February 22nd, 2024

WJHC roundup: Finland surprises host Sweden 5-4 in shootout

By The Canadian Press on December 31, 2023.

Finland's Kasper Halttunen scores his side's third goal during the IIHF World Junior Championship group A ice hockey match between Sweden and Finland at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (Adam Ihse/TT News Agency via AP)

It was a big day for Finland at the world junior hockey championship as teams scrambled for playoff positions or to avoid elimination in the final day of preliminary round games.

Finland surprised host Sweden with a 5-4 shootout victory, while the United States hammered Slovakia 10-2, Czechia edged Switzerland 4-2 and Canada knocked off Germany 6-3.

The teams will have New Year’s Day off, then quarterfinal action begins Tuesday.

Canada (2-01-0) will face Czechia (2-0-1-1) in one quarterfinal game, while Finland (1-1-2-0) plays Slovakia (3-0-1-0), Latvia (1-03-0) faces the U.S. (3-1-0-0), and Switzerland (1-0-3-0) plays Sweden (3-0-0-1).

FINLAND 5 SWEDEN 4

Tommi Mannisto, Lenni Hameenaho, Kasper Halttunen and Jani Nyman scored for Finland in regulation time. Nyman’s marker was scored with 1:32 left in the game to force the overtime and shootout.

Nyman and Konsta Helenius scored in the shootout for Finland, while Lekkerimaki had the lone goal for Sweden.

Isac Born, Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Theo Lindstein and Filip Bystedt scored for Sweden. Noah Ostlund and Felix Unger Sorum each chipped in with two assists.

Finland led 2-0 after the first period, but trailed 4-3 heading into the third. Sweden outshot Finland 33-30.

CZECHIA 4 SWITZERLAND 2

Thomas Hamara. Matyas Sapovaliv, Jiri Kulich and Robin Sapousek scored for Czechia, which led 1-0 after the first period but went into the third tied 2-2.

Simon Meier and Julion Rod scored for Switzerland, which was outshot 35-19.

UNITED STATES 10 SLOVAKIA 2

Rutger McGroarty scored three times for the powerful U.S. squad, which led 2-1 after the first period and 5-2 heading into the third.

Gavin Brindley and Isaac Howard each scored twice for the winners, with singles added by Cutter Gauthier, Ryan Leonard and Zeev Buium.

Marian Mosko and Filip Mesar scored for Slovaki, which was outshot 44-40.

CANADA 6 GERMANY 3

Jordan Dumais scored the winner on a power play in the third period and Macklin Celebrini had two goals of his own as Canada beat Germany 6-3 to wrap up the preliminary round.

Brayden Yager, with a goal and an assist, Owen Beck and Easton Cowan, into an empty net, provided the rest of the offence for Canada, Carson Rehkopf and Oliver Bonk had two assists.

Julian Lutz, Roman Kechter and Julius Sumpf replied for the Germans.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 31, 2023.

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