World Junior Hockey Championship 2018 Results: Quarterfinal Scores and Reaction

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2018

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 02: Brett Howden #21 of Canada scores past Philip Wüthrich #30 of Switzerland for team Canada's first goal during the first period of play in the Quarterfinal IIHF World Junior Championship game at the QeyBank Center on January 2, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images)
Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

It's do-or-die time at the World Junior Hockey Championships with the knockout rounds starting Tuesday.

Only two teams were eliminated from contention in the preliminary rounds as Belarus and Denmark finished last in their respective table. However, the pressure only rises for the rest of the squads with the quarterfinals signaling the start of single-elimination play. 

While some teams showed why they are true contenders, others can return home after a disappointing finish. Here are the latest results from the tournament in Buffalo, New York:

  • Czech Republic 4, Finland 3 (shootout)
  • Canada 7, Switzerland 2
  • Sweden 3, Slovakia 2
  • United States 4, Russia 2



Korenar Helps Czech Republic Survive Shootout

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 02: Josef Korenar #30 of Czech Republic makes a save on Aapeli Räsänen #22 of Finland during the overtime shootout in the IIHF World Junior Championships Quarterfinal game at the KeyBank Center on January 2, 2018 in Buffalo, New York
Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

The Czech Republic have won some high-scoring battles in this tournament and this one was similar with six regulation goals, but the true credit goes to goalie Josef Korenar.

He made 51 saves, stopping 20 of the 21 shots on goal from Finland in the third period. After keeping the battle tied in overtime, he came up big once again in the shootout with four saves in five attempts.

The final stop sent his joyous team to the semifinals:

TSN @TSN_Sports

Czech Goalie Josef Kořenář got absolutely mobbed by his team after a shootout save that advanced the Czech Republic to the semifinals over Finland #WorldJuniors https://t.co/J4fromNOib

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The San Jose Sharks were also excited about the performance from their possible future star:

San Jose Sharks @SanJoseSharks

Fifty. One. Saves. What a performance by #SJSharks prospect Josef Korenar! #WorldJuniors https://t.co/qzpI8LEiQs

Filip Zadina led the way offensively with two goals, but even he made sure to give credit where it was due. 

"We did it! It's unbelievable," Zadina said, per Andrew Podnieks of the tournament's official site. "We played great. I'm so happy. We owe a big thanks to our goalie. He played so well."

Czech Republic will now take on Canada in the semifinals.


Canada Continues Dominance

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 02: Cale Makar #7, Dillon Dubé #9 and Jordan Kyrou #25 of Canada celebrate Canada's 5th goal of the game during the second period of play in the Quarterfinal IIHF World Junior Championship game at the KeyBank Center on January 2, 201
Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

Even with its loss to the United States, Canada outscored opponents by 15 goals in four preliminary games. The squad didn't slow down in the quarterfinals.

Taking on the clearly overmatched Switzerland, Canada scored eight goals and faced little opposition throughout the 60 minutes of game time.

Brett Howden gave the favorites the lead less than a minute into the contest:

TSN @TSN_Sports

48 seconds in, @TBLightning prospect and @MJWARRIORS forward Brett Howden gives @HC_WJC an early 1-0 lead after a beautiful pass from Maxime Comtois. #WorldJuniors 🇨🇦 https://t.co/dY8V0H8Lnp

The center became more of a passer from that point, picking up three assists in an impressive individual performance. 

Meanwhile, it was a full team effort that sent the team to the semifinals. Seven different players scored, with only Drake Batherson coming through with two goals.

Cale Makar only scored once, but it was a memorable one with his ability to fire it through the defense:

TSN @TSN_Sports

What. A. Shot! @Avalanche prospect Cale Makar finds the back of the net, and it's 2-0 🇨🇦@HC_WJC 🇨🇦! #WorldJuniors🇨🇦#GoAvsGo https://t.co/dcGvbUpG3e

His play was enough to earn him the player of the game award as voted by his team, per Mark Masters of TSN:

Mark Masters @markhmasters

Players of the game (as picked by teams) 🇨🇦 Cale Makar 🇨🇭 Dario Rohrbach

Switzerland scored two goals to keep it somewhat respectable, but it was outshot 60-15 in a one-sided battle. If the Canadians can keep up this offensive effort, they will be tough to beat.


Sweden Hangs on Against Slovakia

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 28: Alexander Nylander #19 of Sweden celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the third period against Czech Republic during the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on December 28, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. Sw
Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

After being the only undefeated team in the preliminary rounds, Sweden had a lot of trouble against Slovakia Tuesday.

The game was scoreless after the first period, but Isac Lundestrom scored two goals, both on assists from Tim Soderlund in the second and third to keep Sweden in front. Although Martin Bodak had two goals for Slovakia to keep things close, they weren't able to ever take the lead.

Even with a hectic final 10 minutes in a one-goal game, Sweden survived for the victory.

Considering the how much time was spent short-handed and the failure to take advantage of their own opportunities, Sweden is fortunate to escape with the win.

Russ Bitely of HockeyProspect.com noted the effort done at the Harborcenter:

Russ Bitely @russbites

Sweden played the most games at HarborCenter going 3-0, 16 GF 5 GA. Advantage of playing above parking garage. Win over Slovakia 3-2 and get USA-Russia winner on Thursday in SF. #WJC2018

It was the final game at the Harborcenter this tournament with the semifinals and finals set for Key Bank Arena.


Bellows Hits Game-Winner for USA

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 02: Kieffer Bellows #23 of United States skates against Russia during the first period of play in the Quarterfinal IIHF World Junior Championship game at the KeyBank Center on January 2, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Nicholas
Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

Kieffer Bellows kicked off the scoring for the United States early in the first period, but it was his shot in the third period that made the difference in this one.

Tied at 2-2 with under eight minutes left, Bellows took a rebound off the board and fired it into the back of the net for the game-winner:

TSN @TSN_Sports

What. A. Howitzer! @NYIslanders prospect and @pdxwinterhawks forward Kieffer Bellows blasts one in to put @usahockey back on top, 3⃣-2⃣. 🏒#WorldJuniors 🇺🇸#Isles https://t.co/TyBefZkfXk

Matthew Bové @Matt_Bove

Kieffer Bellows is an animal 🔥

It had been a back-and-forth battle until then, with Andrei Altybarmakyan tying things up for Russia at the start of the third period. However, that goal put the United States up for good, with Joey Anderson then sealing it with an empty-net score.

Joseph Woll saved 27 of the 29 shots he faced, continuing a strong tournament in net for the Americans.

Despite the close battle, Russia has been eliminated and will end an impressive run at this event, per Brayton J. Wilson of WGR:

Brayton J. Wilson @BJWilsonWGR

For the first time since 2010, Russia will not medal at the World Juniors. They fall to #TeamUSA 4-2. It will be Mittelstadt (USA) vs. Nylander and Davidsson (SWE) in the #WJC18 semifinals.

The United States will advance to the semis to take on Sweden.

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