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Red Wings World Juniors Recap: Hicketts and van Pottelberghe Shine

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Russia vs Belarus

Result: Russia 4, Belarus 1

Evgeny Svechnikov: 2PIM, 6 SOG, +1

Box Score

Highlights

I only got to watch parts of this game, but Evgeny Svechnikov was doing everything except scoring. He had 6 shots on goal and was firing everything at the net that he could. He really did play well and it was the first game I really noticed him. He and Maxim Lazarev make a good tandem and they both played well. Even the TSN guys were talking about Chevy and how well he was playing.

Canada vs Switzerland

Result: Canada 3, Switzerland 2 in a shootout

Joe Hicketts: Game tying goal, 3. SOG, +1, 1 crushing hit

Joren van Pottelberghe: 32 saves through overtime .914 SV%, 1 save on 3 shots in the shootout

Box Score

Highlights

Switzerland took a 1-0 lead on Canada 2:12 into the first period on a power play goal with Brendan Perlini in the box for holding, and the Swiss struck again with 4:23 left in the period to take a 2-0 lead over Canada. It looked like that's how the period was going to end, but Dylan Strome got Canada on the board with 23 seconds left to cut their deficit in half. Switzerland outplayed Canada in the first 15 minutes of the period and they deserved to have the lead.

Joren van Pottelberghe made a few really good saves in the period  but on Canada's goal he unfortunately shrunk in his net and Strom's shot went in from an angle it shouldn't have.

Big save on the penalty kill

Bad angle goal for JvP

Just over halfway through the 2nd period, Joe Hicketts made a huge hit on Timo Meier and it was the first time in this tournament that I've seen the real Joe Hicketts.

And Canadian hero Joe Hicketts was just getting started. Just a few minutes later he also scored the equalizer on a wicked wrister from the slot. Not only did he score the goal, but he made a great play just seconds before to hold the puck in at the point to keep Canada in possession of the puck.

Canada had stretches of intense pressure where the Swiss were hemmed in their own zone, but JvP came up big and kept his team in the game. Making saves like this one and this one

Joe Hicketts continued his dominance in overtime, but JvP stones him on this shot

and neither team could solve the other in overtime. The game would go to a shootout and follow the IIHF rules of  3 rounds, and then after the first three, any shooter can go as many times as his coach wants him to. JvP stopped Dylan Strome, but Brayden Point and Matt Barzal both scored, while MacKenzie Blackwood made both saves he faced.

Joren van Pottelberghe was outstanding for Switzerland. Before the game, the Swiss coach said JvP would have to have the game of his life in order to beat Canada, and while it wasn't quite enough, he has nothing to be ashamed of.

As I mentioned above, Joe Hicketts had been very quiet so far in the tournament and had some rough stretches. In the last two periods today he was the difference maker for Canada. He was all over the place, making a big hit, scoring the game tying goal, making outlet passes, keeping pucks in at the point, and quarterbacking the power play like I'm used to seeing him do. It was the "oh hi, Joe, welcome to the tournament" game. One particular power play for Canada was very impressive and Hicketts was a big reason why. I don't think Canada had run their powerplays through Hicketts previously the way I think they should have, which was a little surprising given that Joe's coach from Victoria is Canada's coach, and he knows what Joe can do. Check out Hicketts QB the power play today.

Both Wings prospects were outstanding in this game, and the cherry on the top was JvP and Hicketts both being their team's player of the game. These two have been to Wings camp together before, so they know each other at least a little bit and I love how Hicketts makes sure to pull JvP over for the picture together. Two Red Wings prospects who should be proud of their performances.

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Here's tomorrow's Red Wings related schedule:

Date Time Matchup
30 Dec, Wed 9am EST Sweden vs Denmark
30 Dec, Wed 11am EST Slovakia vs Finland
30 Dec, Wed 1pm EST USA vs Switzerland