(DUBNetwork is out at the World Junior Summer Showcase today and will bring you full coverage of the goings on). Today, Finland won a hard fought shootout game over Sweden 4-3; USA Blue beat Canada White 3-2 and USA White took down Canada Red 7-5.
Canada White VS USA Blue
The Western Hockey league was featured prominently in this game with five players competing for Canada and one for the Americans. Canada – USA matchups are always hotly contested, even when played in the middle of the summer. This game also serves as the first (in Canada’s case) and last opportunity for these players to make the cut to their respective countries main squad for this showcase.
Canada lacked finish in the first part of the opening frame but tickled the twine in the second half through goals by Sault Ste. Marie’s (OHL) Barrett Hayton while the Americans jumped on their chances with goals by the 67’s (OHL) Sasha Chmelevski and Boston College’s Logan Hutsko. WHL players were held off the board.
It was a back and forth affair for much of the second period. Brady Tkachuk missed a breakaway when he tried to gingerly slip the puck over the glove of Drummindville (QMJHL) goaltender Olivier Rodrigue but missed by a few feet. At the halfway mark of the first period Canada switched their goalie bringing in another QMJHL tender – Matthew Welsh. The period ended much the same it started with USA Blue leading Canada White 2-1.
Cody Glass (Portland), Playing as the side wall quarterback on Canada’s first power play unit, Glass was rewarded with a fortuitous bounce in the slot which he pounced on and buried early in the third period to tie the game at two. At the mid way mark USA took the lead on a shot by Chmelevski for his second of the game to restore the Americans one-goal lead. Canada would pull their goalie but were not able to find the equalizer and the game would end 3-2 for USA Blue.
Other WHL’ers playing in this game included:
Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Spokane), playing as the side wall quarterback for Canada’s second unit power play, he showed glimpses of magic. JAD used his speed well, and took the puck to the net drawing a penalty.
Jett Woo (Moose Jaw), Made the most of his playing time throwing his body around and making some low-percentage flashy plays.
Jake McGrew (Spokane), Used his feet well, solid in his own end. Seemed to always make the right play. “It was a huge honour. I took a year off, put in a lot of hard work. I was excited and I was ready;” McGrew said when asked about how it felt to get the call to participate at the WJSS for the USA.
Canada White 1/6 PP
USA Blue 0/4 PP
Canada White 9-9-7-25
USA Blue 9-7-8-24
Canada Red vs USA White
Both teams traded goals in the first period with USA scoring first through Erie’s (OHL) Ivan Lodnia. Canada wrapped up the period with a top shelf wrister by U. of Denver’s Ian Mitchell while Tri-City’s Michael Rasmussen collected a primary assist. 2-2 is the way the period would end.
The intensity really started to climb in the second period, it was obvious these teams do not like each other. Team USA would score three in the first half of the period. The first two came off the stick of US National U18 Team’s Joel Farabee – the second of which was assisted by presumptive first overall in 2019’s NHL entry draft Jack Hughes. The third was potted by Waterloo’s (USHL) Jack Drury. Canada was able to get one back on the power play off the stick of Owen Sound’s (OHL) Nick Suzuki. Canada’s Calen Addison (Lethbridge) took a hard slash at the buzzer by Quinn Hughes which caused all 10 players on the ice (including WHL’ers Smith, Rasmussen, and Addison) to pair off. Not quite an old style line brawl but the intensity was surely appreciated by the Kamloops crowd. Canada would end up with the PP to start the third and the period would end 5-3 for the Americans.
With the American’s in the box to start the third, Halifax’s (QMJHL) Antoine Morand scored less than a minute in off a scramble in front of the American’s net to cut the USA lead to one. Before the halfway mark, Guelph’s (OHL) Isaac Ratcliffe would bang home a loose puck to tie the game at 5. Late in the period Quinn Hughes would put the USA up for good, leading them to a 7-5 victory.
Michael Rasmussen, made a fantastic pass on Canada’s second goal but had a quiet game, especially for a big man.
Ty Smith, giveaway (weak rim behind the net) in own zone led to USA’s third goal. Some strong shots towards the goal, hard working game, won most of his battles. Smith was asked about the game and the tournament thus far “It’s not the way we wanted to start it of. It was a good pushback we had though and we had our chances to win the game.”
Canada Red 2 / 3 PP
USA White 0 / 4
Canada Red 11-5-12-28
USA White 11-10-11-32
Both Canada and USA will pair down their rosters going into more game action on Thursday.