Team Canada maintained its elite-level play to close out the round-robin portion of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Meanwhile, Sweden required a shootout to get past the Americans. Canada will now play Sweden in one semi-final. The other semi-final will see Russia and Finland meet. Russia edged Slovakia 2-1 in overtime, while Finland handled Switzerland with relative ease in a 6-0 drubbing.
Hlinka Gretzky Cup: Medal Round Matchups Set
Canada 7 Czech Republic 1
Two powerplay goals by Canada’s Player of the Game, Quinton Byfield, highlighted a superb performance by Team Canada. Both of Byfield’s goals were set up by Hendrix Lapierre, who also added a short-handed tally. Lapierre leads the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in scoring with eight points, one ahead of line-mate Cole Perfetti. The trio should all see their names called relatively early at the 2020 NHL draft. Additionally, Windsor Spitfires forward Jean-Luc Foudy had a strong game, chipping in with a goal and an assist. Canada finishes the round-robin with a 3-0 record, having outscored their opponents 21-1. Both semi-final matchups will be played on Friday at 1:00 pm EDT.
Sweden 5 USA 4
Daniel Ljungman scored twice in the shootout as Sweden overcame a 3-1 deficit to earn a semi-final berth. Sweden scored three third period goals to send the game into overtime. The USA will now play the Czech Republic, in a game to determine the fifth and sixth spots in the tournament.
Russia 2 Slovakia 1
A very determined Team Slovakia almost pulled off the upset of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. However, they fell victim to a superior Russian squad in overtime. Bogdan Trineyev provided the final blow beating goaltender Simon Latkoczy at 2:55 of the extra session. Nevertheless, the crowd went home somewhat pleased with the effort. Slovakia will battle Switzerland to decide the seventh and eighth places in the tournament.
Finland 6 Switzerland 0
2022 draft-eligible sensation Brad Lambert notched the hat-trick to propel Finland past Switzerland 6-0. With the victory, Finland clinched a berth in the semi-finals and will play Russia. Roni Hirvonen, Aatu Raty along with Roby Jarventie also managed to light the lamp. Joel Blomqvist earned the shutout to raise his save percentage to .919 for the tournament.