The fun continues with day two of the IIHF 2017 World Junior Championship, and the proceedings kick off featuring one of Winnipeg's prospects at the tournament.
Michael Spacek had a pretty good day one, as he scored the game-winning goal for the Czech Republic in their 2-1 victory over Finland. While the Finns may not be expected to repeat as champions, it was a somewhat surprising upset nonetheless. Despite having Boston Bruins prospect Daniel Vladar, it was the future of Czech netminding and 1999 baby Jakub Skarek between the pipes, and he acquitted himself well. Today, the Czechs take on a Switzerland side making their tournament debut, one which includes Swiss pretender to the 2017 draft throne, Nico Hischier.
Game two features a couple of teams looking to bounce back from opening losses in Latvia and Russia. The Latvians were undone 6-1 yesterday by the USA, while Russia fell 5-3 to Canada. Russian goaltender Ilya Samsonov had an uncharacteristically poor showing; when he gets the call again, expect a chip on his shoulder.
If there was a bright spot for game three participant Denmark, it would be that St. Louis Blues prospect Nikolaj Krag Christensen found the back of the net yesterday. Unfortunately, it was Denmark's only tally and came after Sweden had jumped out to a 6-0. The Danes will have a tough time finding redemption against a young but talented Finnish squad.
Even though their 5-3 win over Russia saw Carter Hart need to make just 14 saves, Canada will hope for a more dominant performance against Slovakia. While Dylan Strome scored two in the match, it may be Mathew Barzal and Tyson Jost who left folks buzzing.
Jost slowed down as the game went on but he really set the tone for Canada. Barzal picked up that slack in second half. Strome scored twice.— Larry Fisher (@LarryFisher_KDC) December 27, 2016
Game 1: Czech Republic vs. Switzerland
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 12:00 p.m. CT, Bell Centre
TV: TSN1, TSN3, TSN4
Game 2: Latvia vs. Russia
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 3:00 p.m. CT, Air Canada Centre
TV: TSN1, TSN4, TSN5
Game 3: Denmark vs. Finland
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m. CT, Bell Centre
Game 4: Canada vs. Slovakia
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 6:30 p.m. CT, Air Canada Centre
TV: TSN1, TSN4