Happy New Year, Colorado Avalanche fans!
The final day of 2019 set up some very intriguing quarter-final matchups at the 2020 World Juniors.
LD — Canada
Byram played the second straight game on Canada’s top defense pair. He contributed one assist and played 21:54 against the Czech Republic.
Here’s his assist on Nolan Foote’s (TB) powerplay goal:
Byram’s junior team was very pleased:
Byram also drew two penalties in the first period — including a 5 minute major that saw Canada score three powerplay goals on.
Pekar gets called for the high stick on Byram and Canada’s going back to the powerplay— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 31, 2019
Byram crosschecks Sik and he retaliates by spearing Byram, who laboured as he skated off the ice (slowly). That’s a 5-minute major according to IIHF rules.— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 31, 2019
Byram’s drawn two penalties tonight (though I’d imagine that second one wasn’t as fun to draw).— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 31, 2019
He was really good against the Czechs, and Byram has been a different player since his minutes were increased. Funny how that happened, huh?
Almost 22 minutes of ice time for Bowen Byram (COL) because of course he had to play that much to get the win.— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) December 31, 2019
Less than 10 minutes for Jamie Drysdale (2020). #WorldJuniors
Team Canada leaning even more on Byram today, as he’s far and away their ice time leader. Drawn penalty, power play assist, PK time. Looks like he might be their horse the rest of the tournament.— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) December 31, 2019
Hey, if Canada is going to lean on Byram for the medal round, he’s going to deliver. And it’s really nice to see him putting up some points as well. Canada finished atop Group B and will take on Slovakia in the quarterfinals.
LW — Finland
I’m going to be really blunt: Finland wasn’t very good in this game. They had an all right start, but Switzerland pulled away and were the better team by the end of it.
Ranta once again played fourth line minutes with Aku Raty (ARI) and Aatu Raty (2021). Ranta didn’t record any points, but had four shots on goal and played 16:09.
He wasn’t great on the 2-1 Swiss goal, but neither were any of the other Finns on the ice.
Rough shift for Avalanche prospects in the FIN-SUI game. Sampo Ranta loses the puck behind the Swiss net, and Jobin takes it all the way down the ice and beats Justus Annunen far side top corner. #GoAvsGo— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 31, 2019
Two quick 2nd period goals for Switzerland give them a 2-1 lead over Finland. pic.twitter.com/HxCcfaSugr— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 31, 2019
G — Finland
For the first time all tournament, Annunen looked human. He didn’t have a good game against Switzerland at all. Annunen stopped 17 of 22 shots and finished with a .733 save percentage.
Here are the goals he allowed (minus the 2-1 goal which I included above):
19 seconds into the 2nd period, Switzerland ties it up at 1. pic.twitter.com/LtA3eslYgG— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 31, 2019
Simon Knak's slick redirect gives Switzerland a 4-2 with under 10 minutes to play. pic.twitter.com/RbkNQczckh— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 31, 2019
The 4-2 goal was a redirection in the slot, so that one I’d give him a pass on, but Annunen is usually a lot better at reading shots that were taken on the 1-1, 2-1, and 3-2 goals. He was pulled when Switzerland scored their fifth goal (on an empty net).
Finland will play USA in their quarterfinal game, which means that if Annunen starts that game, he has to be perfect. The Americans have finally begun scoring and they won’t make the game easy for whichever goalie is in the Finnish net. Let’s just hope that this game was a one-off for Annunen and the Finns.
LD — Russia
Poor Z got demoted in this game, but it was only because Russia desperately needed a spark.
Russia had made some changes to their defense pairs.— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) December 31, 2019
Daniil Zhuravlyov (COL) moved from 1st to 3rd pair. Daniil Misyul (NJD) moved from 2nd to 3rd pair.
Perhaps they're looking for more balance behind their top dogs Alexander Romanov (MTL) and Yegor Zamula (PHI). #WorldJuniors https://t.co/xQtgg6ybXF
And boy, did they get it. Russia hammered Germany 6-1 in a must-win game to advance to the quarterfinals.
Well, new Zamula - Pylenkov pair is great, Misyul - Zhuravlyov is good (with great shift in second Team Russia goal) and Romanov - Galenyuk is awful. As expected. #WorldJuniors— Sergei Kuzin (@S__Kuzin) December 31, 2019
Here was the goal that Zhuravlyov was on the ice for:
Zhuravlyov played 16:01, but didn’t record any points. He also did take a penalty, but it didn’t really impact the game at all. And like I keep saying, if Zhuravlyov is doing his job correctly, he’s usually not too noticeable on the ice. Russia will play Switzerland in the quarterfinals.
(All times MT, teams with Avalanche prospects are bolded)
4:30am — Switzerland vs. Russia
7:00am — Canada vs. Slovakia
9:30am — USA vs. Finland
12:00pm — Sweden vs. Czech Republic