WHL at the World Junior Championships day six

Czech Republic 6 Switzerland 3

The Czech Republic (3-1) locked up second place in Group B with a 6-3 win over Switzerland (1-3). Outside, of their loss to Sweden, the Czechs scored five or more goals in every game. This one was no different. Switzerland narrowly avoided going to the relegation round but still have a very tough quarter-final match up against Canada.

Saskatoon Blades defenseman Libor Hajek assisted on two goals in the first period to put his country up 2-1 on Switzerland. Hajek also had two shots and was a plus-one in 20:54.He now leads all d-men in scoring in the tournament with six points in four games.

Prince Albert Raiders blue liner Vojtech Budik also assisted on the first goal and now has three apples in the tourney. He was a plus-one in this game in 21:26.


Despite a second period goal from Red Deer Rebels forward Kristian Reichel for the Czech Republic, Switzerland came back to knot things at three. The Czech Republic then pulled away with three straight goals over the last 21:22 to seal the 6-3 win. Reichel scored the last goal of the bunch with 2:20 left. The goals were his first of the tournament and he now has three points in four games. He had three shots overall and was a plus-two in 13:11.

In the win, Kamloops Blazers d-man Ondrej Vala had one shot in just 2:55 of ice time, while Spokane Chefs rearguard Filip Kral had two shots and was a plus-one in 16:17.

In the loss, Vala’s WHL teammate Justin Sigrist had two shots in 9:17 of ice time.

The Czech Republic will play Finland in one quarter-final Tuesday.


USA 5 Finland 4

In a game hat was essentially for second place in Group A, the United States (3-1) withstood a rally from Finland (2-2) and got a big goal from Adam Fox with just 1:37 left to escape with a 5-4 win.

The U.S. will take on Russia in one quarter-final Tuesday, while the Finns will battle the Czech Republic.

Spokane Chiefs forward Kailer Yamamoto had an assist on the first U.S. goal, but still had a challenging game with two minor penalties that handed Finland power plays. They scored on the latter of the two power plays. Yamamoto had 20:04 of ice time.

Portland Winterhawks defenseman Henri Jokiharju set up Eeli Tolvanan for a second period goal that would allow the Finns to crawl back within one at 3-2. Jokiharju now has four points in four games and had two shots in 19:17 in this game.

The U.S. got back a two-goal lead before the second period ended, but again the Finns would crawl back. This time it was Tri-City Americans blue liner Juuso Valimaki who would set up the tying goal with 10:29 left. Valimaki now has four points in the 2018 WJCs and was a minus-one with two shots in 22:23.

The U.S. then got their big goal late to win the game. In the win, Portland Winterhawks forward Kieffer Bellows was a minus-one with five shots in 17:10.

In the loss, Swift Current Broncos forward Aleski Heponiemi was a minus-two in 16:57.



Slovakia 5 Denmark 1

It’s been a tough tournament so far for Denmark (0-4) as they lost all four games in the preliminary round and are now facing Belarus in a three-game series to see who gets relegated. Portland Winterhawks forward Joachim Blichfeld finally found the twine in the tourney, but his goal would be the only one for the Danes, who fell 5-1 to Slovakia and have just two total goals in the tourney so far.

Blichfeld skated 20:47 and had a game-high six shots.

Sovakia scored five straight in the win and two of those came off the stick of Vancouver Giants forward Milos Roman.

Roman skated 16:29, while team captain and Kootenay ICE d-man Martin Bodak had one shot and was a plus-two in 17:13.

Slovakia will play Sweden Tuesday in one quarter-final.

Sweden 4 Russia 3

Sweden clinched the top spot in Group B with a 4-3 shootout win over Russia.

Swift Current Broncos d-man Artyom Minulin skated 23:24, had one shot and was a minus-one in the loss.

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