Canada Edges Out Kazakhstan After Poor Start
Kazakhstan led Canada on two different occasions, including taking the initial 1-0 lead, but Canada would ultimately pull ahead with a 6-3 win.
Canada joins Switzerland as the only other team to have a perfect 4-0-0-0 record in regulation play. Canada will look ahead to win Group A and have a favorable quarterfinal opponent next week.
Kazakhstan's opening lead was a bit of a surprise. Yegor Petukhov scored at 2:25 when his shot took a weird bounce off the post and behind Logan Thompson for the 1-0 goal. Dylan Cozens scored a minute later after knocking in Ryan Graves' blast to make it 1-1, but Arkadi Shestakov's power-play goal at 12:16 helped Kazakhstan regain its advantage.
From there, Canada's skill took over. Drake Batherson scored at 14:18 when he bounced the puck off of Andrei Shutov's right leg from behind the goal line to make it 2-2. At 17:20, Adam Lowry tipped in Kent Johnson's feed in close for a power-play goal, while Damon Severson stepped out of the box and scored on a breakaway to make it 4-2 at 32:14.
The game wasn't over, though, as Kazakhstan scored to make it 4-3 late. Ryan Graves blocked a shot and immediately fell in pain, but the play continued. Savitsky scored his second of the night off of a Nikita Mikhailis feed at the doorstep, giving Kazakhstan some momentum late. Graves needed help off the ice and did not continue.
Luckily for Canada, they wouldn't let the game get away. Cozens scored a pair of goals late to make it 6-3, while completing the hat-trick in the process.
Germany Shuts Out Denmark
In easily the most noteworthy game of the day, Germany's second-period power-play goal was all it took to beat Denmark 1-0.
Germany now sits comfortably in Group A with nine points, good for third and giving them a great opportunity to advance to the quarterfinals with Kazakhstan, France and Slovakia still on the docket.
The game was highlighted, however, by a two-hour delay. While the players were warming up, reports of smoke coming from cables near the player's changerooms appeared, forcing a full evacuation of the arena.
After a delay, the two teams finally got started much later than expected. At 32;41, Marc Michaelis scored the game's only goal after Marcel Noebels was stopped, with Michaelis knocking in the rebound in close. The win marked the sixth consecutive game between the two nations that was decided by a single goal, dating back to the 2011 World Championship.
Czechia Crushes Latvia in Pastrnak's Debut
A five-goal first period was more than enough for Czechia to bounce back after a loss against Austria, beating Latvia 5-1.
The win was aided by the arrival of David Pastrnak, who scored a goal and an assist in the first. Tomas Hertl, who struggled in his first three games, had a goal and an assist himself.
The scoring started at 4:02 when Hynek Zohorna scored his first-ever World Championship goal after getting Hertl's rebound. Less than a minute later, Roman Cervenka's power-play goal made it 2-0, only for Michael Spacek to score another on a good effort that beat Elvis Merzlikins through the wickets for the 3-0 lead at 6:41.
At 16:30, Hertl was credited for a goal that bounced up in the air and over Merzlikins, although it appeared as though Matej Blumel may have knocked it in. At 18:56, familiar buddies David Krejci and Pastrnak combined for the 5-0 goal, with Pastrnak knocking in the pass on the doorstep for the goal.
Nothing happened in the second, but Latvia did get a goal in the third. Arturs Kulda scored at 21:01 when his second attempt squeaked past Karel Vejmelka and in for 5-1 marker, giving the Latvian faithful something to cheer about.
Swayman Perfect in Debut as USA Beats Great Britain
After a tough loss to Finland earlier in the week, the United States came back with a 3-0 win over Great Britain on Thursday.
USA now sits third in Group B with eight points, with two regulation wins to their credit. The battle for the final two spots in the quarterfinals will be tight, with Czechia and Norway fighting for every point possible
Great Britain sits last in Group B with one point, with the team's upcoming game against Latvia likely deciding who gets relegated.
Colorado Avalanche prospect Ben Meyers scored at 28:20 when he directed Andrew Peeke's feed past Jackson Whistle for the 1-0 goal. Kiefer Bellows scored back-to-back goals in the third period to finish off the scoring and help elevate his profile in an already-strong tournament for the New York Islanders forward.
News & Notes
– The United States has added Ontario Reign forward T.J. Tynan to the roster. Tynan, the two-time reigning AHL MVP, previously played for USA at the 2012 World Junior Championship and has 21 NHL games to his credit.
– Sweden has brought in Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark and Pittsburgh defender Marcus Pettersson to the roster, with one extra roster spot to go. Oskar Dansk, who had been with Sweden's team throughout the tournament, will leave to go home. Sweden had been playing with a short roster all tournament long, and are currently in talks to bring over Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander.
1. Dylan Cozens, F (CAN): When you score a hat-trick, it's easy to get on this list.
2. David Pastrnak, F (CZE): Czechia had struggled to score until the Bruins' star showed up. A good two-point effort, and even his presence seemed to wake this group up.
3. Andrei Shutov, G (KAZ): On paper, this shouldn't have been close. What an effort for the Kazakh goaltender who made a highlight-reel grab on the man below.
The star-caliber players at the top of the Rangers lineup will need to be firing on all cylinders in this series in order to compensate for some lackluster depth in areas. And Igor Shesterkin needs to be the King he was in the regular season, too, to beat Carolina.
Finland, Germany, Latvia and Slovakia were all victorious on a Friday that helped set the stage for a crazy final few days of round-robin play at the World Championship.
Stan Fischler looks at the Florida/Tampa Bay battle, Evgeni Malkin’s future, television ratings in the United States, the Carolina Hurricanes’ arena, Seattle’s state of coaching, how to be a Zamboni driver and more.
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