The depth on Day 6 of the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship was on show with loads at stake in a few high-pressured video games.
In arguably the sport of the event to date, Sweden and Russia wanted additional time to crown a winner with prime spot in Group B nonetheless up for grabs. The beautiful win for Russia noticed Sweden’s 54-game win streak within the preliminary spherical come to an finish in heartbreaking trend as they pushed exhausting to tie the sport late however have been unable to beat a late penalty within the further interval.
Germany survived a late scare towards Switzerland to maneuver on to the quarterfinals spherical for the primary time for the reason that present event format was adopted in 1996. It has been a giant redemption story for Germany who rebounded from a pair of crushing losses and a shorthanded lineup due to COVID-19.
Finland continued to show their advantageous type with a convincing 6-0 win over Slovakia, organising a must-watch showdown towards Canada for first place in Group A.
Earlier than we take a look at the highest three gamers from Day 6, there are a few gamers from Finland who deserve honourable mentions for his or her performances towards Slovakia.
Florida Panthers prospect Anton Lundell continues to be a power for Finland as he notched his third purpose of the world juniors whereas including two assists. Samuel Helenius helped his draft inventory with a pair of targets whereas Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Topi Niemela had a purpose and an help to hitch Lundell with six factors to guide Finland.
Third Star: Rodion Amirov, Russia
Russia and Sweden pushed one another to the restrict within the ultimate recreation of the day and it was the highest line that bought the job completed for Russia.
Rodion Amirov led the best way for Russia with a purpose and an help — with the helper approaching the play that arrange the additional time winner by Marat Khusnutdinov — and was named the participant of the sport for Russia. Amirov’s preliminary shot was saved by Jesper Wallstedt however the Swedish keeper was unable to carry on to the rebound which was scooped up by Khusnutdinov.
The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect thought he had his second of the tournament 37 seconds within the recreation however it was referred to as again for goaltender interference. The Russian winger was decided to get it again and bought his probability as he completed off an excellent tic-tac-toe play with Vancouver Canucks prospect Vasili Podkolzin discovering Amirov open for the straightforward faucet in.
Whereas the purpose was a giant one for Russia, many couldn’t assist however level out (no pun meant) the celebration by Amirov, who channelled his interior Auston Matthews after signalling an excellent purpose.
That’s a well-recognized celly
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 31, 2020
It appeared like Russia was on their option to ending Sweden’s streak within the third interval after Amirov began the play that led to Kirill Kirsanov’s power-play purpose with simply over 10 minutes left.
Russia presently sits in first place in Group A however could have await the results of Thursday’s recreation between the USA and Sweden to see if they’ll keep there. A win by both staff in regulation would push Russia out of first and out of an opportunity to face Slovakia within the quarterfinals.
Second Star: John-Jason Peterka, Germany
A whole lot of consideration has been paid to Tim Stuetzle on the world juniors however John-Jason Peterka is ensuring he’s getting his justifiable share of reward as nicely.
The Buffalo Sabres prospect scored a hat trick and had two assists towards Switzerland and was named the participant of the sport for his efforts.
Peterka bought Germany on the board early within the first interval as he took a rebound behind the online and beat an outstretched Thibault Fatton with the wraparound. His second purpose got here afterward within the interval on the ability play as he took the feed from Stuetzle and snapped the right shot previous Fatton.
His third purpose of the sport turned out to be an important one for Germany as he discovered a option to energy by way of a few Swiss gamers who did all they may to attempt to stop him from scoring on the empty web. That late purpose would turn out to be the game-winner as a late push from Switzerland offered some nervous moments for Germany.
First Star: Tim Stuetzle, Germany
After enjoying a giant position in Germany’s additional time victory over Slovakia, Stuetzle was again at it once more towards Switzerland with a pair of targets and three assists.
The third general decide from the 2020 NHL Draft continues to indicate why he’s one of many extra harmful gamers on the world juniors when the puck is on his stick. Stuetzle put the puck by way of the legs of Swiss defender Cedric Fiedler and outmuscled him to the online for his first of the sport.
Then within the second interval, the Ottawa Senators prospect displayed some nice endurance as he went throughout the ice and beat Fatton with a fast launch to place Germany up 4-0.
Stuetzle and Peterka completed the preliminary spherical with 10 factors every and sit tied with Trevor Zegras of the USA for the event scoring lead. The dynamic duo will look to proceed their dominance when Germany performs within the quarterfinals Saturday.