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2023 WJC Day 2 RECAP: Finland gets with the program, Switzerland remains undefeated, the Czechs crush Austria, and Sweden ends up with a closer victory than expected

A couple of truly interesting games made the blowouts infinitely more tolerable. This tournament has been excellent.

IIHF Images

Game 1: Finland’s wakeup call means Slovakia gets dismantled. Finns win 5-2.

Now that’s more like it!

Game Notes:

  • Believe it or not this was actually a fairly close game shot wise by the end, but the key difference was in how Finland started: they outshot the Slovaks 8-0 through the first ten minutes and scored off an unbelievable read from Jimi Suomi to get Paivarinta open. From there, the Finns just kept the ball rolling and Slovakia couldn’t catch them even as they just poured it on; especially in the 2nd period.
  • The difference, ultimately, was goaltending. Lampinen only let in 2 and they were gritty, tough goals for any tender to deal with. Andrisik meanwhile gave up more than his fair share of goals, most damningly leaving his cage so wide open you could drive a Buick through it. Poor start for Slovakia in this tourney, whose journey is now much harder thanks to the baffling rise of Switzerland.

Game 2: Sweden wins a 1-0 goalie duel where they mostly sat on their laurels.

I hope you bring a better effort today, Tre Kronor. The Czechs will happily eat you alive if you don’t.

Game Notes:

  • The Swedes could’ve had 2-0 in the bag multiple times, particularly from the heroic antics of Fabian Lysell, who was all over the ice, but once again was left off the scoresheet. Including a penalty shot! Poor kid just can’t catch a break right now.
  • Meanwhile, it seems like Sweden mostly phoned it in even after the Germans made insane push after insane push; letting their stars have only token shifts and largely allowing their opponent try and dig their way back into the game. It worked last night. Not sure it’s gonna work today; Czechs don’t stop for much.
  • Though he surrendered the only goal, much props to Nikita Quopp who only let up a single goal in 44 shots on net. He was 100% the reason (other than Sweden’s easing off the gas pedal) they even made it half as far as they did. Canes got a good prospect here, I’m sorry to say.

Bruins in this Game: once again, Fabian Lysell had no points, though he tried as hard as humanly possible to do so. He played 16:07.

Game 3: Switzerland and Latvia play an absolute classic, Swiss win it 3-2 in shootout

This game RULED. I don’t care that it went to the shootout.

Game Notes:

  • This was everything you could want in a game where (a good portion of) the audience isn’t completely invested in either side: The Swiss had just come off a shocking win and gutted out a come from behind victory. The Latvians once again showed why they’re so much fun to watch in a hard-working game where they went up early and hung on for dear life. Both sides spent overtime trying to kill their own fans. Only one could remain, and unfortunately for Latvia, it appears Switzerland is the one who gets to make demands of their opponents.
  • All credit to the Swiss; once that 2nd goal went in for Latvia, they put the pressure on and kept it on through just smart plays to try and get tied, and it paid off. Canada could really learn a thing or two from traditional hockey powerhouses such as Switzerland, imo
  • Swiss get a well earned day of rest, for their biggest challenge is on Thursday. They’ve shocked one country, let’s see if they can do it again.
  • Bruins in this game: Dans Locmelis is gonna make a great AHLer, and maybe...god just interesting NHLer in the distant future. Maybe. He had a hell of a shift and goal to tie things up in the first period and played 20:49.

Game 4: Czechs blank Austria 9-0

Thanks for coming, Austria.

Game Notes:

  • The Czechs had one more goal than Austria had shots. I don’t know what to tell you; they are just leaps and bounds better than them at pretty much every position and it showed.
  • One thing I did appreciate for Austria is that they didn’t do the birdbrained thing and assume their goaltending was actually good enough to warrant changing them out like they did on day one. Just let them take their L and everything will be fine. There’s still at least two more games like this in their future, so buckle up.
  • If Austria scores at all this tournament, it’s going to be a miracle.

Games Upcoming:

Light schedule today, let’s take a gander.

Slovakia vs. USA, 4pm

Should I Watch it?: I’m gonna caution and say sure? Historically this has been a very difficult game for the US, and if it’s difficult again for them, it’s gonna be very funny watching them cede anything to Switzerland of all teams. I’d keep an eye on it.

Canada vs. Germany, 6:30pm

Should I-: The Bruins are on against New Jersey. You one hundred percent skip this game. I’m gonna be checking in occasionally to see how bad it gets but c’mon. You don’t need to see this unless Germany is up for any reason.