The second day of the World Juniors Championships of Hockey has now wrapped up, as three games took place. Carey Price and Team Canada looked to solidify their 1st place position in group A, as they took on Team USA. Meanwhile, the two newcomes faced off, as Sergei Kostitsyn and Belarus faced off against Germany. Finally, the third game featured Slovakia taking on Switzerland, as Juraj Mikus made his debut in Stockholm.
Today was a quieter day for our prospects, as neither Kostitsyn nor Price played to quite the level they did yesterday, while Mikus’ debut was an average one.
Carey Price: Carey started his 2nd consecutive game for Team Canada, as they faced Team USA. More of a challenge was expected from the opposition this game, and they got it. After Canada jumped out to an early lead, the USA rallied to close the gap to just one goal. Late in the 3rd, Canada’s John Toews was then awarded a penalty shot when the American defender Jack Johnson threw his stick in an attempt to foil a breakaway attempt. Toews would convert on the shot to make it 4-2. Later in the 3rd though, the USA was score a questionable goal. Price was run over in his won crease and the resulting scramble, which left Carey out of position, resulted in a goal. Canada would hold on however, and win it 6-3. Price made 32 saves in the game, which is certainly a decent result. He showed solid rebound control, but struggled when Team USA applied heavy pressure in and around the crease.
Sergei Kostitsyn: Coming off a 2 point performance, Sergei was hoping to lead Belarus to their 2nd straight win in their A-Division debut. His play however was not at the same level as it was yesterday. Despite a few good chances, he and his team failed to show the same amount of effort as they did in their previous game. Kostitsyn would post 3 shots on goal and a –2 rating as Belarus fell to Switzerland 4-1.
Juraj Mikus: Mikus made his tournament debut on day two, as Slovakia faced off against Germany. Mikus had a fairly average game, though he did manage to chip in with a goal. He however did not stand out, and neither did his stats. Despite the goal, he was a –3 with 3 shots on goal. In the end, the Germans downed the Slovaks 4-2.
Pavel Valentenko: Did not play.
Today was a much more routine day, after day one’s odd results. However, there needs to be a better effort from Mikus and Kostitsyn. While Price followed up his shutout with a fairly solid effort against the Americans, Kostitsyn did not show the same consistency, and will be expected to play to a higher level next game. Mikus’ debut was also fairly average, and he will need to step up in the coming games if Slovakia is to have any hope of going deep into the tournament.