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2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 1-2-18

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Czech Republic 4 vs Finland 3 (SO)

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 1-6-7, +5, 6 PIM, 11 SOG

Hajek played 30:46, four minutes more than any other player in the game, and notched a power play assist in the Czech Republic’s come-from-behind shootout victory over the Finnish squad 4-3. The Czechs will play in the tourney’s semifinals on Thursday against Canada, who dominated the Swiss in quarterfinal play.

Josef Korenar (undrafted), the Czech netminder and former Lincoln Stars goalie, stopped 51 of 54 Finnish shots, backstopping the Czechs in their upset of Finland and their first appearance in the WJC semifinals since 2005. Hajek, playing on the top Czech power play unit, worked with Martin Necas (CAR, 2017 1st round pick) to feed Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible) for the first of his two goals in the game. The Finns went ahead 2-1 in the 2nd with goals from Aapeli Rasanen (EDM, 2016 6th round pick) and Vancouver 2016 5th overall pick Olli Juolevi, the first on the power play with Hajek in the box for interference. Red Deer Rebel Kristian Reichel (undrafted), son of ex-NHL’er Robert Reichel, knotted the game 2-2 before the end of the 2nd period, but Kristian Vesalainen (WPG, 2017 1st round pick) put the Finns up 3-2 early in the 3rd period. With Korenar pulled for the extra skater, Halifax linemate of Otto Somppi and consensus Top 10 2018 pick Filip Zadina tied the game 3-3 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game to send the game to OT and to the eventual shootout. Kolenar would stand strong for the Czechs in the skill competition, stopping 4 of 5 shots from Finland, while Reichel and Necar scored for the Czech Republic to seal the upset and a berth in the tournament semifinals.

Canada 8 vs Switzerland 2

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +4, 4 PIM, 13 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +4, 2 PIM, 9 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 1-3-4, +4, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 3-3-6, +7, 4 PIM, 12 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 0-3-3, +5, 0 PIM, 1 SOG

Brett Howden (pictured) scored the opening goal and added three more assists as Canada put up its second snowman on the scoreboard in consecutive games in an 8-2 victory over Switzerland to advance to the semifinals against the Czech Republic on Thursday. The Canadians pelted the Swiss with 60 shots, while the defense allowed just 15 shots against. Canada was paced by two goals from Drake Batherson (OTT, 2017 4th round pick), four points from Howden, and a goal and three points from Maxime Comtois (ANA, 2017 2nd round pick). Both Katchouk and Raddysh netted power play assists, with Katchouk collecting an assist on Batherson’s power play marker in the 1st period, and Raddysh earning his helper on Dillon Dube’s (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) power play goal midway through the 3rd period.