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WJC Day 2 RECAP: Germany upsets Finland, Slovakia’s hot, Czechia gets right, and Latvia tries hard but gets hit by the Canuck bus

The big story of the day was a seemingly dead in the water Germany shocking the world against Finland!

Matt Zambonin/IIHF

Game 1: Adam Gajan bamboozles the Swiss in a 3-0 victory for Slovakia

Alright! Guess the Slovaks are good! Even if they’re sleepwalking through a game!

Game Notes

  • Slovakia got to where they are on the back of some crazy high-skill plays, and then let Adam Gajan in net figure out the rest. Switzerland hammered Slovakia in shots in just about every period, and thanks to some solid defense and some heroics on Gajan’s part, they look like the team Czechia was supposed to be; tenacious, offensively gifted, and riding high.
  • The Swiss are as advertised unfortunately. Get off a lot of shots...no real finish to back it up. It might be a long tourney for them if they can’t find a scoring touch anywhere in that lineup. Oh yeah, and you gotta play the US next. Cruel world.

Game 2: Germany upsets Finland in 4-3 classic!

This game RULED.

Finland is in TROUBLE.

Game Notes

  • The second period of this game was unreal; both sides traded goals back and forth, and a seeming once in a million fall from a Finland defender created the perfect opportunity for a team most were expecting to get processed and sent to the Relegation round
  • Niklas Kokko cannot be the starter for Finland anymore. The Finns did just about as much as they could to make Germany’s chances far more dangerous than they ever should’ve been, but Kokko is the last line of defense, and the 4th goal by the team in white was unforgiveable to give up if you’re square to the shooter the entire way.
  • Also...where the hell is the offense? I thought Finland was supposed to be good at scoring this year. They’ve got all these guys who could, can, and have scored, but they’re not doing nearly enough to make this work. The Finns need to get to work on figuring this out and fast or they may be looking at their tilt against Latvia as a potential program saver.
  • Anyway, Canada cruises on to their actually fairly difficult game of the group, and Latvia stumbles up to Germany; bruised and bloodied.

Game 3: Czechia gets right against Norway in 8-1 win

Would you believe me if I said this was actually a closer game than the score implies for like a good 30 minutes of game-time?

Game Notes

  • Czechia’s weird, man. Jiri Kulich scored twice, and then for a stunning amount of time, they kind of sat on that for a good long time, allowing the Norwegians get their first goal of the game before finally showing that yes, they do in fact have the ability to score goals, and just crushed them over the course of the 2nd and 3rd period. I’m sure they’ll be okay, but they’re running into some troublingly slow starts that could (and already have been) hopped on by hungrier teams. Such as, for example, purely hypothetical won’t come up at all...The USA?
  • Norway’s trying, man. They have some guys worth discussing, but the talent gap is just too much. The hits don’t stop coming either, as they get a desperate Finland on Friday.

Game 4: Canada mulches Latvia 10-0

Okay so when I said that this was Latvia’s good year I need you to understand that it was counting all of the round robin, not their first two games. Those would give you the impression they were way in over their heads.

Game Notes

  • So remember last time when I said “Sweden was just better in spite of itself?” Yeah, that was true of tonight as well. Only harder. Everything I said in the last recap was just bolder and louder.
  • Bruins Prospects in this Game: Dans Locmelis is probably going to be quadruple shifted at this rate. He didn’t have a goal, but he played 19:21 tonight. Meanwhile, Poitras sleepwalked to another late period goal! He has 2 on the tourney now.

Today’s Games

  • Switzerland vs. USA
  • Germany vs. Sweden

My Personal pick of the day:

Honestly, just go watch Germany and Sweden. Both of these games are expected to be blowout losses, it’s just more fun to watch a home crowd go ballistic for that. Or whatever Swedes consider ballistic.

Friday’s games are honestly more interesting.