Day One of the World Juniors took place on Tuesday and it started things off with a bang. Day 2 was equally as fun though as some very interesting things took place.
Slovakia vs Switzerland
The Slovakian team earned a big win in their first game of the tournament on Tuesday against Czechia. Taking down the reigning Silver Medal winners is big for them.
They had another good test on Wednesday and they passed with ease. They took on Team Switzerland who was playing in their first game of the tournament.
Slovakia answered the bell, however, as they took down the Swiss 3-0. Samuel Honzek (Calgary Flames), Peter Repcik (undrafted), and Servac Petrovsky (Minnesota Wild) scored the goals for Slovakia.
This Slovakia squad is going to be a force throughout the tournament. They are looking like a team that could absolutely medal. Their next game will come on Friday when they take on Norway. As for the Swiss, their next game will come against Team USA on Thursday.
Finland vs Germany
Finland and Germany had played each other 25 times before their match on Wednesday. The Finnish were 25-0 in those games. Germany couldn't ever squeak out a single win.
They came in believing that this could be the year they get it done. Finland was playing for the second day in a row after getting beat by Canada on Tuesday while the Germans were fresh playing in their first game of the tourney.
Germany did the unthinkable and they beat Finland 4-3. That was the score after the second period but the Fins were unable to tie it despite outshooting them 43-28. No goals were scored in the third period and the Germans finally did it.
They celebrated the win pretty hard as everyone knows the history. It was great to see Germany take this win as they are becoming a wonderful hockey country.
As for the Finnish, things have fallen off for them a little bit recently. They are still a powerful hockey country but they are certainly in a rut when it comes to winning and losing in these big events.
Finland will play next on Friday against Latvia. As for the Germans, they will take on Sweden on Thursday.
The second half of Day 2 at the World Juniors was filled with blowout games.
Norway vs Czechia
Czechia was the Silver Medal winner in 2022-23. It was a great tournament for them and they came up just short of winning.
The Czechs have always been very good at developing hockey players and being competitive at these events.
They ran into a very good Slovakia team on day 1 and were defeated. On Wednesday, however, they had an opportunity to bounce back in a big way. They took on Norway and won 8-1.
Eduard Sale had a big day for the Czechs. The Seattle Kraken first-round pick from 2023 clearly has a lot of skill and he put it on full display in this game by scoring a hat trick. Seattle fans have to be loving this as he is expected to be a big part of their future.
Jiri Kulich also had a hat trick of his own in this one. He is a Buffalo Sabres prospect and a former first-round pick in the NHL Draft (2022). Ales Cech (undrafted) and Matyas Sapovaliv (Vegas Golden Knights) scored the other two goals.
It was a dominant game for the Czechs against a team that they should be beating. Norway is trying their best but they are far behind everybody else.
Norway's next game is on Friday against Slovakia. The Czech's next contest will come on Friday against Team USA.
Latvia vs Canada
Everybody would expect Canada to beat Latvia but they thumped them 10-0. It was as good of a performance as you can expect from this Canadian team.
Macklin Celebrini was the number one player of the game for the Canadian team as he had one goal and four assists. It was truly a special game for the projected number-one pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
Team Canada won their first game but they wanted to play better going forward but it is hard to judge them in a 10-0 win against a weaker team.
Canada's next game will come against a much weaker opponent when they take on Team Sweden on Friday. That should be a battle of two very good teams. As for Latvia, they have Finland in their next game.