Do You Live Under a Rock?
The 2017 World Junior Championship has concluded and that means it is time to point fingers at the games, players, and plays that really stood out from the norm. The tournament took place in Montreal and Toronto, featuring plenty of young stars aged 20 years and younger who make you question your life choices. Group A included Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland. Group B featured Canada, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, and the United States. The two week tournament included a preliminary round consisting of four games per country with the top 4 teams in each group moving on to the playoffs.
The most notable names in the tournament came from the countries you would expect to produce future stars like Canada, USA, Sweden, and Russia.
Team Canada always has the best and most notable stars in any hockey tournament they are involved in. This year’s WJC stars included Coyotes prospect and team captain Dylan Strome, defenseman Thomas Chabot, and goaltender Carter Hart.
Strome ended the WJC with 10 points, including a 4-assist game against Latvia. He had an impressive 66% faceoff win percentage.
Thomas Chabot was the tournament’s highest scoring defenseman with a few multiple point games concluding the tournament with 10 total. He led both teams in ice time during the final game with 43:53 TOI. Chabot was named tournament MVP.
Carter Hart posted a 2.38 GAA and a .906 save percentage taking part in 4 games
This tournament ended with a different result than normal for the Americans with Troy Terry leaving the hero of the tournament along with teammates Clayton Keller and Charlie McAvoy.
The Denver, CO native put up 7 points in the tournament, leading the tournament in game-winning goals with 3. Ultimately he potted the game winner in the final game shootout to bring gold to the USA.
The highest scoring American this year had four multiple-point games in the tournament, going home with an impressive 11 points for third overall in the tournament.
The Boston 1st round pick from this year put up 6 points, including the goal that started a USA comeback in the final game. Putting up an impressive TOI, he skated for a total of 35:33 in the final game.
Brother of William, Sabres prospect Alex Nylander had an impressive 31% SG percentage and was almost a 2 PPG player during the tournament tied with Kirill Kaprizov of Russia, both scoring 12 points.
Joel Eriksson Ek
Captain of Team Sweden, Eriksson put up two game-winning goals against Denmark and Switzerland en route to 6 goals and 9 points over the course of the tournament. Expect to see him as a nice addition to the Minnesota Wild in scoring.
Winning the “Goalie of the Tournament” award was very well deserved for one of the many Flyers goalie prospects in the tournament. Sandstrom boasted a .914 SV% and 2.17 GAA with a record of 4-2, losing only to Canada and Russia.
The tournament scoring and PPG leader finished with 9 goals and 3 assists, recording a 5 point game including a hat trick in a 9-1 win against Latvia. He seems to be a young scoring threat that could be a quality addition to any team.
Rykov was effective more in the beginning of the tournament putting up a 3 assist game against Latvia and a goal and an assist against Canada. His offensive prowess seemed to drop off in the latter half of the tournament.
Winner Takes All
Everybody loves watching hockey featuring the United States and Canada in a medal deciding game. Team Canada had the home-ice advantage with the game taking place in Montreal.
Canada took a 2-goal lead not once, but twice in this game, forcing the Americans to come at them full force to tie the game both times. The first period resulted in a 2-0 lead for Canada. Something must have been said in the locker room; the second period was all USA, scoring two goals to tie the game. The third period of this game will arguably go down as one of the most intense and exciting in history. Canada took a 4-2 lead early in the period, keeping pressure on the Americans (they recorded 50 shots by the end of the game).
Minutes after Canada scored their goals to put them up, Team USA scored one goal and then another to tie the game. The 20 minute 5-on-5 overtime was very fast paced and exciting for both sides, as each team had their fair share of chances to end the game. After the 20 minutes of overtime, a shootout had to decide the fate of who took home gold. Carter Hart had no problems stopping the Americans in the shootout, until Troy Terry slipped the puck through Hart’s pads and had the game winning goal as Tyler Parsons stopped Nicolas Roy to win gold for the USA.
Andrew Ostrosky is the “Global Puck” columnists for Good Night, Good Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @HockeyGuyfromSL.