2015 World Juniors: Day One

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

To some, December 26th is just Boxing Day. To others, it is simply just another day. But to many, today marked the start of the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Hockey Championships. This years addition of the heavily followed 2015 World Juniors tournament takes place in Canada’s two most populous cities – Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. This will be Toronto’s first time hosting the World Juniors, while this will be Montreal’s second time (previously in 1978). Last time Montreal held it was the second year the tournament was officially in operation. The Soviet Union won their second Gold, Sweden earned their first medal (Silver), and Canada defeated Czechoslovakia for the Bronze. Canada leads all participating nations in number of gold medals with 15, Russia comes second with 13 (9 of them under the Soviet Union). Finland and the United States share the third place in the gold medal standings with only 3 gold medals a piece. Only other countries to win the tournament are Czech Republic (Twice – 2000, 2001) and Sweden (1981, 2012). Canada’s last bronze medal came in 2012 when defeating Finland 4-0 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. The last silver medal for Canada came in 2011 after a heartbreaking third period collapse to the hands of the Russians when Canada saw a 3-0 slip away and fell 5-3 in Buffalo. Lastly, Canada’s last gold medal was won in the nation’s capital in 2009 to Team Sweden with players such as Tavares, Eberle, Subban and Tokarski.

Toronto
- All Group B games in the Preliminary Round which includes Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia,
Switzerland, Sweden.
- Relegation games (5th place in Group A vs. 5th place in Group B - Best of 3).
- 2 Quarter-Final games.
- Both Semi-Final games.
- Bronze Medal game.
- Gold Medal game.
Air Canada Centre
- 40 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Attendance: 18,819 (at least 20,270 with standing room).
- Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Rock (NLL).

Montreal
- All Group A games in the Preliminary Round which includes Canada, Finland, Germany, Slovakia,
United States.
- 2 Quarter-Final games.
Bell Centre
- 1909 Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Attendance: 21,297.
- Home of the Montreal Canadiens (NHL).

Today, opening day for the tournament saw Russia and Denmark kick off the tournament in Canada’s most populated city – Toronto at 1:00pm EST. As this game neared a close, fans were filling the Bell Centre prior to a 3:00pm EST puck drop between the United States and Finland. Many of these fans including supporters of the Montreal Canadiens who had the chance to watch prospect Artturi Lehkonen. 5:00pm EST would give the crew at the Air Canada Centre enough time to empty, and re-fill the arena as the Czech Republic and Sweden faced off in Group B action. The day-long wait for fans of the host country would come at 8:00pm EST where Canada kicks off its campaign against Slovakia where Zach Fucale will start in net on the Canadian side.

Winning Team (Updated Record)ScoreVersusScoreLosing Team (Updated Record)Game Attendance (Arena)
Russia (1-0-0-0)3vs. (Shootout)2Denmark (0-0-1-0)12,412 (Air Canada Centre)
United States (1-0-0-0)2vs. (Shootout)1Finland (0-0-1-0)8,006 (Bell Centre)
Sweden (1-0-0-0)5vs.2Czech Republic (0-0-0-1)13,077 (Air Canada Centre)
Canada (1-0-0-0)8vs. 0Slovakia (0-0-0-1)14,142 (Bell Centre)

 

Three Stars of the Day

Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

1. Robby Fabbri (Canada)
2 Goals, 2 Assists in 8-0 win over Slovakia.

2. Nicolas Petan (Canada)
2 Goals, 1 Assist in 8-0 win over Slovakia.

3. George Sorenson (Denmark)

Saved 38 of 40 shots in 3-2 shootout loss to Russia.

 

Let us now take a look at the top five players in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in points after one day in the tournament, heading into day two on December 27th, 2014.

PlayerCountryGoalsAssistsPoints
Robby FabbriCanada224
Nicolas PetanCanada123
Oskar LindblomSweden033
Adrian KempeSweden202
Jakub VranaCzech Republic202

 

In the first day of the tournament, like the majority of days in the preliminary round, 8 teams will play leaving out two. On opening day, all but Switzerland and Germany see game action. Well worry not – because both will be part of action on the second day of the tournament which leaves out the United States and Russia. Here is the upcoming schedule for Day 2:

"Away" TeamVersus"Home" TeamTimeArena
Swedenvs.Denmark1:00pm ESTAir Canada Centre (Toronto).
Finland vs. Slovakia4:00pm ESTBell Centre (Montreal).
Switzerlandvs.Czech Republic5:00pm ESTAir Canada Centre (Toronto).
Canadavs. Germany8:00pm ESTBell Centre (Montreal).

 

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Habs Prospects Corner

Habs Prospects at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships

Today, Jacob de la Rose (MTL / 2nd Round – 2013) was the only prospect of the Montreal Canadiens to score a goal on opening day. The goal scored by de la Rose contributed to a 5-2 victory for Sweden over the Czech Republic in Toronto. Over in Montreal, Zach Fucale (MTL / 2nd Round – 2013) earned the start for Canada and stopped all 12 Slovakian shots that came his way on route to an 8-0 opening night shutout for Team Canada. Artturi Lehkonen (Finland) and Martin Reway (Slovakia) were each held to zero points in their losses today.

Current Statistics

PlayerCountryDraftedGoalsAssistsPoints
Jacob de la RoseSwedenMTL (2nd Round / 2013)101
Artturi LehkonenFinlandMTL (2nd Round / 2013)000
Martin RewaySlovakiaMTL (4th Round / 2013)000
GoalieCountryDraftedRecordSave PercentageSaves / Goals Against
Zach FucaleCanadaMTL (2nd Round / 2013)1-0-0-01.000%12 / 0

Habs Prospect Player of the Day

Photo: Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Photo: Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Zach Fucale
The Canadian goaltender drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2nd round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft recorded the shutout in Canada’s opening game against Slovakia in an 8-0 victory, stopping all 12 shots on goal.

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