No prospects in action today, so here are some pretty basic recaps.
Game 1: Switzerland and Belarus play a game of hockey without ever backchecking, Switzerland wins 3-2
This game was an experiment in what Hockey would look like without defense and in some ways it was really fun to see how radioactive this sport can be.
On the other hand, Belarus really gave Switzerland a scare over the first 40 and especially during the middle 20, where the third period basically became the Swiss’ big makeup period, where everyone who could do something did. It finished with an absolutely heartpounding sequence in front of Switzerland’s goaltender, who somehow, along with his defenders, managed to keep the puck out of the net in spite of a lot of things going wrong at once. Just great entertainment.
HIGHLIGHTS: Trailing early in the third period, @SwissIceHockey rallied to kick off its tournament with a 3-2 win over Belarus. Philipp Kurashev got the winner. https://t.co/zHIvpT0jhX pic.twitter.com/0PVQtqlEvx— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) December 27, 2017
A Few Thoughts:
- Switzerland is very mechanically and consistently sound...when they aren’t defending. They tend to be pretty lacksadaisical in front of their goalie.
- That said, a few more of their passes connect and that becomes a scary team to play.
- Poor Belarus. They looked a lot better here, but couldn’t stem the tide of Swiss scoring.
- That last 20 seconds was legitimately the most heart-pounding hockey I saw all day.
- Switzerland’s Nando Eggenberger runs away with name I most want to hear called by some boring NHL GM in rounds 4-6 at the draft.
Game 2: Canada bludgeons Slovakia to the tune of 6-0
Really, the only thing Canada had to worry about was whether or not their big game on Friday would get cancelled due to weather. This was a statement game, and they clobbered the poor Slovaks into oblivion, with half of Canada’s goals-for coming off of being in rebound territory.
HIGHLIGHTS: Sam Steel scored early, setting the tone for a convincing 6-0 Canada win over Slovakia. Which was your favourite @HC_Men goal? More on the game: https://t.co/StlvAZCSXD pic.twitter.com/0G92cDXrAn— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) December 28, 2017
A Few Thoughts:
- The Slovaks rebound control has to be better if they even want to consider challenging anyone in this tournament and especially within division. They got murdered tonight as a result.
- Canada has dissuaded any doubt; The only real question is how do they stack up in comparison to the USA/Sweden/Russia at this point.
- I set a very low bar for Slovakia of scoring at least one goal. With 20 shots on goal in comparison to Canada beating their goaltender half to death with 52 recorded shots on net, I couldn’t imagine them ever seriously testing Colton Point.
- Sam Steel sounds like a superhero.
- I almost shudder to think of what the US will do to Slovakia.
Finland and Urho Vaakanainen will be back in action against Denmark at noon EST.
Russia and Switzerland will meet for the first time this tournament at 2pm EST.
Sweden and Oskar Steen will be taking on the Czech Republic at 4pm EST.
And finally, USA and their small group of B’s prospects will be taking on Slovakia at 8pm EST.
All games will be on NHLN and TSN.