Friday, December 31, 2010

WJC TODAY - 12-31-10

Switzerland pulled off a 6-4 victory over Slovakia yesterday at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo.

Switzerland took a 3-1 lead after 20-minutes and a 4-2 lead through 40. But in the third, the Slovaks battled back to tie the match at 4-4. A Swiss goal at 14:06 of the final frame and an empty netter in the final minute would guarantee a Switzerland win.

Saint John Sea Dogs forward Tomas Jurco failed to register a point – or a shot on goal – in the loss. He finished the match with a -1 rating. What his stats don’t show, however, is a glorious scoring opportunity he couldn’t cash in on.

From the Buffalo News:

In his game Thursday against the Swiss, Slovakia's Tomas Jurco saw the rebound bounce to him with a wide-open net in his vision. In anticipation of what seemed like a sure goal, whoever operates the goal light signaled the red light instantly.

Not so fast. Jurco couldn't corral the loose puck for the easy goal -- a theme for the Slovaks all game. Switzerland kept the lead and went on the win. The play was one, of many, missed opportunities for Slovakia. Just ask whoever was operating the goal light.
More from Yahoo! Sports:

Draft-eligible forward Tomas Jurco was shaking his head after missing a glorious chance in the second period. He had a wide open net to goalie Benjamin Conz’s left, but a defender just managed to tip the puck away.

“I tried the rebound, the defenceman put his stick there and it was just bad luck, it missed (by) like a couple of centimetres,” Jurco said. “He put his stick on my stick, it was a hard rebound but still I should have scored.”
Slovakia is now 1-2 at the world juniors and play their final preliminary round game today against Finland.

Coming off a 6-3 win against the Czech Republic, the 3-0 Swedes will face their toughest test of the tournament today when they face the Canadians at HSBC Arena.

Game time is 5:00 pm AST with the TSN pre-game show beginning at 4:30 pm. For those travelling to Harbour Station for today’s Rivalry Cup game, the match is supposed to be on News 88.9 beginning at 4:30.

Canada, also 3-0, is coming off a 10-1 blowout victory over Norway Wednesday night. The day off yesterday was probably the best thing for the beat up Canadians. Cody Eakin and Calvin de Haan are expected to return from injuries tonight. Meanwhile, Zack Kassian will be suspended and Jaden Schwartz is out for the remainder of the tournament with an ankle injury.

Brayden Schenn enters tonight’s game on a hot streak after scoring four goals against the Norwegians. He leads the Canadians in points with six goals and 12-points. Four players for Sweden are tied with a team high four points.

Acadie-Bathurst Titan goaltender Olivier Roy is expected to start in net for Canada.

Other games at the world juniors today include the Czech Republic taking on Russia and the United States facing Switzerland.

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