Only two Colorado Avalanche prospects played on Day 4 of the World Juniors. Finland cruised to another easy and high-scoring win over Kazakhstan, while Russia faltered mightily against the United States and dropped another game in the round robin.
Bowen Byram — DAY OFF
LD — Canada
Canada regrouped on Sunday at practice to prepare for their game against Germany today. Head coach Dale Hunter shuffled his lines, and Byram was promoted (likely because he was one of the only defensemen who wasn’t totally awful on Saturday against Russia).
Bowen Byram has been bumped up to the second pair with Jacob Bernard-Docker. The likely shutdown pair for Canada's game against Germany tomorrow. #GoAvsGo— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 29, 2019
LW — Finland
Finland may have won 7-1 yesterday, but Ranta wasn’t quite as impressive as he was in the previous game, but he was still solid. He took two minor penalties (although the second one could be debated) and went pointless in 13:49 of ice time.
Ranta was on the ice for the 4-1 goal, where his linemates (and brothers) Aku and Aatu Raty connected:
Aatu Raty— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 29, 2019
4-1 FIN pic.twitter.com/TVsSfZPht3
Here was a scoring chance that he had, as well:
Aatu Räty sets up Sampo Ranta for a great scoring chance but misses the net. pic.twitter.com/0JNJJerA3P— Juha Rapanen (@jrabane) December 29, 2019
Finland took a ton of penalties in this game (nine, to be exact). As Ranta doesn’t kill penalties for them, he didn’t get as much ice-time as he probably would have had.
The Ranta-Raty-Raty line with a good offensive zone shift, cycling the puck and circling around the net, that ends when Seppala takes a penalty. Kazahkstan to the PP.— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 29, 2019
Finland’s lines were kind of a mess near the end of the game, and because they are only playing 11 forwards, Ranta played with some new linemates:
Ranta now out with Erholtz and Petman— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 29, 2019
Justus Annunen — DAY OFF
G — Finland
Annunen was the backup goalie in this match, as Kari Piiroinen got the start for Finland. Anunnen has been absolutely stellar for Finland and definitely locked down the starting job, but with yesterday’s game being the second-half of a back-to-back against a weaker opponent, it was good for Annunen to get some time off. Barring injury, he will be playing for Finland in all of their remaining games. Finland’s last game of the round robin is against Switzerland on New Year’s Eve.
LD — Russia
I feel like I sound like a broken record when talking about Zhuravlyov (Z, as I call him on Twitter because it’s just easier sometimes), but if you don’t notice him on the ice, he’s doing his job perfectly.
The first period is almost over and I still havent seen Danila Zhuravlyov. I know he's playing, but I feel like he always manages to elude the camera angle when he's on the ice lol— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 29, 2019
Zhuravlyov did stand out on a couple of plays later in the game:
Zhuravlyov picks off the puck as Robertson tries to move to the net, and is tripped up. Robertson will go to the box. #GoAvsGo— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 29, 2019
Zhuravlyov with a nice rush up the ice and passes off once he enters the US zone. #GoAvsGo— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 29, 2019
And of course, he recorded the primary assist on Russia’s only goal of the game. Zhuravlyov started the play, entered the offensive zone with the puck, and when he received the puck back, fed Romanov with a perfect pass:
ALEXANDER ROMANOV— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 29, 2019
3-1 USA pic.twitter.com/pM8e8CwaAM
Zhuravlyov finished with the one assist and played 16:05. Although it wasn’t the result Russia wanted, I thought Zhuravlyov played really well. Their final game of the round robin will come against Germany on New Year’s Eve.
Round Robin Schedule
(All times MT, teams with Avalanche prospects are bolded)
7:00am — Kazahkstan vs. Sweden
7:00am — Germany vs. Canada
11:00am — Slovakia vs. Switzerland
11:00am — USA vs. Czech Republic
7:00am — Sweden vs. Slovakia
7:00am — Russia vs. Germany
11:00am — Finland vs. Switzerland
11:00am — Canada vs. Czech Republic