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Ivan Hlinka Memorial: Day 1 Recap

It's not easy to get recaps for the games in this tournament, so I'll do my best here.  Dan Sallows is providing probably the best English language coverage out there, with several features on the players.  I highly recommend checking his site out to introduce yourself to several of these soon to be NHL draft picks, players that will form the basis of their national U18 teams in April and U20 teams in 2012 and 2013. 

Canada 6, Sweden 3

Sweden fell behind 1-0 on an early power play goal by the highly touted Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer, WHL), but quickly responded with power play goals by Pontus Aberg (Djurgarden J18), Oscar Klefbom (Skare BK, Div 1), and a shorthanded goal by Joachim Nermark (Linkoping J20).  That 3-1 lead early in the second quickly gave way, as Canada got five goals on 36 shots over the final two periods to get the win.  Daniel Catenacci (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL), the #1 pick in the 2009 OHL draft, scored twice while CHL rookie of the year Matt Puempel (Peterborough, OHL) got a goal and an assist to spark the comeback.  Special teams were effective for both teams, something that is to be expected at this level, with Sweden going 2 for 7 on the PP (and scoring shorthanded) while Canada went 3 for 8.  Buzzing the Net has a nice little write-up on Catenacci's potential as he enters his draft year. 

USA 3, Czech Republic 2

The Czechs seem to be trying to keep the games close, as they lost to Canada in a pre-tournament exhibition 3-2 in OT before.  Despite being outshot 37-20, the Czechs held in this game to the end, getting a late goal by Dmitrij Jaskin (Slavia Praha U20) to make it interesting.  USA was led offensively by small forward Cason Hohmann (Cedar Rapids, USHL), who had a goal and an assist.  Hohmann was a USHL rookie last year with Cedar Rapids, where he had 36 points.  The Americans also got goals from the highly touted Vincent Trocheck (Saginaw, OHL) and Alex Broadhurst (Chicago Mission, USHS).  Unlike the Canada-Sweden game, the special teams were a dud, with the Americans going 0 for 9 and the Czechs going 1 for 9. 

Switzerland 7, Slovakia 2

Ouch.  If the hosts Slovaks were going to make a run for the crowds in Piestany, they needed to start with a win against the Swiss.  Instead, the Swiss continue to show their junior program's growth with a convincing win here.  The Swiss got goals from seven different players, with Jorden Gahler (Kloten U18) and Sven Andrighetto (Zurich U18) leading the charge with a goal and an assist.  Even Sallows doesn't have a report on this one, so news on this game is pretty scarce.  Shots were 35-31 for the Swiss, so one can assume that Slovak goaltender Adam Nagy (Trencin U18) didn't have a good night. 

Finland 3, Russia 2 (SO)

Well, we had our first overtime and shootout of the tournament, as Finland got the shootout winner from Joel Armia (Assat U20), who had also picked up an assist during regulation.  Markus Granlund (HIFK U20), younger brother of Minnesota Wild first rounder Mikael Granlund, scored the other goal for Finland.  Igor Levitsky (CSKA, MHL) scored twice for Russia, with sixteen year old Mikhail Grigorenko (CSKA, MHL) picking up an assist.  According to Dan Sallows, Finnish goaltender Richard Ullberg (HIFK U18) was a difference maker for Finland, particularly in the second period. 

Tuesday's games are Canada vs. Switzerland (08:00, all times EST), USA vs. Russia (09:30), Slovakia-Sweden (11:30), and Czech Republic-Finland (13:00).