Busy day today as the last six teams finish up their pre-tournament games. The games will start for real on Saturday. Over the next couple days, all of the teams will descend upon Toronto, rest up, and get ready for the games that matter.
Team Czech Republic 3 versus Team North America 2
Ondrej Palat – 1-1-2, +1, 2 SOG, 2 Hits, 17:33 TOI
Andrej Sustr – 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIMs, 1 Hit, 1 Block, 18:35 TOI
Jonathan Drouin – 0-0-0, -1, 1 Block, 15:03 TOI
Through much of the first two and a half periods, it seemed like Team Czech Republic had a strangle hold on the game. While Team North America outshot and outchanced the Czech’s most of the game, Michael Neuvirth and Petr Mrazek held Team North America off the board until almost 11 minutes left in the 3rd period.
Ondrej Palat opened up the scoring with his first goal half way through the 1st period on a power play. Radek Faksa would extend the lead to 2-0 7 minutes into the third period with Palat picking up his second point of the game on a secondary assist.
Team North America finally broke through on a Shayne Gostisbehere goal followed by an Auston Matthews goal two minutes later. The Czechs responded a minute after the Matthews goal with a goal from Tomas Plekanec to go up 3-2 for good as Mrazek closed down the net.
Andrej Sustr had the third most TOI for Team Czech Republic’s blue line including almost 3 minutes on the penalty kill. Palat was on the first power play unit and had 3:17 on the power play plus another 4:03 on the penalty kill. His 17:33 was second among forwards on the team. Andrej Sustr’s minor penalty made things a little more interesting as it came with only 43 seconds to go in the third period giving Team North America a 6-on-4 power play.
Jonathan Drouin had a quiet night as he failed to get a single shot on goal or even a shot attempt and was held pointless while also being minus-1 though he did manage to draw an Interference penalty in the 2nd period. Drouin only had 2:28 of power play time even though Team North America had 7 power play opportunities. Drouin was sixth in ice time among forwards on the team.
Team Sweden 2 versus Team Europe 6
Anton Stralman – 0-0-0, -1, 20:22 TOI
Victor Hedman – 0-1-1, E, 5 SOG, 1 Hit, 19:42 TOI
Team Sweden did not look very good in this game. Hedman was one of only three Swedish players that didn’t take a negative on the night. Hedman and Stralman were active on the rush all night, especially after going down 2-0. In a bit of a change, Hedman was 3rd in TOI and Stralman was 2nd in TOI for Sweden’s defense. The first two games, they had been around the 4th and 5th spot but they both got more time tonight. They also were often playing behind the Canucks line of Sedin, Sedin, and Eriksson.
Stralman did have a really bad giveaway that led to a goal. He was rushing the puck up the ice and tried to split two Team Europe forwards, but gave the puck up. It led to a breakaway and a goal against Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist ended up giving up 5 goals before getting pulled midway through the 3rd period.
Hedman did score an assist as he picked up a loose puck and shot a blast from the top of the left wing circle. The puck was tipped by Patric Hornqvist and found the back of the net to get Sweden to 5-2. At the end of the game, Team Sweden had the goalie pulled and in a bit of a surprising move, Stralman was the 2nd defenseman with Erik Karlsson instead of Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Hedman ended up with 10 shot attempts as he had 5 on goal, 3 blocked, and 2 missed. Only Daniel Sedin’s 13 shot attempts surpassed Hedman’s numbers.
Team Russia 2 versus Team Canada 3 (OT)
Nikita Kucherov – 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG, 1 Hit, 16:39 TOI
Vladislav Namestnikov – DNP
Nikita Nesterov – DNP
Andrei Vasilevskiy – DNP
Steven Stamkos – 0-0-0, 4 PIM, 6 SOG, 3 Hits, 16:13 TOI
Team Canada dominated the game through the first two periods, but was only up 1-0 after 40 minutes. Team Canada shot themselves in the foot to start the third as they took two penalties to give Team Russia a very short 5-on-3. Ovechkin would score before the 5-on-3 finished with a one timer off of a faceoff to tie it 1-1. Artemi Panarin would put Team Russia ahead 2-1 just over four minutes later.
Team Canada would then fight back with a goal by John Tavares through a massive four player screen in front of Bobrovsky. The game would go to overtime, with Ryan Getzlaf eventually scoring the game winner with a minute and a half to go in the overtime period.
Kucherov was a bit quiet through the game and didn’t record a shot attempt until the third period. His 1 shot on goal wasn’t much of a shot as it was a pass from Pavel Datsyuk that deflected off of his leg and on goal. He would finish with two shot attempts after giving up a good shooting chance in the overtime period but opting to pass instead.
With Team Canada leading a parade to the penalty box, Kucherov ended up with 6:13 TOI on the power play, but was a non-factor for the most part as he seemed to rarely touch the puck on the power play. He did end up as the 6th leading Russian forward for TOI.
Steven Stamkos took a couple penalties in the game, one being a cross-check after a bit of a questionable hit and trip from Alexei Emelin against the boards. I can’t really blame him for it. While he came up pointless, his six shots on goal led Team Canada though four other players were ahead of him in overall shot attempts. Stamkos had 3:56 TOI on the power play and had a few prime chances that wouldn’t go in. Stamkos was the 6th leading Canadian forward for TOI.
Namestnikov, Nesterov, and Vasilevskiy were all scratches for Team Russia. Vasilevskiy hasn’t gotten a single minute of ice time for Team Russia and it appears he won’t get any through the whole tournament unless Bobrovsky and Varlamov both suffer injuries or fall on their faces in net.