Thursday afternoon Team USA played Team Sweden in the semifinals of the World Juniors in Buffalo. The US team, who was the favorite to defend their title coming in, carried the play for most of the first two periods, but trailed 1-0. Despite a 3 on 0 on a power play in the second, Sweden kept USA off the board. Sweden widened their lead to 2-0 on a PPG 6:17 into the third and then the wheels fell off for the US. Sweden took a penalty less than a minute later and instead of putting pressure on the US allowed two short handed goals in a matter of seconds and did not record a shot. They were sloppy in their own and and were badly out skated by the Swedish penalty killers. The US added a late goal, but if it were not for a total let down for 2 mins earlier in the 3rd the USA might have had a chance. They can still get Bronze, but who knows if they will be able to rebound less than 24 hours after this crushing defeat. Full Recap
Kadri Rips Out Chunk of Thornton’s Beard in Fight
Right at the opening face off Maple Leaf’s F Nazem Kadri and Sharks F Joe Thornton were tossed from the face off circle for slashing each other. They clearly were not done ‘discussing’ their disagreement as they dropped the gloves immediately after puck drop and had a pretty good bout. The odd part is that as Kadri was trying to hold onto Thornton’s jersey he inadvertently grabbed his freakishly long beard and as they went to the ice took a sizable chunk of it with him. The Leaf’s ended up winning the game 3-2 in a shootout and don’t worry, the chunk of beard ended up back on the Sharks bench in backup Aaron Dell’s glove. See video below:
This Weekend’s Game to Watch
Carolina Hurricanes @ Boston Bruins Sat 7pm
The Bruins, who have one regulation loss in their last 10 games host the Hurricanes Saturday Night at TD Garden. Boston is winners of two straight scoring 5 goals in each game. Forwards David Pasternak and Brad Marchand lead the way with 35 and 34 points respectively. Tuukka Rask has been unbeatable in his last 12 starts going 11-0-1 and allowing only 16 goals in that span. Boston sits comfortably tied for 2nd in the Atlantic with Toronto with the 4th place Panthers 11 points back.
The ‘Canes are coming off a 4-0 win in Pittsburgh where Cam Ward made 21 saves for his first shut out of the season. Head Coach Bill Peters seems to be riding the hot hand in Ward who is 11-2-2 on the season. Carolina is now in a wild card spot and only 3 back of Columbus for third in the Metropolitan Division.