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World junior hockey: Canada stages rally to beat Russia in gold-medal final

The Detroit News
Team Canada players celebrate after winning the U20 world championships with a 4-3 victory over Russia in the gold-medla game in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Fourth-line forward Akil Thomas scored the winning goal in the final period and Canada rallied from two goals down to beat Russia 4-3 in the final of the world junior hockey championship on Sunday in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

It was the 18th title for Canada, the most successful team in the tournament. 

Thomas backhanded the puck past goaltender Amir Miftakhov with 3:58 left to avenge a 6-0 loss to Russia at their group stage game on Dec 28, the worst loss for Canada in the history of the tournament.

Dylan Cozens, Connor McMichael and captain Barrett Hayton also scored for Canada.

Red Wings draft pick Joe Veleno had one assist, two shots and was even and on the ice for a team-leading 25:20. Veleno was only 8-for-20 in the faceoff circle but he won the draw on captain Hayton's tying goal in the third period.

The Canadians were 3-1 down in the final period before McMichael and Hayton tied the game in a span of 2:01.

Detroit's other draft pick on the team, Jared McIsaac, had one shot and was minus-one in 14:41 of ice time.

Nikita Alexandrov, Grigori Denisenko and Maxim Sorkin scored for Russia. 

Earlier, Samuel Fagemo scored to help Sweden beat defending champion Finland 3-2 and take bronze. 

Canada to face Russia in final

Canada and Russia will play for gold on Sunday at the world junior hockey championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Canada defeated Finland 5-0 in a semifinal on Saturday. 

Alexis Lafreniere, the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, scored two goals for Canada.

In the other semifinal, Ivan Morozov scored his second goal of the game at 3:24 of overtime in a 5-4 victory over Sweden.

Yegor Sokolov added two goals of his own, while Alexander Khovanov scored and set up another for the Russians, who last won the event in 2011.

Yaroslav Askarov allowed four goals on 20 shots before getting the hook in the third period. Amir Miftakhov made five saves in relief to secure the win.

"It’s just unbelievable," said Sokolov, who plays for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. "We played together since (under-16s) and we never won anything.

"It’s like our biggest chance in our life."

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere, right, celebrates with Canada's Barett Hayton, left, after scoring a goal against Finland in a semifinal at the world junior championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

U.S. women win gold at U18 worlds 

Kiara Zanon (Fairport, N.Y.) scored with 3:08 left in overtime to lift the U.S. Under-18  Women’s National Team to a 2-1 victory over Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2020 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Five players from Michigan were on the roster including goalies Callie Shanahan (Commerce/HoneyBaked) and Amanda Thiele (Milford/Belle Tire) and forwards Emma Gentry (Alpena/HoneyBaked), Kirsten Simms (Plymouth/Selects Academy) and Clara Van Wieren (Okemos/Shattuck St. Mary's).

Zanon teamed with captain Maggie Nicholson (Minnetonka, Minn.) to force a turnover at the defensive blueline and the two went up the ice on a game-winning 2-on-0 break with Nicholson making a nifty backhand pass across the top of the goal mouth to Zanon, who put home the golden goal.

The U.S. has now finished at the top of the podium in five of the last six IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships.

Okemos' Clara Van Wieren, left, and Audrey Wethington celebrate after Team USA won a gold medal with a 2-1 overtime win over Canada at the world U18 women's hockey championship on Thursday in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Team USA eliminated by Finland

Joonas Oden scored late to give Finland a 1-0 victory over the United States on Thursday and send the defending champion into the semifinals of the world junior hockey championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

In a rematch of last year’s final, Oden broke the deadlock on a power play 4:23 into the final period, one-timing a shot from the slot past goaltender Spencer Knight at Werk Arena in Trinec.

The U.S. pulled Knight for an extra attacker and a 6-4 advantage with 1:15 left but Finland held on.

Team USA players stand on the blueline after losing 1-0 to Finland in the quarterfinals of the world U20 hockey championships in Trinec, Czech Republic.

Earlier, Canada and Russia also reached the semis.

Alexis Lafreniere marked his return from injury with a goal and an assist as Canada routed Slovakia 6-1.

Lafreniere wristed a shot past Slovakia goaltender Samuel Hlavaj to increase Canada’s lead to 5-0 on a power play midway through the second period at the Ostravar Arena in the eastern city of Ostrava.

The 18-year-old center, who is projected to be the No. 1 pick at the 2020 NHL draft, recovered from a left knee injury he sustained against Russia in the team’s second group-stage game on Dec 28. He missed the following two games against Germany and the Czech Republic.

Captain Barrett Hayton scored two goals and added an assist for Canada.

Red Wings' first-round pick Joe Veleno had an assist, four shots and was 8-for-14 in the faceoff circle. Detroit second-round pick Jared McIsaac was plus one in 13:24 of ice time.

Lafreniere assisted on Hayton’s opening goal in the first period. Connor McMichael, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Liam Foudy contributed second-period goals to build a decisive lead for the Canadians.

Hayton scored his second on a power play in the final period.

Oliver Okuliar spoiled goaltender Joel Hofer’s shutout bid with a late consolation goal.

Canada is the most successful team at the world juniors with 17 titles but is looking to bounce back from a disappointing sixth-place finish last year when it hosted the event.

In Trinec, Dmitri Voronkov scored two power-play goals and Russia beat Switzerland 3-1 to become the first team to reach the semifinals.

Thiele leads U.S. into final

Milford's Amanda Thiele made 15 saves for her second consecutive shutout, Alpena's Emma Gentry scored a goal and Plymouth's Kirsten Simms had two assists in Team USA's 3-0 victory over Russia on Wednesday to advance to the final of the women's U18 world hockey championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Milford's Amanda Thiele makes a save against Russia in a game during the preliminary round.

Thiele was also in goal for a 1-0 win over Russia in the preliminary round. The U.S. will face Canada in the final on Thursday.

Center Clara Van Wieren (Okemos) had two shots and was plus one. Goalie Callie Shanahan (Commerce) is also on the roster.

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Veleno, McIsaac score goals

Red Wings draft picks Joe Veleno and Jared McIsaac scored goals for Canada in a 7-2 win over host Czech Republic to complete the preliminary round at the world junior hockey championship and clinch top spot in its group.

Nolan Foote, captain Barrett Hayton, Connor McMichael, Liam Foudy and Dylan Cozens also scored as Canada topped Group B with nine points.

Canada faces Slovakia, which finished fourth in Group A, in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The United States placed second in Group B and will face Finland in a rematch of last January's final, which Finland won 3-2.

Red Wings draft pick Joe Veleno, right, is checked by forward Jaromir Pytlik of the Czech Republic in Ostrava on Tuesday.

U.S. features All-Michigan line 

Team USA went with an all-Michigan line in Sunday's 2-1 loss against Canada at the women's world U18 hockey championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The line featured center Clara Van Wieren (Okemos) and wingers Emma Gentry (Alpena) and Kirsten Simms (Plymouth). Van Wieren won three of four faceoffs and Gentry and Simms each had two shots on goal. Also on the team are local goalies Amanda Thiele (Milford) and Callie Shanahan (Commerce).

Alpena's Emma Gentry, right, is stopped in front of the Canada net during a 2-1 loss at the world U18 women's championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Lacey Eden scored the only goal and Skylar Vetter made 36 saves for the U.S., which finished the preliminary round with six points (2-0-0-1) and earned a bye to the semifinals against Russia on Wednesday.

It was the 13th straight year Team USA has advanced to the semifinal round.

Okemos native Clara Van Wieren, right, battles for a loose puck during Sunday's 2-1 loss against Canada at the world women's U18 championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Kaliyev scores two goals

Arthur Kaliyev scored twice to lift the United States to a hard-fought 3-1 win over Russia at the world junior hockey championship on Sunday in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Kaliyev struck first with 3:19 left in the middle period with a one-timed shot from the right circle on a power play in the Group B encounter, and Nicholas Robertson (Northville) doubled the advantage from the slot six seconds later.

Kaliyev wristed a shot past goaltender Amir Miftakhov in the final period for his third goal of the tournament to extend the lead to 3-0, and Russia then pulled the goalie to replace him with Yaroslav Askarov.

U.S. goaltender Spencer Knight made 25 saves.

Alexander Romanov scored the lone goal for Russia.

The second victory for the U.S. comes a day after Russia stunned Canada 6-0 to hand the Canadians the worst defeat in the tournament’s history.

Lafreniere hurt in loss to Russia

Canada forward Alexis Lafreniere, the consensus No. 1 prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft, suffered a leg injury in a 6-0 loss against Russia on Saturday at the U20 world junior championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere waits for the team photo before practice at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Lafreniere cut around defenceman Yegor Zamula and crashed into goaltender Amir Miftakhov. Lafreniere, who had one goal and three assists in a 6-4 win over the United States on Thursday, had to be helped off the ice and didn't return to the game.

Also Saturday, Red Wings draft pick Moritz Seider had three assists in Germanys' 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic.

Thiele blanks Russians

Milford goaltender Amanda Thiele posted a 20-save shutout for Team USA in a 1-0 victory over Russia at the 2020 IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship on Friday at Ice Rink Vlado Druzilla in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Thiele, who is committed to Ohio State University next year, is a 17-year-old member of the Belle Tire U19 team this year. The 5-11 goaltender also played for the Little Caesars U14 and U16 teams.

Milford goalie Amanda Thiele made 20 saves to shut out Russia 1-0 at the world junior championship in Bratislava.

A late third-period goal from Ella Huber gave the U.S. a 2-0 record with the next game on Sunday against Canada.

Alpena's Emma Gentry, Plymouth's Kirsten Simms and Okemos' Clara Van Wieren were scoreless against Russia. Also on the team is Commerce goalie Callie Shanahan. 

"It was a tough game," U.S. coach Maura Crowell said. "We got better and better as the game went. It's a really big win for us and we're looking forward to playing Canada.

"It's hard to describe the rivalry between the U.S. and Canada, and at the U-18 level we've had unbelievable games over the years. I know our kids are going to be amped up for it." 

Seider has assist against U.S.

Shane Pinto scored his third goal in two games and the United States rebounded from a loss to Canada with a 6-3 victory over Germany at the world junior hockey championship on Friday in the Czech Republic.

Jordan Harris, Zac Jones, Curtis Hall, Bobby Brink and Oliver Wahlstrom also scored one each for the U.S. and Trevor Zegras had four assists in the Group B game at Ostravar Arena in the eastern city of Ostrava.

United States goalkeeper Dustin Wolf, left, makes a save on Germany's Lukas Reichel with Arthur Kaliyev back on the play on Friday at the world junior championship.

Pinto added a pair of assists and U.S. goaltender Dustin Wolf made 17 saves.

John Peterka had two power-play goals and Dominik Bokk added another goal for the Germans.

Red Wings draft pick Moritz Seider had an assist in a team-high 25:36 of ice time for Germany.

With the U.S. team 3-2 down in the second period, Pinto started the comeback with 5:44 remaining before Hall gave the U.S. a 4-3 lead with the eventual winner.

Last year’s finalists, the U.S. team was defeated by Canada 6-4 in its tournament’s opener on Thursday.

The U.S. next faces Russia on Sunday.

In Group A in Trinec, Slovakia opened the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Kazakhstan.

Alexis Lafreniere, right, celebrates Canada's fourth goal during the U20 Ice Hockey Worlds game against the United States in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Lafreniere dominates for Canada

Alexis Lafreniere had a goal and three assists and Barrett Hayton scored two power play goals for Canada to beat the United States 6-4 to open the world junior ice hockey championship on Thursday in the Czech Republic.

Connor McMichael, Nolan Foote, and Ty Dellandrea also scored for Canada, and goaltender Nicolas Daws made 28 saves in the Group B game.

Red Wings draft picks Joe Veleno had one assist, was plus one and went 7-for-5 in the faceoff circle and defenseman Jared McIsaac had three shots and was plus one.

The U.S. got a pair of goals and an assist from Shane Pinto.

Canada, the most successful team in the competition with 17 titles, is determined to rebound from a sixth-place finish last year when it hosted the tournament. It needed a comeback in its first match.

Pinto and Arthur Kaliyev scored power play goals in the opening frame to give last year’s finalist the U.S. a 2-0 advantage.

McMichael, Hayton, and Foote scored in a span of less than 10 minutes in the second period comeback by Canada.

Hayton added his second midway through the third for 4-2, then Nicholas Robertson and Pinto tied it at 4.

Lafreniere, one of the top NHL draft prospects, scored the winner with 3:11 left, and Dellandrea finished it off with an empty net goal.

The U.S. next plays Germany on Friday, while Canada faces Russia on Saturday.

In Group A contested in Trinec, Finland began its title defense by losing to Sweden 3-2 in overtime.

The host Czech Republic defeated Russia 4-3 in Group B, and Switzerland topped Kazakhstan 5-3 in Group A.

Van Wieren scores winning goal

Forward Clara Van Wieren (Okemos) scored the winning goal for Team USA in a 4-1 victory against Finland on Thursday in the opening game of the world women's U18 championship at Ice Rink Vlado Dzurilla in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Van Wieren was plus one with one shot, Emma Gentry (Alpena/HoneyBaked) had five of the 51 shots and was plus one and Kirsten Simms (Plymouth/Selects Academy) had one shot and was plus one.

Amanda Thiele (Milford/Belle Tire) was the backup goalie. Callie Shanahan (Commerce/HoneyBaked) is the other goalie on the roster.

Team USA gather in the goal crease before a 4-1 win over Finland in the women's world U18 championships.

Team USA returns to action on Friday against Russia.

“I thought it was a really good start to the tournament for us,” head coach Maura Crowell said. “It was a lot of people’s first time wearing the uniform on a big stage. As you watched the game, we got better and better as the periods went on. That’s what we talk about as part of our program. We want to improve and constantly get better and I think we did that.” 

Samuelsson named captain

Western Michigan defenseman Mattias Samuelsson has been named captain of the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federatioin World Junior Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

One of five returnees from last year's silver-medal winning U.S. team, Samuelsson has one goal, three assists and is plus four in 12 games with the Broncos this year.

Samuelsson, drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the second of the 2018 draft, is an alternate captain at Western Michigan and served as captain for Team USA at the 2018 Under-18 Men’s World Championship where they won a silver medal. A native of Voorhees, N.J., Samuelsson is the first New Jersey native to be named captain of a U.S. junior team.

Western Michigan's Mattias Samuelsson, left, and Cam Orchard, right, battle North Dakota's Jasper Weatherby in Kalamazoo.

Two of Samuelsson’s former teammates with the National Team Development Program in Plymouth were named alternative captains of this year’s team: defenseman K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minn./University of Wisconsin) and winger Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass./Bridgeport Sound Tigers).

Lots of Red Wings intrigue, prospects highlight world junior tournament

“We have a lot of good leaders on this team,” head coach Scott Sandelin said. “We’ve got five returners who are going to be a big part of this team. Going back to the summer, being around them in their second year, the maturity and leadership they showed is what we were looking for.”

Team USA will begin play today against Canada in Ostrava (1 p.m., NHL Network).

Local players at women's worlds

Five players from Michigan will compete for Team USA at the Under-18 Women's World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia from Dec. 26-Jan. 2.

The players are goalies Callie Shanahan (Commerce/HoneyBaked) and Amanda Thiele (Milford/Belle Tire) and forwards Emma Gentry (Alpena/HoneyBaked), Kirsten Simms (Plymouth/Selects Academy) and Clara Van Wieren (Okemos/Shattuck St. Mary's).

“We have assembled a deep and experienced group of players from across the country," said head coach Maura Crowell (Mansfield, Mass./University of Minnesota Duluth. "We feel confident in this group as we strive to bring gold back to the United States.”

Team USA's Christian Krygier watches skates during practice at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.

Under-20 Men's World Junior Championship 

Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2020

(Ostrava and Trinec in the Czech Republic)

Dec. 26: Canada 6, U.S. 4

Dec. 27: U.S. vs. Germany in Ostrava

Dec. 29: U.S. vs. Russia in Ostrava

Dec. 30: U.S. vs. Czech Republic in Ostrava

Jan. 2: Quarterfinals, TBA

Jan. 4: Semifinals in Ostrava

Jan. 5: Bronze medal game in Ostrava

Jan. 5: Gold medal game in Ostrava

Under-18 Women's World Junior Championship

Dec. 26-Jan. 2, 2020

(Bratislava in Slovakia)

Dec. 26: U.S. 4, Finland 1

Dec. 27: U.S. vs. Russia

Dec. 29: U.S. vs. Canada

Dec. 30: Quarterfinals

Jan. 1: Semifinals

Jan. 2: Bronze medal game

Jan. 2: Gold medal game

Under-18 Men's World Junior Championship

April 16-26, 2020

(Plymouth and Ann Arbor)

April 16: U.S. vs. Russia in Plymouth

April 17: U.S. vs. Germany in Plymouth

April 19: U.S. vs. Czech Republic in Plymouth

April 21: U.S. vs. Finland in Plymouth

April 23: Quarterfinals, TBA

April 25: Semifinals in Plymouth

April 26: Bronze medal game in Plymouth

April 26: Gold medal game in Plymouth