PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Day three of games from the 2023 World Junior Summer Showcase took place here this afternoon at USA Hockey Arena with Sweden getting by arch-rival Finland, 3-2, in the first contest and Team White gaining a 7-3 victory over Team Blue in game two.
The event serves as an evaluation for athletes seeking to make their respective national teams for the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, set for Dec. 26, 2023 – Jan. 5, 2024, in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Below are brief recaps from today’s games.
Finland led 1-0 after the opening period, despite getting outshot by a 17-4 count. The Finland goal came from Samu Bau who tipped in a shot from the left point from Topi Vuori with 3:11 left to play in the stanza.
Sweden’s Anton Wahlberg scored the only goal of the middle frame at 5:48 from the right circle off a feed from Otto Stenberg. Finland killed off a full two-minute five-on-three power play late in the period to preserve the 1-1 tie headed into the third.
Sweden scored goals 1:02 apart in the first five minutes of the third period to take a 3-1 lead. Isac Born tallied the first at 3:26 from between the circles before Alex Sandin Pellikka sailed up the left side and put one home at 4:28 off a long cross-ice feed from Anton Johansson. Finland got to within a goal at 10:08 when Jani Nyman scored from the right circle on a 5-on-3 power play, but could get no closer.
Alexander Hellnemo picked up the win in goal for Sweden with 13 saves, while Niklas Kokko had 31 stops in the Finland net.
In the second game, USA White had a 2-1 lead after the opening period. USA Blue opened the scoring at 2:32 when Oliver Moore broke up the middle off a nice feed from Quinn Finley and beat Tyler Muszelik from out in front. USA White’s Cutter Gauthier scored off a faceoff win from Will Smith at 4:27 to tie the game before Zeev Buium slapped one home from between the circles after a nifty feed from Gabe Perreault from below the goal line. The teams combined for 33 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes, including 20 from USA White.
USA White scored the only three goals of the middle frame. Gabe Perrault drove the net and found the back of the net after a turnover at 6:20 to make it 3-1. Jimmy Snuggerud then struck at 12:26 from the side of the right circle with Will Smith and Cutter Gauthier contributing assists on the play. Cole Knuble tipped in a shot from Drew Fortescuse with 1:38 to play to make it 5-1 after 40 minutes.
Each team scored twice in the third, with Cole Eiserman and Cole Knuble tallying for USA White and Isaac Howard and Quinn Finley tallying for USA Blue. Shots on goal in the game favored USA Blue by a 38-37 count.
Tyler Muszelik of USA White made 15 saves in the first half of the game before yielding to Hampton Slukynsky who had 20 stops. Andrew Oke played the first two periods for USA Blue and had 24 saves, while Jacob Fowler played the third period and made six stops.