Red Wings World Juniors Recap Day 5: Saarijarvi, Holmstrom, Ehn Lend A Helping Hand
Sweden vs Denmark
Result: Sweden 5, Denmark 0
Axel Holmstrom: 1 assist, 5 SOG, +2
Christoffer Ehn: 1 assist, +1
Sweden should have dominated Denmark in this game, and they most certainly did. The Swedes outshot the Danes 43-9 and scored two goals in the 1st period, one in the 2nd, and another two in the 3rd, Denmark never had a chance. Christoffer Ehn was more noticeable in this game to me than in previous ones, and Axel Holmstrom was his pesky self. Both Wings prospects picked up an assist and Holmstrom alone put 5 of Sweden's 43 shots on goal.
Holmstrom had 3 assists, 2 PIM, 6 shots on goal, is a +3, and is 49.06% on faceoffs, while Ehn has 1 assist, 5 shots on goal and is 55.88% on faceoffs.
Sweden has 9 points and has clinched 1st place in Group A. They'll play Canada on New Year's Eve in their final round robin game.
Finland vs Slovakia
Result: Finland 8, Slovakia 3
Vili Saarijarvi: 3 assists, 3 SOG, +1
Vili Saarijarvi had himself a fantastic game. He had 2 assists and almost a goal, but it was deflected in so he only got an assist; still 3 assists isn't too shabby as all. He's been good in every game so far this tournament, but his skating, puck moving, and shooting were on especially good display in this game. Sometimes it's the "simple" pass that's the smart one, and sometimes a prettier move is the way to go. Saarijarvi did both today.
Saairjarvi's 1st assist
Saarijarvi's 2nd assist
Saarijarvi's 3rd assist
Even with Jesse Puljujarvi(10pts), Sebastian Aho (7pts), and Patrik Laine (7pts) trying to hog the spotlight by being the top 3 point leaders in the tournament, Saarijarvi is garnering a ton of praise and recognition. On one of Finland's power plays, Dennis Beyak exclaimed on the TSN broadcast
Saarijarvi, boy can he skate
and after Saarijarvi's 3rd assist, Craig Button said
Saarijarvi just kind of gives you a look and the guy goes that way, and then he gets it to the net. Sergei Zubov did it the best... he'd just give you a little look and the lane would open up. And you'd go ‘ok, next time I'm not gonna fall for it', next time you fell for it. It's a real skill to be able to fake and use deception. That's why I feel so confidently about Vili Saarijarvi's ability to really have an impact at the National Hockey League level.
Saarijarvi is tied for 3rd in scoring among defensemen with 3 points, and he hasn't taken a penalty.
Finland has 6 points and is 3rd in Group B and their final round robin game is against the Czech Republic.
Switzerland vs United States
Result: Switzerland 1, US 10
Joren van Pottelberghe
After a very good performance against Canada the day before, I tuned into this game expecting Switzerland and Joren van Pottelberghe to put up at least a good fight against the US. What I saw was a Swiss team who got flat out murdered and decimated by the United States.
Joren van Pottelberghe was pulled after 15 minutes, but it didn't matter to the Swiss team, they coudln't keep the puck out of their net no matter what. JvP allowed 5 goals on 10 shots and while he was awful personally, his team also gave him no support whatsoever. It looked like Switzerland expended everything they had to take Canada to a shootout the day before, and had nothing left at all in this game. The United States scored at even strength, on the power play, and shorthanded and had a 10-1 lead in the 2nd period. It was brutal and I feel so badly for the Swiss players who had to keep playing for an entire 60 minutes. When the Swiss player of the game was announced he was so miserable and beaten that it hurt to watch him have to skate up and accept his stupid grooming kit prize. From a Swiss perspective there was nothing good about this game at all, only pain, suffering, and misery.
Switzerland has 1 point in the tournament and it looks like they'll be playing Belarus in the first relegation game. Not happy times to be a Swiss fan.
New Year's Eve is the final day of round robin games before the quarterfinals begin. Here's the schedule. I'm dreading Canada vs Sweden becuase I don't want to watch Hicketts and Holmstrom and Ehn go up against each other. On the other hand, it should be a really good game becuase they're two good teams. I think Sweden wins this one, and I hope Hicketts scores all of Canada's goals.
|Dec. 31, 2015||7am EST||Russia vs Slovakia||Evgeny Svechnikov|
|Dec. 31, 2015||9am EST||Denmark vs USA||-|
|Dec. 31, 2015||11am EST||Finland vs Czech Republic||Vili Saarijarvi|
|Dec. 31, 2015||1pm EST||Canada vs Sweden||Joe Hicketts, Axel Holmstrom, Christoffer Ehn|