World juniors: Canadians crush Swiss, will meet Czechs in semis
U.S. beats Russia to earn semifinal berth against Sweden
Turns out, Christian Wohlwend was right after all.
Drake Batherson scored twice as Canada cruised to an 8-2 quarter-final win over Switzerland on Tuesday at the world junior hockey tournament in Buffalo. That lopsided score came two days after Wohlwend, the Swiss team's head coach, said he expected the Canadians to easily beat his team.
Things went so well for Canada that Batherson drew an unofficial assist in the second period while on the bench. He saw Jordan Kyrou coming off the ice after breaking his stick and realized they're both right-handed.
Stopping Kyrou from getting on to Canada's bench, Batherson handed over his stick and sent Kyrou back out. Kyrou coasted toward Switzerland's net totally unmarked by defenders, corralled a pass from Sam Steel and snapped the puck into the net for a 5-0 Canada lead.
Upon scoring, Kyrou pointed at the stick, then shouted to Batherson.
"He said he kind of mishandled it a little bit, mine's a totally different curve than his," said Batherson. "I think he likes it now that he scored with it so maybe I'll give him some more sticks."
Canada will face the Czech Republic in semifinal action Thursday. The Czechs advanced with a 4-3 quarter-final shootout win over Finland earlier Tuesday.
The Canadians beat the Czech Republic 9-0 on Dec. 20 in a pre-tournament exhibition game in London, Ont. But the Czechs didn't put out their full roster and had just arrived in North America.
"We played them there but haven't seen them since and they've added some really good players," said captain Dillon Dube, who also scored against Switzerland. "It's going to be a really fast game and we're looking forward to the challenge.
"It's going to be a hard game."
Three of the tournament's top-10 scorers are Czechs. Martin Necas (three goals, six assists), Libor Hajek (1G, 6A) and Filip Zadina (5G, 1A) have been very effective.
By comparison, Kyrou sits third with five goals and two assists, while Steel, Cale Makar and Brett Howden are all tied for 10th with three goals and three assists.
Howden added a goal and two assists for Canada, which won Group A with three wins and a shootout loss. Makar, Conor Timmins and Maxime Comtois also scored.
Canadian goalie Carter Hart stopped 12 shots for the win.
Bellows' 2 goals gives U.S. win over Russia
Kieffer Bellows scored his second goal with 7:29 left in the third period and the United States defeated Russia 3-2 in a world junior quarter-final on Tuesday night.
Kailer Yamamoto also had a goal, Joey Anderson added an empty-netter and Joseph Woll made 27 saves for the defending champion Americans, who will play Sweden in the semifinals on Thursday.
The U.S. took a 1-0 lead on Bellows' power-play goal 2:18 into the game. Marsel Sholokhov tied it for Russia before Yamamoto put back the rebound of his own shot to make it 2-1 late in the first period.
Andrei Altybarmakyan had the tying goal for Russia early in the third period. Vladislav Sukhachyov made 39 saves.
Czechs beat Finland in shootout
Kristian Reichel and Martin Necas scored shootout goals and the Czech Republic defeated Finland 4-3 in a world junior quarter-final on Tuesday.
Filip Zadina scored twice in regulation, including the tying goal with 2:26 remaining in the third period. Reichel scored the other goal. Josef Korenar made 51 saves.
Aapeli Rasanen, Olli Juolevi and Kristian Vesalainen had goals for Finland. Vesalainen also had the only Finnish goal in the shootout. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 26 saves.
Sweden defeats Slovakia
Isac Lundestrom scored two goals and Sweden hung on to defeat Slovakia 3-2 in their quarter-final.
Fabian Zetterlund scored the other goal for Sweden, making it 2-0 early in the second period. Martin Bodak had both goals for Slovakia. Roman Durny made 36 saves.
with files from Associated Press