WJC Pre-Tournament Recap: Dec. 22


Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs) found the back of the net, helping the United States edge Finland 3-2 in pre-tournament action on Tuesday.

Montreal Canadiens first rounder Cole Caufield scored a pair of goals 35 seconds apart to make the difference in the American victory that saw them outshoot the Finns 45-16.

Kaliyev was served a checking-from-behind penalty and 10-minute misconduct 32 seconds into the game before Finland’s Juuso Pärssinen, a Nashville Predators prospect, opened the scoring a minute later. Kaliyev got USA on the board as the first period drew to a close, only to be followed up by a pair from Caufield in the opening minute of the middle frame to grant USA a two-goal lead. Toronto Maple Leafs pick Topi Niemelä got the Finns within one at the 8:23 mark of the second period, and a scoreless third period earned USA the win.

Former Windsor Spitfires netminder Kari Piiroinen turned aside 26 of the 29 shots he faced shots through 40 minutes of play. Roope Taponen stepped in for the third period, solving all 16 shots.

Caulfield was awarded Player of the Game honours while Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras recorded two assists. Both Pärssinen and Niemelä were also good for two points (1-1—2) each.

Finland faces off against Germany on Dec. 25 at 6pm ET followed by USA and Russia at 9:30pm ET.

Game Summary

The 2021 World Junior Championship pre-tournament games got underway on Tuesday as Switzerland edged Austria 3-2.

Both squads traded early penalties within the game’s opening 10 minutes before Gaetan Jobin put the Swiss on the board for a 1-0 lead they’d carry into the middle frame. Minnesota Wild first rounder Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s) was served a penalty for boarding and a 10-minute misconduct seven minutes into the middle frame but Mathias Böhm was able to even things up within the final five minutes of the period. Iñaki Baragano (Kamloops Blazers) pushed Switzerland back in front minutes later on the power play to round out the middle frame. After taking three penalties to open the final twenty minutes, Lionel Marchand notched another for Switzerland but Leon Wallner responded less than a minute later to cut into the Swiss lead for a final 3-2.

Rossi was recognized as Player of the Game while Böhm finished with a game-high two points.

Switzerland outshot Austria 23-17 and Swiss netminder Thibault Fatton solved all 13 shots over the game’s first 30 minutes before Noah Patenaude stepped in for the second half of the matchup, saving two of the four shots he faced. In net for Austria, Sebastian Wraneschitz recorded 20 saves on 23 shots.

Switzerland will kick off tournament action at 2pm EST on Dec. 25 while Austria will meet USA on Dec. 26 at 9:30pm EST.

Game Summary

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