On Faucet: 2023 World Junior Championship semifinals

Quarterfinal outcomes
Sweden 3, Finland 2
Czechia 9, Switzerland 1
United States 11, Germany 1
Canada 4, Slovakia 3 (OT)


On Faucet for the semifinals

All video games on NHL Community in U.S., TSN and RDS in Canada

Czechia vs. Sweden (2:30 p.m. ET) — Czechia’s solely loss within the event got here 3-2 in extra time towards Sweden on Thursday. It additionally misplaced 3-1 to Sweden within the bronze-medal sport on the 2022 WJC in August, denying the nation its first World Juniors medal since profitable bronze in 2005.

Czechia has 15 gamers again from the staff that misplaced to Sweden in August, however avenging what occurred then isn’t its focus.

“We simply play our sport,” mentioned Czechia ahead Jiri Kulich (Buffalo Sabres), who’s tied for second amongst all gamers with 5 objectives. “We do not like enthusiastic about taking part in for a medal. We simply play the sport.”

Sweden rallied from down 2-1 within the third interval towards Finland to arrange the rematch with Czechia.

“It is clearly so particular,” goalie Carl Lindbom (Vegas Golden Knights) mentioned. “It was an important win. It was plenty of enjoyable popping out on prime however we have got to remain humble and refocus to the semifinals. It is a new sport in two days after which it is one other sport so we’re clearly aiming for the gold medal and we will do all the things we are able to to get it.”

United States vs. Canada (6:30 p.m. ET) — Connor Bedard, the anticipated No. 1 decide of the 2023 Higher Deck NHL Draft, summed up the U.S.-Canada rivalry when he mentioned, “What else is best? What else would you like? I feel that is one thing that everybody within the nation, everybody within the continent, goes to be fairly excited for.”

America has been led by its prime line of Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes), Jimmy Snuggerud (St. Louis Blues) and Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia Flyers), who mixed for 10 factors (six objectives, 4 assists) within the win towards Germany within the quarterfinals. Cooley, who’s second within the event with 11 factors (5 objectives, six assists) had three objectives and an help towards Germany. 

“It should be an important expertise,” U.S. defenseman Ryan Ufko (Nashville Predators) mentioned. “Each child form of goals about taking part in Canada in some kind of sport. We will be ready, they will be ready. It will be an important sport.”

Key for the U.S. will probably be slowing Bedard, whose spectacular extra time objective clinched the quarterfinal win towards Slovakia, and he leads the event in objectives (eight), assists (13) and factors (21).

“Clearly he is an important participant,” Ufko mentioned. “You have undoubtedly bought to know when he is on the market. In the event you’re on the ice, all the time know the place he’s, as a result of he might rating from anyplace.”


What We Realized on Day 7

Ascent of Augustine 

Goalie Trey Augustine, the youngest member of the U.S. Nationwide Junior Crew, mentioned he is ready for any problem, particularly if it means serving to his nation win a gold medal.

Augustine, an B rated goalie on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary gamers to observe checklist offered by BioSteel, has gained all 4 of his begins with a 1.36 goals-against common and .938 save share on the World Juniors. 

“I have not been nervous,” he mentioned. “I imply, on the finish of the day we’re simply taking part in hockey on the market, the identical sport I have been taking part in virtually my complete life, so it has been good. No nerves.”

What requested what it is going to be like taking part in Canada within the event semifinal spherical on Wednesday, Augustine mentioned he’d sit up for the problem.

“I’ve simply bought to do what I do for every other sport,” he mentioned. “Canada is an excellent staff however on the finish of the day, I’ve simply bought to go do my job on the market.”

The native of South Lyon, Michigan, is the sixth 17-year goalie to play for the U.S. Nationwide Junior Crew and the primary to win three or extra video games (Andrew Oke, 2022; Jack Campbell, 2010; Alan Perry, 1984; Tom Barrasso, 1983; Mark Chiamp, 1980).

“Trey’s been unbelievable,” Ufko mentioned. “Typically you form of overlook that he is an underage participant, simply because he appears to be like like a professional. He does all the things like a professional, with the best way he talks to us in the course of the video games. It is nice. He is actually calm and it is nice to have him within the web.”


Memorable evening for Milic

Bedard’s extra time objective was the No. 1 matter after Canada’s 4-3 win towards Slovakia, however Canada coach Dennis Williams had a distinct perspective.

“Connor, that objective and the best way he performed … however we do not get there with out Thomas (Milic) in web,” Williams mentioned. “He was lights out, made some key saves in extra time, some big-time saves within the third for us. We outshot them by 2-1 there however they weren’t all outdoors, perimeter photographs, there have been some Grade A alternatives that we would have liked ‘Milly’ to step up and play his sport. Clearly, he was dynamite for us.”

The most important save Milic (2023 draft eligible) made got here on an opportunity for Servac Petrovsky (Minnesota Wild) midway by way of extra time, when the Slovakia ahead bought to the web and chipped his rebound over Milic’s prolonged pad however into the goalie’s glove.

“I feel it was a little bit of a rolling puck so I do not suppose he bought full energy on it so I used to be somewhat fortunate there,” Milic mentioned.

Bedard wasn’t as positive.

“I believed it went in,” he mentioned. “I used to be going to begin crying on the bench.”

In 4 video games, Milic has a 1.68 GAA and .921 save share. He additionally has earned the belief of his teammates. 

“We have now the utmost confidence in him and he confirmed why we now have that,” defenseman Brandt Clarke (Los Angeles Kings) mentioned. “He is so sturdy. Nothing fazes him. I preserve telling him, ‘You are the perfect, you are the perfect,’ and he goes, ‘I do know I’m.’ And that is the form of confidence he has.”


Czechia focusing solely on subsequent sport

Czechia is again within the semifinals on the World Juniors and searching for its first medal on the event since profitable the bronze in 2005. It misplaced 3-1 to Sweden within the bronze-medal sport on the 2022 WJC in August. 

One of many causes Czechia has reached this level is offense from its defenseman. After getting one objective from a defenseman on the 2022 WJC, they’ve 10 by way of 5 video games, topped by three from David Spacek (Minnesota Wild) and two every by David Jiricek (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Jiri Tichacek (2023 draft eligible).

Jiricek mentioned familiarity among the many group has been the important thing.

“This group was the identical from the under-16 (tournaments) and the fellows are nonetheless the identical,” he mentioned. “We have now some expertise, and proper now we’re simply scoring objectives.”

NHL.com employees author Mike G. Morreale contributed to this report


Fast hyperlinks

World Junior Championship predictions

Group A preview

Group B preview

World Juniors Championship rosters

Event schedule


Pay attention: New episode of NHL Draft Class

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