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2021 WJC Day 2 RECAP: A Day of Blowouts, featuring the Czechs, Austrians, and Germans

Boxing day featured some absolutely hellacious beatings on the world stage

Germany v Canada: Preliminary Round Group A - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Game One - Sweden makes it abundantly clear they’re alright, and promptly beat the stuffing out of the Czechs 7-1

I think Tre Kronor is gonna be alright, guys.

Game Notes:

  • The real funny thing is that this game was actually close for about half the game, at least in terms of play between the two and then Sverige just kinda...told the Czechs to sit down.
  • The goal of the tourney so far, that got featured on sportscenter, was from a very large dude named Elmer. More dudes his size should have skills like this.
  • The Czech defense is uh...not great. But a big part of their failure was early penalties which exposed that their penalty kill? Is even worse! Jan Mystak’s pretty good, though! And that Svozil kid’s pretty decent!

Game Two - A deeply, deeply gruesome 16-1 evisceration of Germans at the hands of Canada.

I was on board with hoping Germany looked good this year but their lack of manpower meant that their goalie, Arlo Tiefensee, after facing 50 shots on goal not the day before, would have to play Canada.

This was, in a pair of words, fucking cruel. Watch this highlight reel if you want to, but I can only promise you that it was about as fun as watching your dog get a cast.

Game Notes:

  • Germany’s bout of COVID has all but ensured their doom. The IIHF’s decision to waive relegation this year was an act of mercy we’ll never be able to truly grasp until the very end of the tournament.
  • Germany’s most theoretical winnable game is against the Swiss on the 30th. And the word “theoretical” is doing some intense windsprints.
  • Canada’s good and everything, but holy shit, Braden Schneider pulled the single most boneheaded things in a game they were already up by what was increasingly clear to be a mathematically unassailable number. Yeah, he’s young and he’s just trying his best and playing hard and all that, but I can’t think of a more try-hard thing to do than to pull up on some kid who’s playing for an already undermanned team and braining him like that. Come on, man.
  • This game, the circumstances around why Germany played like they did, and the final score was the single biggest argument for not having it, or for Germany to have waited this tourney out.

Game 3 - Austria gets to see what the big leagues are like, and they are not fun. USA gets a shutout win to the tune of 11-0

Compared to the last game, this was downright orderly and sportsmanlike.

Game Notes:

  • In a bizarre sense, the Austrians were considering taking the dubious honor of having the least shots on goal in a game at the highest level of WJC. Thankfully, Marco Rossi was there to get his country away from such an ignoble fate!
  • The US put so many shots on goal that Austria’s goalie straight up tapped out from exhaustion. They finished the game with a mind-bending 73 shots on net. Austria had 5 for most of the game. They uh...They have a bit of work to do.
  • Local point-magnet Trevor Zegras got four points out of this, this time an even 2 goals and 2 assists. He might have an NHL future, if you count being the bright spot on the Ducks as an NHL future worth having.

Today’s Games:

Finland vs. Switzerland - 2pm

Slovakia vs. Canada - 6pm

Czech Republic vs. Russia - 9:30pm

Personal Recommendation: Slovakia has surprised practically everybody with how competently they play, but honestly I’d suggest keeping tabs on the Finland game. They play fun, but also showed a curious lack of urgency when Germany put three goals on them. I’m curious to see if Switzerland can make them sweat. Otherwise? Finland/Russia in hopes the B’s prospects end up playing a game.