World Juniors Recap: December 28th, 2020

 

Day four saw a goaltender performance for the ages and an inspirational win by an undermanned team. Here are the recaps for Sweden versus Austria and Germany versus Slovakia.

News and Notes:

Austrian defenceman Philipp Wimmer has been suspended two games for a late hit to the head of USA’s Patrick Moynihan. Wimmer missed today’s game against Sweden and will miss Austria’s next game against Russia.

Swedish captain Philip Broberg missed today’s game due to injury. The injury looks like a day to day issue and he should be ready to go in Sweden’s next game.

Canadian Captain Kirby Dach had wrist surgery and is expected to miss four to five months.

Sweden versus Austria:

Sweden was a heavy favorite in this game. They blanked Austria 4-0 but the real story of the game was Austria’s goaltender Sebastian Wraneschitz who made 61 saves on 65 shots. Austria is now 0-2 despite Wraneschitz incredible play while Sweden improves to 2-0 in the tournament.

With 17:45 played in the first period, Sweden was able to finally get on the scoresheet thanks to a powerplay goal by Noel Gunler. During the period, Sweden outshot Austria 22-1. In the second period, Sweden buried two more to increase their lead to 3-0. First on a powerplay by Theodor Niederbach and then Gunler who scored his second goal of the game. Sweden added one more in the third period from Lucas Raymond to skate away with a 4-0 win.

Team Sweden Keeps Rolling:

Sweden extended their group stage unbeaten streak to 54 with the win over Austria. Although they were not able to blowout Austria, they were dominant outshooting the Austrian’s 65-6. Sweden also tied the record for the fewest shots given up in a tournament game with six. The unfortunate thing for Sweden is that they should have found a way to score more goals. They took a lot of low percentage shots which lead to only scoring four goals. This game may cause issues if seeding in this division comes down to goal differential. Remember, the US scored 11 versus Austria so they hold any type of goal differential advantage over Sweden. For Sweden to guarantee themselves a spot in the top two of Group B and avoid Finland and Canada, they need to win their remaining two games against the US and Russia.

Sebastian Wraneschitz Keeps Austria In It:

What more can be said about Sebastian Wraneschitz’s performance yesterday? Facing a powerhouse team in Sweden and only allowing four goals on 65 shots is an incredible feat. Austria could not get out of their own zone so they had to rely on Wraneschitz to keep them in the game, which he did. If Wraneschitz continues to impress and stand on his head as he has in the last two games, we could be looking at one of the greatest goaltending performances at the World Juniors. so far, Wraneschitz has faced 133 shots in only 109 minutes. He has managed to save 119 of those shots.

Usually, when a goaltender gives up 14 goals in two games, he is considered to be a bust but Wraneschitz’s performance has been anything but that. Austria needs to play better in front of him. They will have a tough road ahead with the Czech’s and Russian’s so don’t be surprised if Wraneschitz sees over 250 shots in four games during this tournament.

Next Games:

Next up for Sweden will be the Russians on the 30th at 7:30 pm MST. This will be a huge test for Sweden to see if they can push their group stage win streak to 55. As for Austria, they also take on Russia but on the 29th at 7:30 pm MST. This game may get ugly unless Wraneschitz can pull off another miracle performance like he did today. Russia will more than likely get a high number of shots so Austria better be ready for the onslaught that they will have to face.

Three Stars from Each Team:

Sweden:

Noel Gunler- 2 goals, 6 shots, +1, 16:26 TOI

Victor Söderström – 1 assist, 3 shots, +1, 22:17 TOI

Lucas Raymond- 1 goal, 1 assist, 10 shots, +1, 13:45 TOI

Austria:

Sebastian Wraneschitz- 61 saves on 65 shots

Marco Rossi- 18:04 TOI

Luis Lindner- +/- 0, 24:21 TOI

Germany versus Slovakia:

Germany was once again skating with 14 skaters but managed to fight their way to a 4-3 OT win over Slovakia. Because the win came in overtime, Germany only received two points in the standing rather than the usual three for a regulation win. This means that the final spot in the quarterfinals for Group A will most likely come down to Germany versus Switzerland game on December 30th. If Switzerland loses to Canada, they must win in regulation versus Germany to qualify. If Germany forces overtime, then Germany will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Tim Stützle opened the scoring 5:39 into the first period with a beautiful tip in front of the net. Slovakia answered halfway through the first when Michal Mrázik scored on a partial breakaway to tie the game. The goal looked to be offside but still counted and the game was tied at one going into the second period.

A Back and Forth Game:

In the second period, Slovakia took the lead at 3:10 when Oleksii Myklukha scored on the breakaway. Tim Stützle, who has carried the German team all-tournament, tied the game at 8:13 off an incredible end-to-end rush. Stützle’s shot hit off the goaltenders mask and deflected in off the defenceman’s backside to tie the game at two. Slovakia retook the lead at 14:41 off a deflected point shot from Michal Mrázik. Germany was able to tie the game late in the second period when Florian Elias beat the Slovak keeper in the final minute.

There was no scoring in the third period which sent the game to overtime. In the extra frame, Oleksii Myklukha took a hooking penalty at 2:28. Germany took advantage when Mario Zimmermann beat the Slovak goalie to win the game for the Germans.

Germany Defies the Odds:

With multiple players still unable to play due to positive COVID-19 tests and quarantine restrictions, Germany only iced a lineup of 14 skaters and two goaltenders. Luckily for Germany, one of those skaters was Tim Stützle. Stützle put the team on his back tonight scoring twice, registering an assist on the game-winning goal all while playing 31:01 in the game. Mario Zimmermann has also been incredible on the backend and is a key reason that Germany won this game today. After all the adversity Germany has gone through this tournament, this win is extra special for Germany. The team found a way to come together and pull out the win.

Germany now controls their destiny barring any major upsets by Switzerland and Slovakia. All they have to do is not lose in regulation to Switzerland and they are into the quarterfinals. Germany should have most of their players back by then so this could be an extremely exciting game.

Slovakia Comes Up Short:

Slovakia played well but could not overcome Tim Stützle and the Germans. They did collect a point that essentially cements their place in the quarterfinals. The only way they could miss the quarters at this point is if Switzerland beats Canada, Germany beats Switzerland in overtime and Slovakia loses to Finland by over 15 goals. Their game against Finland will be a great test for the quarters. Slovakia has played well so far throughout this tournament, but have been unable to find consistent scoring. They only have five goals through three games. If they want to move past the quarters, they will need to find a way to put the puck in the net more consistently.

Next Games:

Slovakia wraps up their group play against Finland on the 30th at 12:00 MST. Germany has their huge matchup against Switzerland to end their group stage schedule right after starting at 4:00 pm MST.

Three Stars From Each Team:

Germany:

Tim Stützle- 2 goals, 1 assist, 5 shots, +1, 31:10 TOI

Mario Zimmermann- Game Winning Overtime Goal, 5 shots, 22:58 TOI

Simon Gnyp- 3 assists, 1 shot, 28:32 TOI

Slovakia:

Michal Mrázik- 2 goals, 3 shots, +1, 14:54 TOI

Simon Latkoczy- 28 saves on 32 shots

Matej Kaslik- 2 shots, 21:38 TOI

 

DUBNetwork Forums World Juniors Recap: December 28th, 2020

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