and Skenicka. They would then pull Will for the extra attacker at 15:28. However, ten seconds later, Kovar took an interference penalty, putting the Swiss back on the power play.

Hofmann would connect on this one at 17:08. Dario and Ambuhl had the assists. That made it 5-2, our final.

The Swiss will next take on Denmark on May 23.