World Juniors Update: USA Reaches Semis, Sweden Eliminated Late by Finns
The 2021 World Junior Championships is down to four teams remaining as the Quarterfinals were completed on Saturday. Two of the three Flyers prospects in the tournament are moving on with a chance to play for a medal.
Team USA – and Flyers prospects Cam York and Bobby Brink – held off a rally by Slovakia to claim a 5-2 win. Team Sweden – and Flyers prospect Emil Andrae – were eliminated on a last-minute goal in a 3-2 defeat to Finland. Team Canada defeated Czech Republic and Russia defeated Germany to round out the final four teams of the tournament.
Sweden jumped out to a 2-0 lead in their game, but Finland dominated play in the second and third periods, tying the game despite having a goal wiped out to an offside call. In the final minute of the third, Roni Hirvonen scored to give Finland the 3-2 win.
Andrae finished with 10:13 of ice time in the loss and did not record a point or register a shot on goal. For the tournament, Andrae had one assist and was a plus-3 in five games.
USA struck for the only goal of the first period on the power play by Arthur Kaliyev. By the late stages of the second, they added two more goals, one by John Farinacci and another on the power play by Cole Caufield. Matej Kaslik scored with 1:28 left in the period to get Slovakia on the board.
A power-play goal by Dominik Sojka cut the US lead to one at 9:50 of the third period. But the US stayed the course and struck for a late goal. Some excellent forechecking by Brink helped set up Farinacci behind the net and he tucked home a goal to make it 4-2 with 4:14 remaining. Matthew Beniers scored into an empty net with 1:24 remaining, with another assist going to Brink, to cap the scoring.
Brink finished with two assists, two shots on goal and a plus-2 rating in 15:15 of ice time. York once again led the US in ice time, playing 22:40, and was a plus-1.
Canada continued to roll through the tournament with a 3-0 win over the Czechs. Russia survived a close game against Germany, pulling out a 2-1 win.
That sets the stage for the Semi-finals on Monday. Canada will host Russia in the first game of the evening at 6 p.m. The US will face off against Finland at 9:30 p.m.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.