Saturday, January 2, 2010

WJC Recap: Saturday's Quarterfinals

The best tournament in the world for NHL prospects continued in Saskatchewan on Saturday.

The U.S. will live to play another day and the hoped for rematch with Canada is still alive. However, it will take a strong game from the entire team to beat a loaded Sweden squad on Sunday. Plus, Switzerland is trying to steal the headlines as a possible Cinderella team.
Highlights from the two Quarterfinal games:

United States 6, Finland 2

American goaltender Mike Lee was the player of the game - looks like he is the #1 goalie for the remainder of the tournament. Jordan Schroeder passed Jeremy Roenick with his three assists, giving him the most points all-time for a U.S. born player at the WJC.
A trio of Original Six draft picks - Chris Kreider (NY Rangers), Jerry D'Amigo (Toronto) and Danny Kristo (Montreal Canadiens) - had big games as well. Kristo and Kreider remained uber hot for the USA team, each scoring another goal. They both have five goals overall - just one shy of Slovakia's Richard Panik, who currently leads the WJC this year with six goals. D'Amigo had two goals in the game, his second and third of the tourney.

Switzerland 3, Russia 2
It took overtime to decide this one and somehow the Swiss were able to upset the team many people predicted would be playing for gold on Tuesday. Swiss goaltender Benjamin Conz played lights out in goal, finishing the game with 50 saves. Meanwhile, his teammate Nino Niederreiter had two dramatic goals. First, he tied the game with just 33 seconds left in regulation. Then, about 10 minutes into the OT he scored the game winner. He's expected to be a first round pick at the 2010 NHL Draft and right now his stock is probably rising.

Semi final match-ups for Sunday:

Switzerland vs. Canada - 1pm PST
United States vs. Sweden - 6pm PST

Both games will be shown live on the NHL Network. The winners will meet for the Gold Medal on Tuesday, while the other two teams will play for the Bronze.

The Mayor

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