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World Juniors Recap: Quarterfinals see two powerhouses go down

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Sweden and Canada were sent home in surprise defeats in the quarterfinals of the World Juniors

Canada v Finland: Quarterfinal - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

The quarterfinals of the 2019 World Juniors didn’t appear to have a lot of excitement in the four games, but that’s why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. We saw two annual powerhouses fall and the four semifinal teams are set.

Here’s how the games played out.

Switzerland vs Sweden

Final Score: Switzerland 2, Sweden 0

Switzerland Goal Scorers: Yannick Bruschweiler and Luca Wyss

Sweden Goal Scorers: None

This was the biggest upset of the day. The Swedes looked dominant in the preliminary round improving to 48-0 in the prelims. However, they fell short again in the elimination round. The Swiss pulled off the big upset on the back of their goaltender Luca Hollenstein.

Canada vs Finland

Final Score: Finland 2, Canada 1 (OT)

Finland Goal Scorers: Aleksi Heponiemi (Panthers) and Toni Utunen (Canucks)

Canada Goal Scorers: Ian Mitchell (Blackhawks)

The Canadians held a one goal lead until the final minute. Eeli Tolvanen threw a puck to the net from behind the goal line and it bounced in off the leg of Heponiemi to tie the game with 45 seconds remaining.

The game would go to overtime and Canada had a great opportunity to end it. Their captain Maxime Comtois of the Anaheim Ducks had a penalty shot chance, but Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was there to shut the door. Just four minutes later, Utunen beat Michael DiPietro high on the blocker side for another upset.

Luukkonen made 33 saves on 34 shots and Oskari Laaksonen played 21:58 in another solid performance. The Finns will now meet Switzerland in the semifinals.

USA vs Czech Republic

Final Score: USA 3, Czech Republic 1

USA Goal Scorers: Noah Cates (Flyers), Josh Norris (Senators), and Sasha Chmelevski (Sharks)

Czech Republic Goal Scorers: Martin Kaut (Avalanche)

The Americans were dominant throughout the game, but the Czech goaltender Dostal held his team in the game. Kaut got the Czech’s within one with eight minutes remaining, but were unable to find the equalizer.

Mattias Samuelsson and Matej Pekar didn’t do much that stood out during the game. Pekar’s tournament ended without him making much of an impact.

Team USA will meet the Russians in the semifinals.

Russia vs Slovakia

Final Score: Russia 8, Slovakia 3

Russia Goal Scorers: Grigori Denisenko (Panthers), Stepan Starkov, Alexander Alexeyev (Capitals), and Nikita Shashkov, Klim Kostin (2) (Blues), Kirill Slepets, and Ilya Morozov

Slovakia Goal Scorers: Martin Fehervary, Milos Roman, and Michal Ivan

Semifinals

Russia vs USA - 4 PM EST | 1/4/18

Switzerland vs Finland - 8 PM EST | 1/4/18