2013 IIHF World Junior Championships: Recapping Day 4 in Russia

Chris Blanchard@@BlanchardNHLContributor IIIDecember 29, 2012

Swedish captain Filip Forsberg had two assists to keep his team undefeated
Swedish captain Filip Forsberg had two assists to keep his team undefeatedBruce Bennett/Getty Images

After hitting the midway point in the group stage with an electrifying Friday, four of the tournament's 10 teams saw action on the tournament's fourth day. With their third wins of the tournament, Russia and Sweden both sealed their passage into the knockout stage.

Here's a look at the day's games:

Game 1

Sweden 5 - Latvia 1

One day after needing a shootout to defeat Switzerland, defending champion Sweden dealt Latvia its third consecutive loss. 

Sweden moves to 3-0, sitting firmly atop Group A as the only undefeated squad. Meanwhile, Latvia finds itself buried in the group standings having been outscored 17-4 through three games. 

The Swedes took their time taking hold of this one, needing 19 minutes for Emil Molin to give them the lead heading into the first intermission. 

After the break, Latvia showed some signs of life. Teodors Blugers tied the game for the underdogs roughly four minutes into the second period. The goal would be their only resistance. 

Sweden took the lead for good when Sebastian Collberg scored his third goal of the tournament, putting him into a four-way tie for the tournament goal-scoring lead. 

The Swedes opened the floodgates in the third, with two goals from Victor Arvidsson. Alexander Wennberg scored Sweden's fifth in the final minute, with the game already well in hand. 

Nicklas Lundstrom was strong in net for the blue and yellow after coming off the bench to win the previous day's shootout against Switzerland. He made 20 saves, as his team outshot Latvia 46-21. 

The loss all but guarantees that Latvia will find itself in the relegation round. It will face the Czech Republic tomorrow. 

Sweden, having already secured its survival, can earn a quarterfinal bye with a win over rival Finland on Monday. 


Game 2

Russia 7 - Germany 0

One day after edging Team USA in a vital Group B tilt, Russia looked very good in a shutout victory over Germany. 

Team Russia remains undefeated in the tournament and is now guaranteed a spot in the knockout round. 

Much like Latvia, Germany has now suffered its third consecutive defeat. It has been outscored 24-3 in losses to Canada, the USA and Russia. 

Team Russia came out flying in the first period with Nikita Kucherov scoring in under two minutes, with the help of Mikhail Grigorenko and Anton Slepyshev. 

Midway through the period, 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov scored his first goal of the tournament. The Russian captain assisted on Danil Zharkov's goal three minutes later, giving the host country a 3-0 lead. 

The Russians slowed their assault some in the second period. They did not score their fourth goal until nearly 14 minutes into the second, when Albert Yarullin notched his third goal of the tournament. Yarullin has exploded offensively, scoring in each of Russia's three victories, despite his role as a defensive defenseman. 

The third period belonged to Russia's Yaroslav Kosov. The Florida Panthers prospect bagged the tournament's first hat trick with three goals in the third. 

Goaltender Andrey Vasilevkiy made 36 saves to shut out Team Germany for the second time in the tournament. Russia has been spectacular in net, with the tandem of Vasilevskiy and Andrei Makarov allowing just three goals in three games. 

Team Germany will face Slovakia tomorrow with no hope of reaching the medal round.

Team Russia will rest up before a monumental battle with fellow medal favorites Canada on Monday. The winner will likely earn Group B's coveted quarterfinal bye. 


Three Stars 

1. Yaroslav Kosov - Russia

Yaroslav Kosov, a 2011 fifth-round pick, is the only player in the tournament so far to have scored a hat trick. Entering today's game with zero points, Kosov's outburst came in the third period against Germany. All three goals were scored within 16 minutes of each other with the third coming shorthanded. 

2. Sebastian Collberg - Sweden

Sebastian Collberg has led the way offensively for Sweden with three goals in three games, tying him for the tournament lead. He extended his scoring streak to three games by grabbing the go-ahead goal against Latvia. The Montreal Canadiens second-rounder also assisted on the first goal of the game scored by Emil Molin. 

3. Andrey Vasilevskiy - Russia

One day after Andrei Makarov made 41 saves to help Russia beat Team USA, the other half of Russia's incredible goaltending tandem blanked Germany. Vasilevskiy made 41 saves of his own in the 7-0 victory. The Tampa Bay first-rounder will continue to battle with Makarov for control of the Russian net. 


Group Standings

Sweden 3 2 1 0 0 12 4 8
Switzerland 2 1 0 1 0 9 5 4
Finland 2 1 0 0 1 6 4 3
Czech Republic 2 1 0 0 1 4 5 3
Latvia 3 0 0 0 3 4 17 0
Russia              3 2 1 0 0 12 3 8
Canada 2 2 0 0 0 15 6 6
USA 2 1 0 0 1 9 2 3
Slovakia 2 0 0 1 1 5 9 1
Germany 3 0 0 0 3 3 24 0


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