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Avalanche Prospects at the 2020 World Juniors Day 6: Bowen Byram, Canada end 2019 with win

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Justus Annunen is human.

PHOTO: ANDREA CARDIN / HHOF-IIHF IMAGES

Happy New Year, Colorado Avalanche fans!

The final day of 2019 set up some very intriguing quarter-final matchups at the 2020 World Juniors.

Bowen Byram

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.

He was really good against the Czechs, and Byram has been a different player since his minutes were increased. Funny how that happened, huh?

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.

Sampo Ranta

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.

Justus Annunen

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):

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.

Danila Zhuravlyov

LD — Russia

Poor Z got demoted in this game, but it was only because Russia desperately needed a spark.

And boy, did they get it. Russia hammered Germany 6-1 in a must-win game to advance to the quarterfinals.

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.

Quarter-Final Games

(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